Summer is almost here, and it is not starting off how we had all hoped. Everyone is scrambling trying to figure out if in-person events (from birthday parties to worship services and even summer school) will be held and, if so, how to hold them safely. Summer Sunday school can prove to be a challenge for administrators and teachers any year, but this year might be an even bigger challenge than prior years. Trying to figure out the best option for your students and their families can be difficult. So what options are there to keep your kids learning about Jesus throughout this summer? Let’s look at five non-traditional options.
Gathering materials for your students to complete at home each week may be a great solution for your church. This option gives students the tactile components to help them better understand lessons while also giving parents the flexibility of choosing what time works for them. Packets could include materials such as lesson guides for parents, leaflets, coloring pages, craft supplies or ideas, and maybe even a small Bible such as the New Testament Storybook for Kids! Families could pick up items at your church or, if you have the time, you could drop packets off at families’ homes.
Virtual Sunday School
This year, many churches have already ventured into digital teaching for Sunday School classes and Bible studies due to restrictions on gatherings. My church specifically has been using Facebook live to host a weekly “Jesus Time” where families can come together to hear God’s word and interact with one another, all while in the safety of their home (and the comfort of their pajamas 😉). Virtual meetings have become the new norm for businesses, worship services, schools, and family gatherings, so why not use it for your Sunday school as well? It gives kids a chance to see and interact with their teachers and peers, and it continues the normalcy of regular classes. (An all-digital curriculum for summer Sunday School is now available for your classes.) Plus, students can participate anywhere—home, a friend’s house, or even while traveling!
VBS as Weekly Lessons
Are you still trying to decide on your VBS plans for this year? Or have you decided to cancel VBS and pick back up next year? Why not convert your VBS into your summer Sunday school curriculum? The typical five-day VBS program provides more than enough content for 10–13 lessons to be used each Sunday during summer. You can hold your weekly lessons at church, in an open setting such as a park, or plan to go digital. Any way you do it, using VBS as your summer curriculum is a sure way to get your kids (and parents) excited about Jesus' love!
Summer of Service
Looking for ways to get your students and families involved in their community? Try having a “summer of service” instead of weekly lessons for Sunday School. This could be done a couple of ways: you can partner with community organizations and host weekly or bi-weekly service projects that families can sign up for, or you can come up with a weekly service plan that families can do on their own, all focused on the community and Jesus. Projects could include mowing or picking up sticks in a neighbor’s lawn, baking cookies for nurses or doctors, making cards for seniors in a nursing home, or painting over graffiti at a local shelter. This helps teach children that by helping our neighbors, we are serving God.
Many churches choose to take a summer break from Sunday School, postponing until fall. If this is an option you are looking into, make sure to speak with your Pastor, administrators, or teachers to make sure this is the best choice for your families. If you do postpone your Sunday School until Fall, start off the new year with a fun kick-off party! Invite students’ families, members of your church, and even neighbors to join in on the fun as well. The party could incorporate snacks, games, and a video sharing pictures from families’ summers. This would also be the perfect time to share the lesson plans for the year. Kicking off the new school year will help students become excited for learning about Jesus on Sundays.
No matter what this summer may throw at us, looking over ideas and coming up with a plan for your summer Sunday School will help you have a successful summer teaching your students about the love of Christ! “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” (3 John 1:4 ESV). Blessings to you as you prepare for a successful summer Sunday School.
This summer, teach children about the Holy Trinity.