Covid changed things for a lot of people. For some families, it’s hard enough to get back into the rhythm of attending in-person church, let alone convincing the kids to come along too and attend Sunday school. And yet, while going to church as a family is great for all the reasons listed in Teach Kids Why We Attend In-Person Church, Sunday school, especially, is a vital resource to help children learn more about God, themselves, and their place in the world and amongst the church body.
Here’s why Sunday school is important for families, why you should encourage participation in your kids, and 4 reasons to attend Sunday school in-person.
Reason to Attend Sunday School #1: Fellowship
While taking your kids to church is important, Sunday school has the extra benefit of providing in-person interaction for children. Your kids, just like you, need fellowship with other believers and nothing can replace the joy that comes when that fellowship is with peers of their own age. Fellowship is about more than just visiting with each other about life, it’s about discussing how to apply biblical truths to everyday living and learning how to grow in your faith with one another. It’s about digging deeper on a personal level—together and with God—right where the rubber meets the road.
One of the biggest reasons why Sunday school is important for families and why you should encourage your kids to attend is that it allows them to feel, witness, and experience what life with God is like alongside their brothers and sisters in Christ from an early age. Sunday school helps make the reality of the Gospel and a personal relationship with Jesus feel tangible to them in a relatable, age-appropriate way.
Reason to Attend Sunday School #2: Prayer
Another aspect of fellowship is praying for each other. Corporate prayer in a church worship service tends to be more general and doesn’t allow time to pray for each person. Sunday school classes, however, allow smaller groups of children to share on a more personal level, if they wish. When your child can have their peers or teacher pray for them personally, they’ll be able to feel that other people in the body of Christ care about them—teaching them, also, just how much God cares for them.
Sunday school is also where children can become comfortable leading in prayer and praying out loud in front of others. As a parent or teacher, be encouraged to ask children to pray for your needs as well, and report back to them about any updates or thank them for their prayers. Kids should know that their prayers are heard by God just as readily as yours.
Reason to Attend Sunday School #3: Service
Fellowship, of course, is not only a warm feeling that comes with acceptance in the family of God, it’s also about being included in the work of God. Which makes the ministry projects of a Sunday school class together—such as a food pantry, senior home visit, or a Good News Club®—just another reason why Sunday school is important for families.
Sunday school helps bond our commitment to one another. When someone in our class has a need, we don’t wait for the benevolence committee to pitch in, we come alongside first. When someone in Sunday school class is absent, we ask if they’re okay. It’s easy to get lost in a crowd at church and not be missed, but in Sunday school your children can feel like a valued and important member of Christ’s body.
Taking an interest in others and ministering to them is also an important concept to teach your kids. To encourage instilling this concept, help them learn the names of the other children in their Sunday school class, or help them pray for their classmates during the week and figure out ways to encourage them, like calling to say they were missed if they didn’t come.
We often overlook the significance of children in the body of Christ. But when you teach your child to notice and reach out to others who are struggling, you’re teaching Christian love and empathy, while ensuring our children are ministered to by their peers. Let these little Christians know they are needed in God’s great plan of evangelism and discipleship!
Reason to Attend Sunday School #4: Instruction
Lastly, another extremely important reason to attend Sunday school is that children are able to receive age-appropriate instruction on the Word of God. Messages preached by pastors in a church service are valuable for all ages, but often many key concepts can be missed by young children with limited comprehension. Sunday school is important for families because it allows children to be engaged in a class with child-level examples of sin, the Gospel message, or what obedience to God and a relationship with Him should look like.
When a Sunday school teacher engages a child in the ways of God, kids just can’t get enough. Sunday school feeds your children with the meat of the Word from well-rounded curriculum that systematically teaches solid doctrine about the persons of the Trinity, what we can learn about the character of God from Bible stories, humanity’s sin and need for a Savior, how to obey God out of love, and many more wonderful truths and practical life applications. Imagine the amount of solid, biblical teaching a child will absorb into their heart by attending Sunday school throughout their formative years, getting their questions about God and their place in the world answered as they occur to them!
Let CEF Train Your Sunday School Teachers
If your church doesn’t have enough Sunday school teachers, you can become a capable leader yourself by receiving CEF training either at your local chapter office or from CEF online courses. Every Sunday school teacher who has been trained by Child Evangelism Fellowship will walk away with the confidence and knowledge to prepare lessons for both the saved and unsaved child, teach the Word of God in an engaging way, and to guide a child through the process of inviting Jesus into their hearts.
All these principles—fellowship, prayer, service, and instruction in the Word of God—help a child recognize that they are part of the Body of Christ and are all vital reasons to attend Sunday school. We hope they help you understand why Sunday school is so important for families, encouraging you and your kids to attend in-person. See you in Sunday school!