Robert Rakes invented Sunday School back in the late 1700s. He lived in a very pagan city in England, and he had a burden for the souls of unsaved kids on the streets. He started holding Sunday school classes for unsaved kids.
This "ministry" had nothing to do with church growth or getting the numbers out when Raikes first started it. He just wanted to win souls, and church growth and planting was not the object.
Ralph Wetmore was a missionary for the American Sunday School Union back in the days when they had not yet run into the ditch in compromise. Ralph was known to put 90,000 miles on his car in a year driving all over Nevada keeping Sunday Schools going in dead end mining communities.
These Sunday Schools would often be run by women, and they were attended mostly by kids. The whole thing, like with Robert Rakes, was to win souls. Out of some of the Sunday Schools developed local churches.
Sunday School was not always evil, but it has come to be associated with orthodox Bible based local church zeal. Any Fundamental Baptist pastor who has no Sunday School will also have no future. His resume will be pitched in the trash can by anyone reading it.
In fact, a pastor will be far more famous for building a huge Sunday School than for anything else he does. But can you believe it, for over 1700 years, the Holy Ghost got along just fine without Sunday School and Youth Ministry?
If your Sunday School is taking most of your adults away from Bible study--
If your Sunday School is wearing out the saints--
If your Sunday School turns the fellowship of the assembly on Sunday into a crazy house of chaos--
If you cannot get really mature teachers to teach all the classes you invented--
If you have Sunday School only because you do it to keep your job--
You are a wimp preacher. The saints are gathering on Sunday to be edified, according to the Apostle Paul, and you are wearing them out with videos, games, give aways, thrills and chills, but they get almost no real Bible teaching.
Ditto for Youth Ministry. There is NOWHERE in the Old and New Testament of the Bible where youth were spun off from the whole of God's people to be amused and given a rush by a designated "minister" to youth.
Between Sunday School and Youth Ministry, the Lord's Church has found the single most effective way to destroy the Church and make sure the youth go to hell.
Watch this video. It tells it all.
When I pastored a church in Michigan in the country, we were a small church, and we could not put together a full Sunday School program. So, we kept the whole family together all during the Sunday morning, and we went to having the noon meal together every Sunday. Later, at 2 PM or so, we had the "evening service". Over about eleven years this became a priceless way to live with one another.
But the best part was the our children and youth lost any concept of being separated from church life. Children did not know that there were special stupid loonie tune choruses for children. They learned to sing "Immortal, Invisible, God only Wise" at the top of their lungs. And, they reported singing the old hymns of the faith as a family all week and when at play. These kids became pert and polite because they were learning to think adult thoughts and worship with adults.
We went straight to the battles they faced in school, and we armed them with ammunition from the Word of God to fend off the attacks on their faith by world. AND, they sat next to Daddy and heard the same sermon he heard. These Bible teaching events became dinner table conversation and then went out in the world with them.
Remember what one man said in the video. Based on the statistics of how many youth leave the church to live like the devil, which of YOUR kids are you willing to see fall away and go to hell?
And, you Fundamental Baptists, don't tell me you have a better Sunday School and Youth Ministry because you are narrow and use the King James Bible. Most of your youth will also walk away from you also. Sunday School statistics never tell how many of the masses you gather last all the way into adult life with Christ. I know you have only a slightly better percentage of loss because I have watched you myself.
So, it is about time we go back to the Word of God and put together a family of God that is based on the Bible taught first at home by the fathers, and only THEN added to by preaching in the church house. We must stop dividing the family as they walk in the front door of the church house. This monkey shines so exalted by Lee Roberson and Jack Hyles is folly. These gurus of mass gatherings cannot father the kids like their Dad, and YOU KNOW IT.
If you are in a local church that has a dividing factor to the family, no matter how "cool" it is in the mind of either you or your kids, GET OUT OF THAT FREAK NOW. Go find a local church, a small one, which it one big family, where there is worship with participation instead of a circus and this damned "Contemporary Christian Worship".
Don't tell me that your church has both "contemporary" and "traditional" worship. The traditional is for the old folks, while the contemporary is for the kids who want to get a fix. This plan makes the old folks look prehistoric and fossilized, and, Daddy, YOU will be looked on as dragging your feet by your kids if you hang around such a cesspool.
Now, go do the right thing.