Adventure Pals Blogs
What’s in a Name?
I am not a big fan of rebranding ministries. However, when it comes to your Children’s Ministries, a name change may be helpful.
In many churches the traditional Sunday morning program for children is called Sunday School. Formalized Sunday schools have been around in the United States since the 1700’s and were promoted by several different groups. A number of these joined together in 1834 to form The American Sunday School Union. Their purpose was quite clear, “To concentrate the efforts of Sunday School Societies, in different sections of our country; to strengthen the hands of the friends of Religious Instruction, on the Lord’s Day; to disseminate useful information; to circulate Moral and Religious Publications, in every part of the land; and to endeavor to plant a Sunday School, wherever there is a population.” There are many churches that exist today because of their efforts. Put simply, many churches in our nation were the result of these Sunday Schools and not the other way round.
The problem with Sunday School is not the concept. The foundation is solid; we should continue to endeavor to promote biblical instruction to children and adults alike. The problem, however, lies in the name. Most people, especially children, do not want to go to “school” on Sunday. Consequently, a name change may be needed.
So what do you call Sunday morning instruction if not Sunday School? There are many different options. You might consider something like “Bible Time,” “The Bible Adventure,” or “Time with Jesus.” Some churches use themes like Noah’s Ark. Sunday School as a whole would be called “The Ark.” Classes would be designated by an animal; small animals for little children and larger ones for the older groups. Another idea is to use colors to designate different classes. As with everything else in ministry, you need to find what works for your church. I would offer some guidelines when choosing a name.
While I encourage you to think outside the box, I would also caution you to be aware of potential issues. Naming your adult class the “Grizzly Bears” is probably not a good idea. Also, “The Lord’s Army,” while accurate, may discourage some unbelievers from attending.
Take your time making this decision. Pray about and be purposeful in your selection.