Google “Sunday School in Decline” and you’ll see some articles decrying the “decline.”
But according to a Barna Survey, it’s not true.
In fact, Sunday School attendance has increased ever so slightly across America from 1991 to 2006, and kept pace with U.S. population growth.
If these stats are right, and why not, then I suspect the “decline” many think is happening is due to particular congregations and denominations in decline. Take my Presbyterian denom, for example. It’s aging, and their typically older buildings are locked into declining or aging neighborhoods. By contrast, new churches are often planted in growing areas.
What’s also sad is another Barna survey result that shows pastors’ declining support for Sunday School. Regarding Sunday school prioritization, in 2005 just 1 in every 7 Senior Pastors (15%) considers Sunday school to be one of their church’s highest priorities. This represents a significant drop from previous years – 2002 was the high point, when 22% of pastors named it as a top priority in their church.
Lucky for Sunday School, the Holy Spirit can work around 78% of the dumb pastors!
You can see more discussion about these stats at Josh Hunt’s blog.