Sunday School Teachers

  • 10 Tips to Spice up your Sunday School lessons

    10 tips to spice up your Sunday School class sessions - 

    Spice up

    1. Create Interactive Lessons: Incorporate interactive activities like games, puzzles, and role-playing into your kids lessons. Interactive learning is more engaging and will help them understand complex biblical concepts better. By changing thing up they will keep excited and engaged.
    2. Do Creative Storytelling: Share Bible stories in a captivating and creative way. Use props, visuals, or storytelling techniques to make the narratives come alive. Risk being a little silly! Don’t forget to see if you have members of your congregation with acting skill. They just need to be asked.
    3. Add Music and Songs: Integrate music into your lessons. Teach children songs related to the lesson's theme, and consider playing Christian music that's suitable for their age group. Of course, action songs are still awesome!
    4. Arts and Crafts: Plan craft activities that connect to the lesson. Children can create art or crafts that reinforce the biblical teachings they've learned. When they take them home it also lets parents know what you have been teaching.
    5. Outdoor Activities: Take the class outside occasionally for lessons or activities. Jesus used nature to teach the disciples. Try nature walks, scavenger hunts, or outdoor games can provide a refreshing change of scenery.
    6. Guest Speakers: Invite guest speakers from the community or church to share their stories or expertise on certain topics. Hearing from different voices can be inspiring and, if they are interesting topics it will create a sense of anticipation.
    7. Use modern Technology: Incorporate age-appropriate technology like educational apps or multimedia presentations to make learning more interactive and relevant. That being said, don’t completely give up on the old flannel graph if it connects with the younger kids.
    8. Group Discussions: Encourage group discussions where children can express their thoughts and questions about the lesson. This promotes critical thinking and peer learning. The key here is to spend time creating engaging questions.
    9. Themed Lessons: Create themed lessons or series that cover specific topics or stories from the Bible. For example, focus on the parables of Jesus or the stories of heroes of faith.
    10. Field Trips: Organize occasional field trips to places like a local church, a museum, or a community service project. Experiencing faith in action can be inspiring. Do an internet search in your area to find the Christian ministries in your locality.

    PS – Do whatever you can to create a sense of surprise. Excitement and anticipation is vital.

  • Encouragement in stressful times

    A Word of Encouragment for Sunday School Teachers -

    Fellow Pastors, Christian Educators and Sunday School Teachers,

    Keep going

    In these turbulent and stressful times, with wars in our biblical homeland, political tensions, and troubling headlines dominating the news, your role as a Sunday School teacher becomes even more vital. While it's easy to become overwhelmed by size of this worlds problems, remember that your faithfulness in teaching has a profound impact on the lives of the children you serve. Your role is vital!

    You may not have the power to solve all the world's conflicts or put an end to political strife, but in Jesus’s name (and through the power of the Holy Spirit) you possess the ability to make a meaningful difference in the lives of the young minds entrusted to your care. Here are a few reasons why your faithfulness in the Gospel matters, now more than ever:

    1. Nurturing Faith in Jesus: In a world filled with uncertainty, feer and discord, Sunday Schooll provides a haven where children can explore their faith, ask questions, and find support in their faith. Your steady presence and guidance (not to mention prayers) instill values, empathy, and a strong Christ- Centred moral compass in the hearts of these young souls.
    2. Building Resilience: As a former military chaplain I’ve seen the importance of spiritual resilience. As the world grapples with challenges, teaching the lessons of faith and hope equips children with the resilience they need to face life's difficulties. Your steadfast commitment demonstrates the enduring nature of faith, which can be a source of strength even in troubled times (In their personal lives or in this troubled world).
    3. Fostering Community: Sunday School is more than a classroom; it's a “family” and a community of support and care. You create a safe and nurturing environment where children can build relationships, experience love, and learn the importance of unity and cooperation. This sense of belonging is invaluable when the world feels like it going off the rails!
    4. Leading by Example: Your faithfulness sets a powerful example for your students. When they witness your dedication to teaching, they learn the importance of commitment and reliability in their own lives.
    5. Planting “Gospel” Seeds of Change: The children you teach today are the future leaders, thinkers, and decision-makers of tomorrow. By sowing the seeds of Christ’s love, kindness, and faith, you contribute to a better future, one child at a time.

