And it happened real quick. But now ... kids aren't even used to getting to church anymore. Now what? How do we keep them motivated to come back? And what if this happens again?
8 Ways to Make Sunday School Amazing
I hope you're ready for the new class. The school year is upon us! But now what do we do with Sunday school? I know last year may have been tough and '21 was iffy, but here we are again, and it's time to get back on track!
You might be feeling like kids these days don't want anything to do with Sunday School because they've grown so used to staying home all day long and playing video games or watching TV - which is why some of them make that extra effort when they come in each week. They try their best not just out of obligation but also as a way of showing respect by coming into your classroom. Sometimes their weekly school doesn't feel very welcoming at times either (that's where you will make a difference!).
But cultivating a love for the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit is crucial to shaping children into adults that will make an impact in their own homes and communities. Yet, some parents lack knowledge of how to do this with passion or creativity when it comes to teaching them about God. So here YOU come in. And you're ready!
Right? Question for you, though...
Have you ever had to whip together your own Sunday school lessons or even an entire curriculum? Like me, I am sure that you have been guilty of quickly snagging something off of the internet because it was easy. And now you have to prepare for your children!?! Maybe somebody gave you a book or some crafts or some curriculum, but it isn't relatively that easy to follow ... especially in a pinch.
Have YOU ever had trouble coming up with Sunday school lessons on your own? I am sure we have all been guilty at one point; grabbing something offline because they were easy. You may not have any luck until someone finally stumbled across an old manual from their grandparents' days or gave you some crafts they saw at Home Depot last week ... Maybe somebody gave you a book or crafts even curriculum, yet still trying doing everything by oneself can be challenging, especially under pressure, so where does one go from here?
Phew! You may be scrambling through the internet and trying desperately to find something useful. That's why you're on this page, right? ;-) I'm not sure how anyone can survive this type of situation because there is just SO MUCH STUFF out there these days about everything imaginable: whether we're talking cooking techniques or biblical facts or accidental science experiments or ... or ... or ...
After hearing about this curriculum, I can guarantee that you will want to implement this Christ-centered approach (as if there should be any other approach!). It will develop an appropriate, positive learning environment, and your children will feel challenged each time. You will see them excited and motivated to gain a closer relationship with their Lord. They may even want to STUDY their Bibles ... maybe even at HOME! *gasp*
And yes, to top all your hard work, they will also want to become a better Bible student! You might even start seeing them ready before Sunday with excitement, with their fun 'assignments' done and loving it. I bet they will surprise you with their accomplishments!
So no panic, no worries, and remember this: there is no overworking required at all. The mission with The Scripture Scout's Sleuth for the Truth Sunday School curriculum is to help YOU feel better equipped to teach very simply and easily. It will give you a bird’s eye view of how your children’s attitudes CAN be toward the Lord’s church and spiritual things.
And it's so much fun! So. Are ya ready? Here we go...
8 Ways to Make Sunday School Amazing
My favourite verse as translated by The Message is now the flagship message of the Supercharged Sunday School connections at The Scripture Scout:
"Point your kids in the right direction—
when they’re old they won’t be lost."
Proverbs 22:6, MSG
RELY ON THE WORD OF GOD
The Bible is your best resource as a teacher's guide to awesome lessons. You can't go wrong with the Word of God, and it should be at the center of all teaching in schools or churches on Sundays. Commercial materials are excellent for supplementing deep study into scripture but you must never rely too much on them when they're not always trustworthy sources themselves!
The centrepiece of the appeal of the Word of God in the church, in Sunday school, in the HOME, and all Bible studies and discipling must be a clear 'advertisement' of Christ crucified and resurrected -- and as the only Saviour for every generation. The use of human-centered techniques will never produce a genuine transformation of the human heart and, therefore, will never provide real revitalization.
It is important to gather all the materials one can, but never forget that God's Word provides us with everything we need. If you are an avid Bible reader and have memorized many passages, then it will not be difficult for you to teach a lesson from memory without too much preparation - just make sure you are relying on the right thing.
In short, overlook workbooks. and TRUST THE WORD.
