Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Should the Church Change Sunday Meetings to Two Hours Instead of Three?

People kill me sometimes.

All around the Bloggernacle, I read complaints that the Church doesn't do enough in the roughly 72 hours/year available (48 classes x 45 minutes each in Sunday School and Priesthood/Relief Society/Young Women/Young Men) to teach its members every little aspect of church history that possibly might shake someone's faith at some point down the road. Many ex-members and disaffected members blame exactly this for their struggles (that they weren't taught everything possible in church). Then, they turn around and claim that the Church needs to "eliminate Sunday School" or "consolidate Sunday meetings to only 2 hours".

Which is it? A) Teach us more!; or B) Don't teach us as much!

Personally, I wouldn't mind if the 3-hour block became a 2-hour block - with PH/RS/YW/YM and SS alternating each week.
I can say that and remain consistent, however, since I don't expect the Church to inoculate me against every possible challenge to my faith. However, I would rather tackle the quality of the instruction in our meetings first, since if we raised the spiritual and intellectual quality of our classroom and sacrament meeting instruction few members would want those meetings eliminated. I love being in church for three hours each Sunday, since the instruction in my current ward generally is exceptional. That's the ideal, in my opinion - not eliminating opportunities by shortening our Sunday meetings even further. (Minimizing other meetings is a whole new topic.)

Too many people want the best of both worlds, and this is one case where you have to pick an option in order to be consistent.
Whining about one (too much time in church each Sunday) while pining for the other (more instruction covering more aspects of our religion)? 

Wow. Just, wow.


Jana said...

Hear, hear!

Michelle said...

I love three hours and would be sad if it changed, but I live in a place where classes are very often very spirit-filled. Besides, I love connecting with and seeing my brothers and sisters.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't most problems be solved by better teaching in the Church? I see too much poor teaching. My HP group almost never has a lesson, or at least something resembling a lesson. As a result, I don't want to go.

My personal philospohy is that we are all treachers and need to work to perfect our craft (tough words coming from a chemist).

SilverRain said...

I have a hard time enduring three hours of church, but I fully agree. It's not the duration, it's the quality. I think that reducing the time would be a step in the wrong direction.

FelixAndAva said...

I think when you're begrudging God (who gave you EVERYTHING) that additional hour a week, the problem isn't with the Church.

The Church isn't meant to be drive-through convenience.

Patty said...

It's like the old saying "time flies when you're having fun" except we need to substitute "a spiritual experience" in lieu of "fun." When it's meaningful the time passes without even noticing. I agree that the emphasis should be on improving the teaching. Any ideas on how to do that? I think there's value in calling people who are truly gifted to teach and not just using those callings to make others "grow."

Papa D said...

I believe we need to take the charge to learn to teach MUCH more seriously, which I believe means we need to take the callings of Sunday School Presidencies MUCH more seriously. That's my first, gut reaction - and I dare say it's true for pretty much every ward and branch in which I've lived, including my current and most recent ones in which the spirit is and was wonderful, in general.

SilverRain said...

I think the best thing would be for ward leadership to take teaching more seriously in the sense of training people to be good teachers. There is already a program for that, but it is sadly underutilized and probably not very well understood.