Efficient operation of Sunday Schools in Mainland China would require collaboration between church leaders, parents and teachers, a leading international Chinese Christian ministry suggested.
The China Church Ministry (CCM) under the U.S.-based Christian Communication Inc. (CCI) has featured an article about Sunday Schools in Mainland China, which gave an overview of how church leaders, parents and teachers can cooperate together to allow Sunday Schools to develop consistently based on the forefront experience and observation.
One of the most pressing concerns was the negligence of most church leaders over children’s ministry. According to some statistics, there is a huge shortage of pastoral ministers in Chinese churches, the ratio of shepherd to believer is just 1: 10,000. Moreover, the situation will not be improved in short term. Even though church leaders have already tried their best to fill the gap, the accelerating number of believers is too far to be reached. Thus, they tend to place their priority on adults, rather than children. As resources are very limited, children’s ministry often comes to the bottom of the list.
Obviously, the two major obstacles in launching Sunday Schools are the lack of financial support and training resources. In a church in Northwest China, some church ministers have realized the need to receive training for Sunday school, yet they have not received assistance from the church and they are forced to support themselves by selling their properties. As a result, not many church ministers are able to be completely, consistently, systematically equipped.
CCI therefore urges Chinese churches to gain the vision of Sunday school for children and cooperate with Sunday school teachers.
For Sunday school teachers, they should upgrade themselves in terms of theological knowledge and focus on the purpose of evangelism, CCI suggested. CCI reported that many Sunday school teachers have a wrong concept that they are just "baby-sitters," their job are merely playing with children so that the adults’ worship service will not be disturbed. Some of them have taught biblical stories to children without preparation and a teaching curriculum, therefore many children are not able to learn the word of God through such activities.
CCI pointed out that Sunday school teachers must be clear and be focused about their roles in guiding children to understand the biblical truth. It also emphasized the importance of receiving proper Sunday school training.
Thirdly, parents must play the supporting role in a successful and efficient Sunday school model. Under the one-child policy in Mainland China, parents are extremely concerned about the academic achievement of the only child. Especially in some developing cities, many parents have overloaded their children with academic work and forgone their time for spiritual activities. CCI suggested the parents to acknowledge the importance of Sunday schools in the all-round development of their children.
In conclusion, only through the collaboration between church leaders, parents and teachers, a good soil can be formed for the growth of Sunday Schools in Mainland China which has just started budding, CCI said.