Day Smith Pritchartt offers a thoughtful response to this question here.
I was speaking at a recent conference and I mentioned that I hear lots of people say that Sunday school isn’t working anymore. So I suggested that we just scrap Sunday school altogether, an idea that was met with some cheers and some eyes wide in shock. People in the room wanted to do more intergenerational activities and they wanted kids to be part of the wider church–all things that could easily happen if Sunday school went the way of the dodo. But when it came time to talk about how to do these things, some people wanted to build intergenerationality and participation into Sunday school, almost as if having Sunday school survive was the goal, rather than having children flourish within a larger faith community.
Getting rid of Sunday school seems to some to be an obvious move to make, while for other it’s an incredibly radical idea. I guess much of it depends on how we do “Sunday school” and whether the program or the children who attend (or don’t attend) the program are what matter most.
If you’re seeking to explore questions like this–questions that have the power to change formation with young people as we know it–then join us at Faith Forward 2014 in Nashville, May 19-22. It’s a gathering like no other!