Five Ideas for Repurposing Your Sunday School


Repurposing is interior design jargon for using accessories or space in a new way.  I learned that by watching HGTV, but churches can repurpose things, too.  Sunday School might be one area that repurposing could revitalize.   Think about these 5 ideas to repurpose your Sunday School:

1.  Take the school out of Sunday School.  Who wants to go to school one more day, especially on Sunday?  Sunday School adopted a classroom model for use in the church.   Repurpose your Sunday morning with hands-on experiences in helping, fellowship, service, and learning.

2.  Schedule short-term experiences, rather than year-round Sunday School.  What’s sacred about having Sunday School every Sunday?  Schedule 4-to-6 week blocks, instead of continuous year-round Sunday School.   Take a break between sessions during natural down times such as holiday weekends. 

3.  Add service projects to the Sunday morning hour.  People who don’t want to sit in a class might be challenged to participate in service to the community.  Who said Sunday morning had to be just about Bible study?

4.  Expand to off-campus settings.  If you have a coffee shop or restaurant nearby, announce “We’ll meet at Java Joe’s at 9 AM for coffee and conversation.”  Might be a good way to get to know folks who are “Sunday School averse.”

5.  Schedule special Sunday mornings.  Invite the whole church for fellowship, breakfast, or special programs that bring the entire congregation together during the Sunday School hour. 

What is your church doing to repurpose its Sunday School?  What’s working for you?  What have you tried that failed?  What succeeded?  I’d like to hear from you, because we need to do some repurposing of our own. 

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3 Comments

  1. Chuck – Thanks for your comments. I particularly think that number 3 is a great suggestion. Mission projects are something that is not often thought of on a Sunday morning, but a great way to live out our faith together. My experience has been that education classes have gathered outside of the Sunday morning time frame for other events, but not as much on Sunday.

  2. Re: #1) Thank you!!! I showed a family around our church recently and when we were looking in on one of the Sunday School classes, the 8 year old boy exclaimed in dismay, “It’s just like school!” I am a homeschool Mom and it has been my experience that public-school-at-home is not as effective as other methods of learning for my family; I couldn’t defend the way that Sunday School class was running. I’m not saying it’s the wrong way to do it. It just doesn’t work as well for us and is apparently a turn off to at least one kid.

    Re: #3) I hate to see discipleship reduced to purely academics. I know that that is not the intention of most Sunday School curriculum writers but I really like your idea of using that hour for serving others. Just with the elderly and infirm in our church, there are plenty of things we could do to bless them and put feet to our faith. It takes almost no effort to sign a card or write a short note of encouragement. Our elderly folks are so precious. It’s such a shame that we let them fall through the cracks. It seems like all of the elderly and infirm would be touched if someone sent cards around to sign once a month. That could be done by family or it could be done by Sunday School class. Cheery blank note cards are not expensive.

    Re: #5) A couple of our adult Sunday School classes have 5th Sunday brunches. About 3 times a year, there are 5 Sundays in a month. On the 5th one, we bring in something breakfasty and enjoy each others company.

    Also, we sit at round tables in our Sunday School class. That forces us to talk to each other, not that many of us need a whole lot of help. It’s just a lot more … familiar. It forces us to talk to each other when we’d really rather just sit there.

    Great post!

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