This question is heard fairly regularly after Sunday School. As much as I want kids to have fun in Sunday School, I think it is the wrong question.
The questions we ask affect how kids understand the purpose of Sunday School, the importance of Sunday School, and how they should approach Sunday School. For example, if the only question they are asked about Sunday School is whether or not they had fun, they might conclude that it’s not very important if it’s just about having fun or they will approach Sunday School as a place that is primarily about fun and might end up disappointed.
There are a lot of things that kids will call fun. School and Sunday School are probably not high on that list. However, kids can have fun in Sunday School (it helps if they aren’t comparing it to paint ball or a water park!)
We need to help kids understand that Sunday School is primarily a place to learn about God and develop a relationship with Him and that that process can be fun and enjoyable. One way we can do that is by asking the right question.
I recently listened to an interview with Dick Crider, the Discipleland Training Director. He was discussing this issue and suggested the question we should be asking kids is “Tell me what you learned about our God today?”
Rather than asking, “Did you have fun?” we should be asking, “Tell me what you learned about our God today?”
I think that is an excellent question.
First, it highlights what Sunday School is actually about – it’s about God!
We want kids to have fun learning about God. We want kids to enjoy spending time with their friends learning about God. We want kids to fall in love with Jesus and want to learn more about Him! We want to take time to build relationships with kids while teaching them about God! Sunday School is about God and this question helps kids to understand this primary purpose.
Second, the wording of the question assumes that something new was learned about God.
We can never know all there is to know about God. There is always something new and exciting and interesting and amazing to learn about God. Phrasing the question this way encourages kids to dig for and look out for new things to learn about God.
Also, if teachers know that this question is being asked of their students, it gives them some additional motivation to focus on God in their teaching and put the work into teaching in such a way that encourages exploration and excitement in digging into the Scriptures to discover truth about God.
Third, I love that the question asks what you learned about our God today.
Those asking this question have a relationship with God, enjoying learning new things with God, and want to talk about God with kids! This question encourages conversation.
So, parents and teachers, ask kids, “Tell me what you learned about our God today,” and when you do ask with enthusiasm. Be interested and excited to hear what your kids learned about God. Ask with enthusiasm because you want to have a conversation with your kids. Be enthusiastic about discovering new things about God!
Ask with enthusiasm and ask over and over. Repeat this question every week. Don’t give up. Expect an answer. You may not always get an enthusiastic answer. You may sometimes hear, “Nothing.” But be persistent. This question is a great conversation starter.
So ask and be prepared to answer this question from your kids as well. This question can be asked after Sunday School, church, clubs, VBS, devotions or quiet time. It’s not only for after Sunday School. Be ready to answer if your kids ask you to tell them what you learned about our God today. Remember, it’s about a conversation. Kids are also watching you. Is learning about God important to you? Is it just for kids? Is learning about God a way of building a relationship with Him?
Finally, let’s get back to the fun issue. Even though Sunday School isn’t primarily about having fun, that doesn’t mean that we can’t have fun in Sunday School!
Ask the follow-up question, “What fun things did you do to help you learn about God?”
You can have fun learning about God! Maybe there was an interesting activity or a cool game or a really interesting story. Whatever it is, kids are learning that spending time learning about God is important and we can have fun doing it!