INVESTIGATE THE SCRIPTURE
As someone who has been teaching since before they could legally drink iced tea on campus (just kidding), when I enter classrooms as either a student’s teacher or that of parents - one thing remains always true: you want your child to be taught to love Jesus so much that if was up to them, that's all they would do in life!
As a parent and a teacher, when I step into a setting with students, whether that be in a home-school setting, traditional school, or Sunday school setting, I want to see children interested and ENGAGED in their learning. And in any Bible school, the most connected and excited students are the ones whose teachers are manipulating provided materials and investigating the truth in the Bible through the world around them.
Variety is desperately needed and setting your kids' goals based on an in-depth study of the Word will assist you in finding original and creative lessons. May the beauty and grace that you've experienced in Christ inspire and compel you to continue to guide your children toward an investigation of scripture. This is one of the reasons it is so important to get out your scout's magnifying glass and make it a BLAST to search for Jesus ... even in Genesis! That being said ...
YOUR CREATIVITY IN BIBLE LESSONS IS INSPIRED
"He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do,
work we had better be doing."
Ephesians 2:10, MSG
The idea of being creative is something that both frightens and excites us. We never know what to expect, but we can't help but want more from life than just living by someone else's rules all the time. God challenges our creativity not only in one way, either; your ideas are better on their own because you have a unique perspective! So when it comes down to having human creativity? What does knowing about Christianity change for how you answer this call?
For example, look at what this awesome nutty dude does with BAND-AIDS!!! Talk about glorifying God with art and imagination!
OFFER EXCITEMENT & ENTHUSIASM ABOUT LEARNING GOD'S WORD!
If you have kids of your own, you already know that they can 'read' everything, including your attitude and motivation. (That can be creepy, right?) It's good for you that they can keep that in check, huh?
If the teachers are excited, they will lead by example and get their students to be just as engaged. It's important for young people that want a career in education or teaching not only know how to teach but also enjoy what it teaches them! Teachers have an incredible impact on children: if you're enthusiastic about your job then kids can sense this and become more interested themselves.
I don't just want to save you time and make you sound brilliant here. I want to help you make young disciples. Don't forget to craft a discussion-based question. That'll help a LOT! What are some of the best discussions you've ever had? What was your favorite conversation that led to something new and thought provoking? Do that again!
KEEP A STRONG CONTINUITY OF YOUR BIBLE LESSONS
Set a GOAL that you and your class (or your family!) are all working toward together. Reign your focus on where the kids can see a plan, not only in what you are doing for them but also in God’s Word. You can implement anything you feel necessary to reinforce the teaching.
Time for some Bible sleuthing! Tell the kids they can now impress their friends with all of the knowledge they've learned from Sunday school. Get ready to EXPLORE the Bible in your lessons! You can look below to see an example from a step-by-step standard lesson plan of Sleuth for the Truth which covers 52-weeks in 4 quarters. In Sleuth for the Truth, you get to go on an adventure with your teacher! Together we will search through every page of Scripture and learn how each story points us toward Jesus.
You will have so much fun spending time together exploring a new passage from God's word and then dive deeper into it as part of our prayerful study group discussion.
SET HIGH EXPECTATIONS FOR YOUR BIBLE STUDENTS
Many parents believe that high expectations are not good for children. I disagree with this as it has been proven over the years to be wrong! High expectations challenge our children and brings beautiful results. I firmly believe this as it has been proven over and over again! High expectations, especially when there is a lot of praise in tandem, give our kids an opportunity to experience responsibility and learn how important they really are in God's kingdom.
There are some free printables for you below and these methods cover many ages from Sunday school lessons for preschoolers through middle school. We believe in this do-it-yourself style curriculum, but the methodology is even more important! Does managing all of this sound impossible? Well, I’m not lying, it IS NOT. ;-) But check it out for yourself and decide:
OFFER REWARDS FOR YOUR CHILD'S PROGRESS
I know there are many opinions on giving prizes, but even in Sunday school, it is true that if our children feel well rewarded, they will work for it! You can also see THIS ARTICLE for much more about implementing Sunday school incentive and prizes and the benefits of rewarding students in Sunday school. A fun points system has always worked well for us!
