SUNDAY SCHOOL EMPOWERMENT:
The Role of the Local Church.
There are many roles the local church can play to empower the Sunday school. Prominent among these are the followings:
To Organization of an effective Sunday school
This is based on the grading of the Sunday school into different age groups such as follows:
Suggested Class Divisions Ages
Preschool Division Birth – 2years – 3-5years
Children’s Division 6-8years – 9-10 years
Youth Division 12-14years – 15-17 years
Adult Division 18-24 years
Young Adult 25-29 years
Intermediate Adults 30-59 years
Senior Adults 60 years and above
This is mainly for those who cannot attend the normal classes such as people on special duties, e.g. medical personnel, traffic and prison wardens, the sick, the aged, the prisoners etc.
Each class should have at least two teachers, and the average number of class members should be between 12-20. It is essential to conduct weekly workers meeting so as to pray and discuss the welfare of the Sunday school. There should also be a Sunday school council which will comprise of the Pastor, Sunday school superintendent, Sunday School Secretary and Divisional Heads. They meet monthly to plan and prepare the entire Sunday school program of the church.
To Enlist and train Sunday school officers and workers.
The growth of Sunday school depends on enlisting and training of officers. The key officers of the Sunday school are: the pastor, the superintendent, assistant superintendent, the Sunday school secretary, and the teachers. The pastor needs to organize training sessions for the officers to enable them function effectively.
To Provide classes and time for Teaching
It is the responsibility of the church to provide adequate classes and time for Sunday school lessons .Some churches use classrooms for the Sunday school lessons but most churches use the church auditorium for the classes.
Suggested time to begin the Sunday school is 9.00am. The opening assembly should be brief -10-12 minutes; the lesson proper for intensive bible study should take 45 minutes; and the closing assembly should take about 5 minutes. Members should try to minimize noise as they move to and from their classes. To Provide Teaching Materials
The church is to provide teaching materials for the smooth running of the Sunday school. These includes : different versions of the Bible; Sunday lessons; bible commentaries ; Study Bibles; maps ;magazines; record books etc.
To organize and conduct seminars/ retreats/ clinics/ workshops/conferences
Opportunities for training are available during the Christian education conferences. The church should make provision for members to attend so as to improve the performance of the participants.
To Encourage her Workers
Since Sunday school workers are serving the Lord on voluntary basis, it is necessary for the church to appreciate their efforts in various ways as led by the spirit.
To Observe the Christian Education Department Program and Emphasis
These include, Annual Bible Study, Sunday school Emphasis Week, Holiday Bible School, Read the Bible Through, Weekly Visitation Evangelism.
The church has a major role to play in equipping the Sunday school for effective performance which will further empower the members for kingdom growth.