Buildings and Equipment
by Pastor Jack Hyles
(Chapter 4 from Dr. Hyle's excellent book, The Hyles Sunday School Manual)
Most growing Sunday schools find space a real problem. Having proper space is not necessary for building a large Sunday school, but it is certainly helpful. No pastor or Sunday school superintendent should use as his excuse for failure to grow the fact that the buildings are not large enough. Some of the fastest growing Sunday schools in the world have limited facilities for classrooms and departments. Realizing this we enter into a discussion of preparing physical plants for the Sunday school.
1. Equipment. Someone has said that one’s environment is a silent, forceful teacher and that the place where people meet on the Lord’s Day to study His Word and to worship has much to do with the effectiveness of what the workers are trying to do. This is certainly true! A list of essential equipment follows:
(1) There should be enough chairs to provide comfortable seating. Much care should be taken in the choosing of these chairs, and if possible, they should be well spaced allowing ample room for each pupil.
(2) Each class needs a substantial table about 28 inches high and 30 inches wide. This table should be between 40 inches and 50 inches long.
(3) Whenever it is possible to have separate rooms, curtains should be on the windows. Where it is not possible to have separate rooms, the classrooms may be divided by curtains.
(4) Each class should have a chalkboard with ample chalk and eraser.
(5) Miscellaneous items. It is good for classes and departments to have songbooks, record material, maps, pictures, vases, etc. It is also very important that hooks for coats and caps be provided somewhere in the back of the room. It is also wise to have a well-tuned piano, pulpits for each teacher, good songbooks, one or two appropriate pictures, a pencil sharpener, etc. Soft, pastel colors should be used for walls and ceilings. It is wise, if at all possible, to have the front wall either darker than the other walls or be covered with a different material. Contrasting woodwork is good.
In other words, since the teaching of the Word of God is the most important thing in all the world, the best equipment possible should be provided for the Sunday school.
Of course, you may not have everything you want. in such a case, just do the best you can with what you have. The person who will not do his best under difficult conditions will also not do his best under ideal conditions. Luke 12:48 says: “...For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required....”
2. Building. Much attention is given to the church building program and the planning of the same in the author’s book, The Hyles Church Manual, published by the Sword of the Lord, price $6.50. The following are some suggested floor plans for Sunday school departments.
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