I picked up a little book called, “Help I’m A Sunday School Teacher” by Ray Johnston.
The author had a great acronym to help remember the basics of reaching and teaching students through Sunday School: C.A.R.E.
Often content is the only focus in Sunday School. It’s important but can have even more impact when it’s shared along with others in this model – action, relationships and experience. Kids just learn better this way. However, great content is important. Students need to know the bible, they need to see it, touch it and learn it. They to experience how verses of scripture and stories can shape them. This generation needs to see themselves in the God’s grand story of redemption. Invest your time wisely, focusing on one small topic each meeting. Allow kids to ask questions and discover why they believe what they believe.
Jesus used action when he taught. He took the class on the road. He taught with stories and situations. He was able to help bring life to his lesson and it was not only learned, but remembered. Sunday school can’t be all fun and games, but it can be action-packed with memorable ways of learning the lesson. What are some things you can incorporate to bring action? Debates, object lessons, interviews, field trips, games, workbooks, digital creativity, videos, allow students to create something, skits, and the list goes on. What “action” can you bring to the lesson this week?
Never has a student come up to a youth pastor with a retreat form in hand asking, “What topic will you be speaking on during this retreat?” No, the age-old question for teenagers is (say it with me), “Who else is going?”
This alone will often be the determining factor for attendance. Kids want to be where kids are. And there is the friend factor. If they have a friend in Sunday School, they are more likely to stay connected.
How can you help kids connect to one another? How can you help them develop friendships through Sunday School? You can use ice breakers, take a few moments to look at each other’s social media and talk about it / share stories from it (before putting phones away for the rest of class), you can celebrate birthdays or other awards. Figure out some ways to help build friendships within the group.
How will students’ lives be different because of what they learned in Sunday School today? Leave time for asking application questions. Ask questions and discuss what students have learned. Assign homework on the topic at hand and ask them to share a story next week regarding it. Help students not only hear the word but do it.
BUY THE BOOK
You can pick up a copy of this small book here.