Here they come! McKenna just finished her breakfast, with a milk mustache to prove it. Jaxon is already sleepy after a full morning of getting ready and attending the early service. Dillon is wanting to show off his new hat to his buddies, but Ellowyn isn’t sure she wants to leave her mama’s side.
Ah, the beginning of Sunday School! In the first fifteen minutes or so, the task at hand is to bring kids of all ages and stages together to get ready to learn about Jesus’ love for each one of them. It’s no small task! In addition to prayers and offering, this time is often essential in setting the tone for the rest of the Sunday School time. What to do?
Maybe your Sunday School just started having openings so everyone can gather in a common place. Maybe you’re an opening veteran but you want to mix things up a bit. Maybe you’ve been trying to prepare openings on your own and you could use a helping hand.
Well, today’s blog post is for you! We’ll take a quick tour of the many ways you can start your Sunday right for the children in your care.
If you’d like to help kids understand the patterns and meanings behind the Church Year, this resource is perfect for you. There are three different leader guides, one for each of the years in the lectionary. Each comes with recordings, openings, collects, slideshow presentations, and more. Plus, if you want to connect this lesson to the rest of Sunday School, at home, or in your day school, there are several different teaching points for each week so that teachers can build lessons in addition to thttps://sundayschoolmatters.org/wp-admin/post.php?post=1148&action=edit#post_statushe opening.
(Are your kids younger? Church Year Worship Kit is designed for early childhood students, and it can be used every year.)
If you use the Cross Explorations Kit, you already have this gem of a CD in your possession. But you don’t even need to use Cross Explorations at your church to get this handy resource! The lessons coincide with Growing in Christ as well, so mix and match to add some oomph to your openings.
This CD offers opening talks, music, slides, and more. Click on the link above to check out some samples!
Do your kids love to sing, sing, sing? This resource can be used for either opening or music time (depending on how you organize your day). Each lesson comes with five song suggestions, three of which come with activities. There are music recordings as well as slideshow presentations. You can print out music scores to help children better learn the music. Connecting the music with the Bible lessons can be a great way for active and musical learners to engage with the lesson.
How can you keep older kids focused during openings? How can you foster mentoring relationships with your students? How can you bring the Bible account to life and set the tone for the day? Check out the Cross Explorations Express Skit CD! There is a skit for every lesson to add fun to the day. Hand scripts to a designated group of students a few weeks in advance; maybe their teacher can lead them in practice at the end of their lesson for a few weeks. Use this CD to add variety to the opening routine (and to give yourself a little break too)! Don’t forget that if you already use the Cross Explorations kit, you have this already. But no matter what you use for Sunday School, each of these pieces can be added as an easy supplement.
For the price of two fancy coffees, this quarter-long resource is filled with invaluable resources. Posters, timelines, teacher helps . . . the list goes on, and it can help teachers whether they use Cross Explorations or Growing in Christ. But more than that, this book is a huge help when it comes to openings! Each lesson has an easy-to-use opening devotion. The pages are perforated so you can easily ask other leaders to begin openings, or if you want, hand your pastor something quick and straightforward. The included CD has so many resources, you’ll wonder why you didn’t use them sooner.
You’ll notice that all of these resources are sold at a value of about $1 a week. Not bad! So what to do? Well, I’ll add a personal confession. Our church has just reinstated Sunday School openings for the first time in years. It’s been wonderful! And daunting. As the person who leads those openings, I’ll share with you my plan: I think I’ll take advantage of about two of these per quarter and mix them up as I experiment. After I find my favorites, I’ll have a combination that will both make my life easier as well as equip others (students and teachers alike) to lead alongside me as we teach God’s children His Word.
Blessings in your planning as you do the same!