Through appropriate student rewards, teachers can focus on lesson content and interactive projects to pamper students with learning as opposed to concentrating on just teaching a lesson. They will also really be looking forward to the next one!
ENCOURAGE DAILY CHRISTIAN HABITS
(amoung students AND teacher/parent, of course!)…
You know well that serving others is so important and it is first of this list for a reason. Train kids to serve others by modelling it yourself. The best way to start showing your young Bible students the blessing of helping others is to participate yourself! Children learn by example, and the most significant way to stimulate their interest is by being committed to some level of community service. (Hint: seeing you enjoy it is an even more prominent example! *wink*)
Daily Bible Reading
- you already know the beauty of getting into God's Word, but friendly competition between classes and adults can ignite their time with the Bible. One Christian school chapel in Atlanta involving a Bible verse memorization race was so energizing that students still talk about it today!
Prayer Time to encourage and enhance their relationships with Jesus. In order to maintain a close relationship with Jesus, it is important for young believers to develop good habits like reading the Bible and praying. Foster their faith by encouraging development of healthy Christian behaviours such as prayer and scripture study on a daily basis; this way those kids can be confident that when life throws them curveballs, there will always be someone who understands what's going through our minds at all times: Christ himself!
Note Taking - The importance of note-taking cannot be understated, as it serves many purposes important for today’s youth. First, by paying attention while listening to someone speak - whether through sermon or lecture - students may better absorb information presented; second, written words tend to stick with them longer than spoken ones do (i'm sure you know this one firsthand).
Taking notes during sermons can be the mortar that ties everything they are learning in class together; show them a simple and appropriate way to do it -- make it fun!
Bring their Bibles -- I've always found it very rewarding to students to remember to actually bring a Bible to Sunday school. They love looking at the different passages and studying them in detail, especially when they're written out in their favorite translations. I can't count how many times that a reading has been inspirational for them or comforted them during hard times because they already had the practice!
Implement a strong Memory Work program of crucial, vital facts that will give them a firm foundation.
A Memory Work program can help you to strengthen their memory, creativity and self-confidence. There are many different ways of doing this type of work - such as retelling a story they already know from start to finish or memorizing all the judges or prophets - but one tactic that is often overlooked, even by some psychologists, is Linking Memories Together. This method involves stringing together events after they happen WITH a memory verse so if something new happens later it will be easier to navigate because their memories have been connected before hand and there's less chance of forgetting what to do when the time comes around again!
How Much is All This Preparation Going to Cost Me?
Saving money is always another decisive factor and a "soapbox item" for me as every time it has been implemented it cut ¾ our curriculum budget. If you need this for your church school, I can guarantee your church's bookkeepers and accountants will love that! But since a lot of folks are doing this at HOME right now, spouses will love that too! :-D
All of this was put together to help YOU feel better equipped to teach very simply
and easily and to give you a great idea of how your children’s attitudes
CAN be toward the Lord’s church and spiritual things.
NOW if you ever find yourself trying to snap together your own one-off Sunday school curriculum by quickly swiping something off of the world wide web, you will have some tools in your belt with The Scripture Scout's Sleuth for the Truth from our site store or you can find it at The Sunday School Store as well..
Soon you will be saying, "Sure, no problem!" when you're back with your church, it won't be something to fear at home either, and it will become a no-brainer because there is a good year's worth of lessons available! It includes varying age ranges and Sunday school discussion topics, not to mention a lot of free printables to enhance the classroom-now-homeschool experience.
I believe these simple ways to 'make Sunday school amazing' work. Even better, I believe this because I have witnessed several generations of young, committed Christians who KNOW what THEY believe and are committed to making the religion they were taught into the “pure, undefiled" stuff of which the Bible speaks.
Employing these eight simple things will be a boon to your BIble school. And if we do them while following the WORD, we prayerfully won’t have to watch our children leave home and leave the church. We WILL see them with their heads-on-straight about the distinctiveness of the church, about what worship is, and any other thing that may confront them, for they will know HOW to study the Word and not just accept what anyone tries to teach them.
You get that, right? I thought so.