"Sunday School" seems an old-fashioned term for the cool church these days: lots of churches create clever names for the time during or after a church service kids gather in classrooms or meeting space to learn about God; it makes that hour seem more exciting and fun, I suppose. But really, it is still Sunday School: a time for children to learn that God loves them, has interesting and important stories to share with them through the Bible, and that He cares about their lives, now and eternally.
I had a jumble of Sunday School and catechism classes in my childhood: I attended an Episcopal church until I was ten, and then a Catholic Church for many years. I am grateful to both churches for having people who cared enough to spend time with children on Sundays. From my teachers at Grace Episcopal, I learned the stories of the Bible.
Years later, as a 24 year-old teaching Confirmation Classes at my church, I was stunned that none of the 14 year olds could tell me about Moses, whom God used to lead Israel out of slavery in Egypt, or of David, the boy shepherd who became king of Israel (David and Goliath, anyone?). Their stories were foundational to learning about Jesus at Grace Episcopal.
At St. Catherine’s, our Confirmation class in eighth grade was led by a married couple who had a couple of toddlers. They must have had busy lives, but they taught our class every week at their home, and they were fun. They actually liked us, and we could tell it was genuine. That was a special time, and though I did not understand it then, God was doing a significant work in me during those classes and at my Confirmation. Whatever your theology holds about the work of the Holy Spirit, especially in regards to baptism and Confirmation, I can tell you, He was present in that little church that day.
I teach “Sunday School” now--both to teens and adults, and I love it, but not just because it can be “fun.” Having the responsibility of discipling others makes me even more thankful for those adults who sacrificed time so I could learn more about Jesus and His Word, and His amazing, saving grace.