One year when I was teaching Sunday school to a class of fourth through sixth grade students, I had the daughter of our younger pastor in my class. She was well-behaved except she kept complaining that Sunday school was “too much like school.” She wanted more fun and games but my class time was short already. I had 45 minutes of class time less the time wasted because of late arrivals and an older student who wanted to continually disrupt the class. I was pushing it to get through the lesson on time.
This young girl attended a local Christian school and she had learned a great deal about the Bible. Her classes at school may have been similar to Sunday school. She became bored, at times, with our class and seemed to desire more activities and/or entertainment.
I listened to her and considered her requests but I could not add more entertainment or games without compromising the basic lesson and the time teaching the other students as well. Yet I did include an activity with each lesson.
I’ve always believed that learning about God and the Bible should be exciting. However, it’s exciting because the Holy Spirit works through the teacher to make it come alive to the spirits of the students. Our flesh alone cannot make the lessons penetrate the hearts of our students.
Learning about God and His word is the main focus of Sunday school and we cannot allow entertainment to take the place of equipping the saints for service. As Sunday school teachers we have a responsibility before God to try our best to teach our students. Our task is not “babysitting detail” or simply entertaining our students while their parents are in church. We need to guard our hearts so we don’t fall into Satan’s trap and get distracted from our job of training the saints.
We, teachers, also need to make sure our time in class is used wisely. We need to teach our students God’s word and how to apply it to their daily lives. Our lesson activities should be structured to attain that goal and towards salvation.
If you have a student who repeatedly complains about Sunday school being “too much like school,” gently and lovingly remind them that Sunday school is school designed to teach them about God and His word, the Holy Bible. If the problem persists and you’ve prayed and done what you can do without compromising the class, you may need to talk with the church leadership and even the students’ parents. But be of good cheer because God has the situation under control. God knows the answer and He will work it out.