    Remember that even amidst the chaos and challenges of the world, your role as a Sunday School teacher is a beacon of hope. Your commitment to nurturing young hearts and minds is a profound service to both the children and the broader community. You might not have all the answers, but you have the ability to foster a positive and enduring impact on the lives of those you teach. Even more, you have the opportunity to introduce them to a life long (and even longer!) friend – Jesus!

    A.H. Oct 2023

  • Kids Object Lesson for Thanksgiving - Cornucopia

    Kids Object lesson for Thanksgiving – Cornucopia -

    Show the children a cornucopia or harvest basket full of fruits and vegetables. Hold up various items and discuss why we are thankful for God’s provision. Include in the bottom of the basket items remind you of other things that might be overlooked by some people (A picture of family or friends, medicine, money, a small bottle of rain water, a small bible, etc.

    Thanksgiving basket

    Object lesson items: A cornucopia basket (or something similar) with fruits and vegetables and various items that the children might not think of when we think of thanksgiving.

    Children’s Thanksgiving talk / object lesson:   Good morning Children! Today, I have something very special to share with you – a basket that overflows with the goodness of God. Some people call this basket a cornucopia? It's not just an ordinary basket; it's a symbol of God's amazing provision and the abundance of blessings in our lives.

    (Show the cornucopia and hold up different items one by one.)

    Look at these colorful fruits and vegetables! Which one is your favourite? Each one is like a little gift from God. The apples are crunchy and sweet, the grapes burst with juiciness, and the carrots are crisp and fresh. God provides us with delicious food to nourish our bodies and to keep us healthy.

    (Hold up a picture of family or friends.)

    Now, what do we have here? A picture of our loved ones! Families and friends are incredible blessings from God. They bring us joy, love, and support. Take a moment to think about someone you're thankful for.

    (Show a small bottle of rainwater.)

    This little bottle contains rainwater. Isn't it fascinating that even rain is a blessing from God? Now, sometimes we don’t like rain but it is very important. It waters the earth, helps plants grow and provides us with the water we need to live. Let's thank God for the rain!

    (Reveal a small Bible.)

    And here we have the most precious book of all - the Bible! God's Word is a guide for our lives. It teaches us about His love, mercy, and the incredible gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. We are truly blessed to have the Bible.

    (Hold up medicine and money.)

    These two items might seem ordinary, but they are extraordinary blessings from God. Medicine that our parents give us helps us when we're not feeling well, and money allows us to provide for our needs and help others. Let's thank God for His wisdom in providing these practical blessings.

    (Take a moment of silence for reflection.)

    So, kids, as we gather around this cornucopia of thanks, let's remember to appreciate the big and small blessings in our lives. Sometimes, it's easy to overlook the everyday miracles, like a sunny day, a warm hug, or the smell of fresh air. God's provision is all around us.

    Children’s Prayer:  Thank you, God, for your abundant provision. Thank you for the love of our families and friends, for the rain that nourishes the earth, for the wisdom in the Bible, and for the practical blessings of medicine and money. May we always have grateful hearts, recognizing and appreciating the many ways you care for us. In Jesus' name,  Amen!

    Copyright 2023 Sunday Children's Focus  - Feel free to use this or share this but please give credit to this web site. Blessings - A.H. 

  • Tips for dealing with behavior problems in Sunday School

    Help with behavioral problems in Sunday School- -

     Behaviour Problems

    It’s no fun teaching Sunday School if you have significant behavioural issues in your class. Here are some guidelines, tips and ideas that you can try out:

    Make sure you set clear expectations: Students need to know what is expected of them in terms of behavior. Establish clear rules and consequences for misbehavior, and be consistent in enforcing them.

    Reward what is good. Use positive reinforcement: Recognize and praise students who exhibit good behavior, such as paying attention or participating in class.

