A few weeks ago we sent out a survey to gauge interest levels in a Sunday morning education opportunity for our youth ministry. This survey was distributed because Sunday School has been something our ministry has struggled to implement for the last few years. A concern noted by several families is that DCPC offers opportunities for adults and children at 9:45 am, but nothing for youth. This is certainly difficult for families who want to attend those opportunities but do not have anything for their middle or high school youth.
One of the main reasons we sent out the survey was to determine the potential audience for a Sunday School class at 9:45 am. We received 18 responses to the survey (16 parents, 1 youth, & 1 volunteer). Here are the responses to 2 key questions we asked:
Based on this data, our potential audience for a Sunday School class at 9:45 am is very small, probably 5-6 youth. It’s reasonable to assume that on any given Sunday actual attendance would be 0-3 youth.
In early December the Youth Committee considered this data and what we should do in light of it. Many Youth Committee members have been Sunday School teachers in the past and recalled the frustration of planning and preparing lessons and having only a couple, or even zero, students show up. We all acknowledged that the investment of resources (locating and training 4 teachers, curriculum, snacks, etc.) would not end up being the best use of our time and money. All of that to say that we will not be offering a Sunday School class at this time.
That said, we do want youth whose families are attending Sunday School at 9:45 am to have something meaningful to do. Our plan is to help connect youth with service/leadership opportunities such as teaching in children’s Sunday School, ushering/greeting at 9:45 am worship, and more. This will help us bring our programming more in line with our Vision Statement (Worship God / Follow Christ / Do Good) as we currently have weekly offerings for worshiping God (worship) and following Christ (Youth Group), but nothing regular for doing good.
We are also mindful that we might have youth visiting with families who are attending 9:45 am Sunday School. In that case, we are developing an “on call” list of adults and youth who would be willing to take the visitor out to coffee or a snack at Summit Coffee and get to know each other. If anyone would be interested in being added to that on call list, please let us know!
Thank you to everyone who participated in the survey and has been patient while the Youth Committee has attempted to come up with a faithful answer to what has been a very tricky question.