For most Latter-day Saint congregations, the Sunday meeting schedule is this:
Sacrament meeting (~70m)Sacrament meeting, by general agreement, is the most important. Certainly, it's the most likely to go over.
Sunday School (~50m)
Priesthood / Relief Society / Young Women (~60m)
Sunday School, by general agreement, is the least important.
Result? Sacrament meeting goes over, people dally on their way to Sunday School, Sunday School gets shorter and shorter.
Many people, I should also point out, have a bad attitude about Sunday School. (This is not generally true in our ward where Sunday School is awesome.)
I'm currently teaching Sunday School to kids from age 12 to 14. It's a good class and I'm trying to be ambitious and really make this a class that ends up mattering. But it seems like the class just isn't long enough! It usually ends up being probably 30 minutes on a good week.
(Note: I might find this additionally frustrating because, professionally, my teaching periods are 100 minutes, so 30 is unfathomably slow.)
So I'm not sure what to do about this though. Not even sure what to feel about it. Even what questions to ask about the problem.
But I will say this: Sunday School is not a waste of fifty minutes. Sunday School can be awesome. It can be a highlight, both spiritually and intellectually, every week.
But how do we fit a highlight that inbetween two better respected meetings?
Tell, tell me do.
I think that 50 minutes is too long. I'd like to see sacrament meeting go to 60 minutes long with three talks of lengths -- a youth speaker that goes 5 minutes, another youth speaker or adult speaker that goes 5 minutes, a musical number that goes 8-10, and a final speaker that goes 8-10 minutes.ReplyDelete
I would then make sunday school 30 minutes long, but cover less in the lessons. Third hour lessons would also cover less and be 30 minutes long. Church as a whole would shave off 30 minutes and then that last 30 minutes would be used for socializing in the cultural hall. The problem is that that last 30 minutes would be loud so the overlapping wards wouldn't work so well.
I've always hated Sunday School if I didn't have a really good teacher. I think that with a bad teacher, the class gets dominated by the super-scriptorians, which leaves people like me (who don't know the scriptures as well) feeling like they can't speak up because their opinions won't be respected.ReplyDelete
I am weird. I LIKE Sunday school. A lot. It's Relief Society that gets more and more difficult for me each week.ReplyDelete
I don't hate Sunday School. I just am of the opinion that, in general, shorter usually leads to better -- and if it doesn't, at least it's shorter. I also think that if lessons were shorter there's a slight chance that more people will do the reading ahead of time.ReplyDelete
I often forget about the two-(or more)-wards-per-building issue.
Mostly, I think I would be okay with Wm's plan though.
On the other hand, sometimes I wish we were more ambitious.
If we were to go shorter, I would want to see that combined with a true commitment to training members how to speak and how to teach. That would be ambitious.ReplyDelete
Pr Ogglethorpe (Gen SS Pres) is attempting that. I'm not sure anyone has faith in teaching teachers to teach though.