    It’s important to keep students engaged: Make sure your lesson is interesting and engaging, with plenty of opportunities for students to participate and ask questions.

    Deal with disruptive behavior quickly: Don't let misbehavior go unchecked. Address it promptly and calmly, using a quiet word or a gentle reminder. Model patience and grace – with firmness.

    Try using redirection strategies: If a student is behaving inappropriately, redirect their attention to the task at hand. For example, ask them to read a passage aloud or to answer a question. (I always have a ready list of options on hand)

    Involve your Sunday School parents: If a student's behavior is consistently disruptive, involve their parents in finding a solution. Work together to find strategies that can be used at home and at Sunday School. This also shows parents you really do care about their child’s well being.

    To the best of your ability (and with the help of the Holy Spirit) be patient and empathetic: Remember that students may be dealing with a range of issues that could affect their behavior. Be patient, empathetic, and supportive in helping them to overcome these challenges.

    Ask some of the others teachers to make helpful suggestions. This also reminds you that you are part of a wider leadership team and helps build your support system.

  • What are the best ways to keep Sunday School kids engaged?

    What are the best ways to keep Sunday School kids engaged and motivated? -

     Engaged Sunday School kids

    1. One of the best ways to keep Sunday School kids engaged is to use age-appropriate materials: Make sure the curriculum and materials you are using are appropriate for the age of the children in your class. Younger children may respond better to visual aids and hands-on activities, while older children may prefer more in-depth discussions and interactive activities. That's my experience. 
    2. Incorporate technology: Utilize technology such as videos, interactive games, and online resources to make the lessons more engaging and interactive. However, don’t be over dependant on technology.
    3. Get kids involved: Encourage children to participate in the lessons by asking questions, sharing their thoughts and ideas, and allowing them to take on leadership roles in the class. Remember, you are training these kids to be leaders!
    4. Use different teaching styles: Incorporate different teaching styles, such as lecture, discussion, and hands-on activities, to cater to different learning styles and keep children engaged. Be exited about the biblical truths you are teaching. If you are excited they will probably be excited. Enthusiasm is contagious. (As they say, "faith is caught" and not only "taught".
    5. Make sure your sessions are fun: Use games, songs, and other fun activities to make the lessons enjoyable and memorable for the children. Engage in all the senses.
    6. Create a warm, welcoming environment: Make sure the classroom is a welcoming and safe space where children feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas. (If parents need to see that their children are safe) 
    7. Keep it relevant: Connect the lessons to real-life situations and show how the teachings can be applied in everyday life. Ask the children to let you know how their faith in Jesus is helping them out. 
    8. Encourage questions: Create an environment where children feel comfortable asking questions and seeking answers. This helps you to really get to know what's going on in their heads.
    9. Provide sensitive feedback: Give children feedback on their progress and encourage them to continue growing in their faith.
    10. Involve parents: Building trust is so important. Work with parents to reinforce the lessons at home and encourage them to participate in the learning process. (see my article on involving parents)
    11. This of course should be first of all: Pray with ceasing! Trust that God will even use your mistakes and turn  them around for His glory!
  • Word of Encouragement for Sunday Oct 1 2023

    Encouragement for Sunday School teacher - Matthew 21:23-32 (Oct 1, 2023) - A Great Day

    Good morning Sunday School teachers!

    Get ready for a lively and fun Sunday ahead! In Matthew 21:23-32, Jesus tells a parable aboutt two sons. One son initially refuses to obey but later changes his mind, while the other son agrees to obey but doesn't follow through. It's a fantastic story that reminds us all about the importance of not just saying we'll do good things but actually following through with our actions. (That’s always a challenge for me!) Let's bring this lesson to life with some role-playing, maybe even a little "switcheroo" game where we see if the kids can switch from saying "no" to "yes" just like the first son did. It's going to be a Sunday full of surprises and valuable lessons, so be ready to have a blast while teaching the Word of God! Oh yes…and don’t forget to cover everything in prayer. Blessings A.H.