7 Things Kids Love in Sunday School

2

LovesundayschoolThis week, I’ve been reading Sunday School That Works: The Complete Guide
to Maximize Your Children’s Ministry Impact
.I love
gleaning knowledge from the incredible ministry leaders who
contributed to the book.

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There’s one thing I’m picking up on as I read:
Sunday school is an amazing opportunity to grow kids’ faith and, if
done properly, will have kids coming back for more week after week.
There are many things kids love about Sunday school, and today I
want to share how some of the experts in Sunday School That
Works
use it to their full advantage.

***

1. Kids love choices. “One of
the real hallmarks of a learner-based environment is the ability
for kids to make choices based on their preferences,” says Jennifer
Hooks, managing editor for children’s ministry resources at Group.
“Learning centers or stations, activity alternatives, and different
storytelling options all give kids the option to learn in different
ways. Giving kids choices means you’ll see more engaged and
motivated learners.”

2. Kids love their families.
Tony Kummer is the children’s pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in
Madison, Indiana. He’s also the founder of ministry-to-children.com. His chapter gives
insight on reaching families through Sunday school. “Reaching
families hasn’t always been the goal of Sunday school
ministries-and very few parents expect it to promote their
spiritual unity,” says Tony. “But connecting families spiritually
promotes spiritual growth in everyone. Don’t get me wrong; Sunday
school ministries have great worth when it comes to spiritually
growing individuals, but many church leaders want more than that.
They want their Sunday school ministries to empower parents to be
the primary faith influencers for their own children beyond
Sunday.”

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Tony offers some easy applications to get
parents more involved in your ministry. Send home something other
than a take-home page that the whole family can enjoy-a music CD,
for example…or even consider starting up a family ministry
bookshelf where parents can take materials home.

3. Kids love color.  Amy
Dolan is lead consultant, founder, and blogger for Lemon Lime Kids,
a children’s ministry consulting company (lemonlimekids.com). Her chapter, Overcoming
Space Issues, is such a helpful read. There are so many practical
tips that can help churches of any size. I can’t go over all of
them here, but I’ll share one that I thought was so simple, but so
effective.

“If your space doesn’t allow for permanent
decor or for colorful signs, consider purchasing brightly colored
magnets to hang along metal door frames,” says Amy. “Placing the
magnets along the sides and top of the doorframes provides a
bright, cheerful, and engaging welcome for kids. And magnets can be
changed for seasons or lesson themes.”

4. Kids love belonging. I
think this is a universal thing…who doesn’t want to feel like they
belong. I know many churches find that simply having a fun name for
their children’s ministry gets kids excited. Stephanie Martin, a
frequent contributor toChildren’s Ministry Magazine, has seen this
in action. “Great names arouse curiosity; give an instant feeling
of belonging, fun, and excitement; and help teachers, parents, and
children remember their Christian calling,” says Stephanie.

5. Kids love technology.
Henry Zonio is the assistant elementary children’s ministry
director at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church in Menlo Park,
California, and a self-described kid culture junkie. His chapter
talks about technology in Sunday school. He gives great tips on how
to get kids plugged in…but you can utilize technology to take your
game to the next level, too. “You can easily locate material
created for Sunday school settings that’s meant to be shown on
computers, tablets, or smartphones from most Christian education
publishers,” says Henry. “Many Sunday school curriculum publishers
offer media you can use to supplement a lesson. You can also find
material online. Here are sites I recommend: YouTube, GodTube, and WorshipHouseKids.”

6. Kids love to wonder. Patty
Smith is the director of children and family ministries in the
Tennessee Conference of the United Methodist Church where she
equips children’s ministry leaders in over 400 churches. She
provides some great thoughts on using kids’ sense of wonder.

“Capitalize on kids’ natural curiosity,” says
Patty. “Guide learners through ‘wondering moments’ that follow your
Bible experiences, where they respond to statements such as:

• I wonder why that happened. What do you
think?

• I wonder what it was like to _____________.
What do you think?

• I wonder which part of this Bible passage
stuck out most to each of you. Describe what made an impact on
you.

With ‘wondering’ questions and discussion,
accept every idea because there aren’t right or wrong
wonderings.”

7. Kids love to serve. Think
kids only think about themselves? Not true! We just need to lead
them in the right direction and give them the opportunity to reach
out. “When you give kids tangible ways to put faith into action, it
becomes more meaningful. We want kids to see that their actions can
have a direct impact, for better or for worse, on the lives of
those around them,” says Anthony Prince, the director of children
and family ministry at Glenkirk Church in Los Angeles, California.
“But here’s another challenge: While it’s true that kids can see
how actions directly impact others through valid efforts such as
water conservation, anti-bullying, and disaster assistance
campaigns, don’t overlook the efforts of the church to spread the
gospel. Kids have an important role to play here, too.”

***

If you get the chance, please take a look at
Sunday School That Works: The Complete Guide
to Maximize Your Children’s Ministry Impact
. It will give
you fresh insight on all things kidmin.

One more thing kids love to do at Sunday
school…encountering and worshipping God! When kids experience a
powerful encounter with God, their lives are transformed
forever.

Coming up soon-I am so excited to introduce to
you something that will help your kids have life-changing
encounters with God every week through irresistible music,
unforgettable Bible adventures, and powerful prayer experiences.
But you’ll have to wait until my next blog post to find out
more!

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About Author

David Jennings

David has served kids around the world for the majority of his life. From Texas to Romania, he has followed where God has led him. Most recently, he served for six years as a children's director in the great state of Alabama before moving to Colorado to work for Group as an associate editor.

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