27 June 2011

Does Sunday School have a future?

My answer to this question has been “no,” or at least, “not much of one” for some time now. I like Sheldon Good’s essay, and would quote this excerpt in particular:

School? In an age of accessible information, the hierarchical concept of “teacher feeds students with information” is outdated. Young and old seem increasingly wary of institutional frameworks that may stifle childlike faith rather than create possibilities for invitational and imaginative spiritual formation. Author Walter Brueggemann once said, “The Bible is an act of imagination that is rooted in memory but that presses always toward new possibility that is still in front of us.”

Though such formation looks and sounds quite different across our churches — praise the Lord! — it seems that people of faith are moving from “let me show and tell you what to believe” to “let’s have a conversation.” This is especially true for younger people, who are growing up in a social environment that more freely welcomes sharing stories, multimedia, fine arts and Tweets. The traditional Sunday school model is no longer life-giving for many young people.

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