Our Sunday school is in need of a make over. Churchfortomorrow.com found this compelling rant from a Utah humorist, Robert Kirby, recently published in the Salt Lake Tribune, and except for doctrinal differences, everything he says could be said of most adult Sunday School programs in any denomination:
"In my 50-plus years as a Mormon, I've attended, taught and ditched a variety of special Sunday School classes. Gospel doctrine, Family History, temple preparation, Gospel principles, Teacher inmprovement, etc. All of those classes were approved and correlated by the LDS church. None of them came close to addressing the needs of my own particular special group of people -- those who are bored out of their skulls by Sunday school. Before you say "Well, you should go to Sunday school anyway. Maybe if you participated more, it would not be boring." I did and it wasn't. That's the problem. My way of participating when I am bored is to pick a fight. I don't even have to agree with the side I choose. It is just a way to get my interest up.
For example, in family history class I quickly reached a saturation point about the importance of submitting our ancestors names to the temple.
TEACHER; And so brothers and sisters, they are waiting and pleading for their temple work to be done immediately.
ME; Hang on. In the grand scope of eternity my ancestors have not been dead a minute. I'm the one with the time management problem, not them. So they can just shut up and wait their turn.
After I was lovingly uninvited to attend that class, I started the Foyer class. It was just a group of equally bored ward members cutting Sunday School in order to discuss gospel topics of interest to us. The course material was every bit as varied as God intended things to be- ranging from mission experiences to employment, to "hell no, I'm not shaving off my beard just because the stake president says so."
The class grew in size until members of the bishopric started dropping by and hinting that we all should be in real Sunday school. They left when we invited them to teach the Foyer class the following week.
I'd go back to Sunday school if there were classes that addressed my particular needs and interests as a member. For example, I'd definitely sign up for Sunday school classes titled "Worthy Liberalism," and "Emergency Armed Preparedness."
Given that my spouse does not go to church with me -- a condition shared by more than a few members -- why not a special class for people who already know they aren't going to the celestial kingdom? "Gospel Impracticalities" is a great title for a class that examines what parts of the plan of salvation actually work.
"The Old Testament" would certainly keep my interest up if every Sunday were an in-depth examination of the stupidest things human beings have ever convinced themselves to do in the name of God. It might happen but I won't hold my breath. In the meantime, I will stay with the most remedial Sunday school class offered -- the ward nursery. They got snacks.