Ask Sanityville: Is there another effective name for Sunday School?

(Christopher Preston) #1

Is there another effective name for Sunday School? Specifically, I’m thinking of our first-hour service (for adults), in contrast to the second-hour main worship service. Is there another term to use that’s different than Sunday School (since that tends to imply something for children), but that still communicates clearly that this is not our regular worship service, but a more informal Bible study time?

(Nathan Smith) #2

Sunday School is kind of a lame term but in my experience, it’s a ten everyone ‘gets’ so I like it. I was at a fairly large church on Louisville where they were called Adult Bible Fellowships (ABFs) and then changed to Bible Fellowship Groups (BFGs). I didn’t understand the reason for changing the names but I certainly disliked the second name . For some reason, ‘BFGs’ sounds stupid to me, certainly “lamer” than Sunday School. Part of me likes outdated, lame terms for this kind of thing because I think we should resist the culture of Cool.

(Jon Swerens) #3

We call ours Family Study. Unsure is that’s cool or not. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

(Nathan Smith) #4

Definitely not cool. So it gets a pass :slight_smile:

(Joseph Bayly) #5

That’s because it means “Big Friendly Giant(s).”

(Nathan Smith) #6

A perfect description for at least 3 of those Sunday School classes.

(Jeremy Vander Galien) #7

I worked in an EFCA church right out of college and “ABF’s” were a big deal. If memory serves they were a movement within churches to have intergenerational Sunday School classes that were something of a hybrid between small groups and Sunday School. More than a class, but not quite a full-on small group.

(Kevin Minnett) #8

We call it Adult Bible Class.

(Daniel Meyer) #9

I’ve seen it called Sabbath School. Sounds strange to my ears.

(Paul Ojanen) #10

To another generation, it means a really big gun, image

(Jason Andersen) #11

File this under “Things I never expected to see on this forum.” :slight_smile:

But yeah, that’s my generation.

(Paul Ojanen) #12

How about names for small group?

I’ve heard Shepherding Group. My churches use Home Fellowship Group. Both convey their churches’ respective intentions.

I like intentional names. But HFG is a mouthful, and we almost universally refer to it as small group. Still, there’s benefit to having a descriptive (even prescriptive?) name in the bulletin, on the website, etc. It helps set expectations.

You-all with different names for Sunday School, what do you call it in casual conversation?

(John) #13

Our church uses the term “Training Hour” but I usually end up saying “Sunday School” (I am old lol) and everybody knows what I am talking about…

(Kara Hobbs) #14

Our church started home fellowship groups for the first time this fall, and we had a lot of discussion about what to call them. To make things more confusing, they’ve used the term “small groups” for a long time to refer to smaller adult Bible study groups that meet at the church on Sunday nights. We finally settled on “home groups” because it wasn’t as big a mouthful as HFGs, but still descriptive.

(Tim Bayly) #15

How 'bout “cell group” and “cell mates?”

(John M. ) #16

Now is a good time to stock up on books on how the Chinese church does things.

(Heather Ummel) #17

Training Hour? :grimacing::laughing:

(John) #18

I just go, regardless. Cheers!

(Zak Carter) #19

Our church has “connecting groups” or “CG’s” for short. I was joking with some friends from our old church that we call them that because “small groups” sounds too Boomer.

(Valerie) #20

We have Parish Discipleship Groups (or just Parish Groups), because that’s technically how they’re organized (though you can go to any one regardless bof which parish you’re in), and they’re overseen by parish elders (which is how they organize elder oversight—geographically). I’ve been in two previous churches that called them Covenant Groups.