Did you know your children can attend Sunday school during both worship celebrations on Sunday morning and have two unique experiences? That's right—attending Sunday school twice doesn't mean a 'redo' of the first hour. Instead, children are presented the Bible story in a fresh, new way during the second hour. Keep reading to see what I mean!
During 9AM Sunday school, we use TruMinistry's Classroom Edition. This is comparable to your 'traditional' classroom format with lessons, activities, and discussion tailored to a typical interaction between a teacher and students. Preschoolers meet in one room (101) and elementary children meet in another (205.) Lessons tailored to their age/developmental level allow for close interaction.
During 10:45AM Sunday school, we use Tru's Large Group Edition. Here, children participate in a larger group of children (all ages together) to sing worship songs, participate in large group activities and crafts, and share in prayer times. The lesson is the same as the elementary lesson during the 9AM hour, but the presentation is different--from skits, to videos, to special presenters, to sensory-based lessons, children are exposed to special and varied methods of learning. Rather than being bored from hearing the lesson a second time, we've found the review for the older kids actually helps them retain and interact with the Bible passage! An added benefit of this hour is seeing the varied ages working and learning together—it actually works very well!
During the lesson in both hours, children learn about The Big God Story. It's how we teach the Bible—as one complete story—to show children that God worked in Geneses all through the Old Testament, all through the New Testament, and is still working on the very same narrative today! That means we are all part of The Big God Story, too! Additionally, lessons are always taught from a God-perspective. So, for example, rather than learning about David and Goliath, children learn that God is Victorious and use the story of David and Goliath to understand why that's true. This develops a theology (a way to think about and understand God) from an early age, rather than establishing a head-knowledge of segmented, unrelated stories. This has been proven to help our children remain committed to God when they get older, because they understand who He is... not just nice stories from Sunday school.
One of the best parts of children's Sunday school is the Worship Response time. Worship response stations give kids the opportunity to worship God corporately and individually. In addition to stimulating godly worship and praise, response stations spiritually affirm who kids are in Christ—God wants to hear from them and they see that they are a part of The Big God Story. Flowing naturally out of the storytelling of The Big God Story, children will be thinking about what they’ve just heard. We invite children to respond to God while they’re still feeling the impact, giving the Holy Spirit space to move and work within each child. When time is given and the response modeled, kids can reach out and truly meet with God. This is when the lesson becomes about encountering God—it’s transformation, not just information.
I hope you'll consider bringing your child/children to both hours of Sunday school! They'll learn about the God who loves them and has a key part for them to play in the Big God Story, they'll benefit from the instruction, and create deeper friendships with each other! Plus, you benefit, too! If you stay for worship and a class, you will establish and deepen friendships, cultivate your own walk with Christ, and model for your children the importance of studying the Bible. If you have more questions, feel free to contact me!
Pastor for Education and Discipleship