Our church has the Sunday School (for adults it is known as Adult Bible Fellowship) BEFORE the Worship Service.
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I assume the poll is asking what we actually do, not what we think might be best. I've known churches to do Sunday School last (or even on Sunday evening), but I think it may have hurt those churches numerically, although it built up Sunday School.
As far as getting people who do not normally go to church on Sunday morning, about half the folks in our country are "night people." This means they prefer to stay up late and get up late when they can. They "sleep in" on Sunday morning. In addition, families with mutliple young children often go through a phase when getting the kids dressed and out the door takes a lot of time. Thus, these folks are less likely to come to the service if it is first. Would they come just for Sunday School? Don't know.
Again, we have to deal with what is, not what should be. And this may vary by region.
"The Midrash Detective"
Quote:I assume the poll is asking what we actually do, not what we think might be best.
I am really interested in both.
Historically, our church has done the standard format of Sunday School then Worship Service, but we have just recently experimented with something different and it has worked quite well for us. We have been able to experiment because, in the summer we have an altered schedule which is morning services, lunch, and then an afternoon service. (This is for multiple reasons having to do with our specific situation.) This summer, we reviewed what we do and why we do it, and starting from scratch, came up with the following:
10:00 Prayer/Preparation for worship
10:45 Worship Service
1:15 Sunday School
There are of course pros and cons to any schedule, but some of the most prominent pros for us have been:
1) This puts the most important activity of the day (worship) first.
2) This allows for careful preparation for worship, rather than rushing in, getting the kids from Sunday School classes, finding a seat, etc. and then suddenly finding yourself singing praise to God without even being fully engaged in what you're doing.
3) We have found that the afternoon provides a more ideal time for the interactive nature of Sunday School classes.
There is certainly no one right way to "do" church, but my primary concern is that we do what we do - even schedules - for a reason. I'm afraid that many churches have the schedule they do simply because they have always done it that way. But imagine starting from scratch: Look at the NT, determine what we're supposed to be accomplishing as a body on the Lord's Day, and then employ wisdom to determine the best way to accomplish that. Would everyone come up with "Sunday School, Morning Service, Evening Service, Wednesday Prayer meeting"? Not likely.
For what it's worth,
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