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Written by

Stephanie DiDonato

Stephanie DiDonato is a marketing content specialist at Concordia Publishing House. She is from St. Louis, Missouri, but called Springfield, Missouri, and Austin, Texas, home before returning to St. Louis to be with family. She has one son and four fur babies (three dogs and one cat) and loves her crazy little family! Outside of work, Stephanie enjoys being outdoors, going to festivals and farmers’ markets, learning about history, and spending time with family.

Recent Posts by Stephanie DiDonato

5 Non-Traditional Options for Teaching the Bible this Summer

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.  

Communicating Your VBS Plans: Four Easy Steps

This year is proving to be unlike any other we have seen in our lifetimes. There are challenges personally, physically, mentally, and even spiritually. One challenge many of us are facing is making decisions about hosting in-person events at church, such as Vacation Bible School. Do we host our VBS in person later in the summer? Do we switch to an all-digital platform? Or is there another answer? No matter how we decide to continue our children’s ministry through VBS another question arises: how do we stay connected and communicate our plans for VBS? The solution: come up with a simple four-step plan of who, what, how, and when!

Resources for Teaching the Faith at Home

Being a teacher involves patience, dedication, passion, lots of hours, and above all, love for your students. In these times of uncertainty when so many don’t know when they will be returning to school, how schools may look in the future, or if students are hearing the loving words of Jesus that they desperately need, be certain Jesus is with us as our guide.

Focusing on Christ’s Love during Lent

Looking back on my childhood, I distinctly remember two things about the season of Lent. The first was choosing to give up something that I enjoyed for forty days (typically this was chocolate, candy, or even a favorite TV show). The second thing was, once Lent was over, the fun of Easter egg hunts, dressing up in our Sunday best, and finally being able to enjoy whatever it was that I had sacrificed for so many weeks. I knew the main reason behind the traditions—Jesus’ death and resurrection—but I don’t think I ever fully understood what Lent was really all about. This led me to wonder what children today know about Lent. So I enlisted help from my friends to ask their own children this important question.

The Christmas Season as Outreach for Your VBS

As a child, the sounds of bells and Christmas carols, the smells of pine and cookies, and the love of Christ in the air are all things I loved about the holidays. My top three memories of growing up at church were the Christmas service, the Easter service, and Vacation Bible School. Why were these events more impactful to me than any other church service or lesson? It could be that they were all held are during a school vacation, during which I had extra time to spend with family and friends. It could be that these are all times when families in the church come together to celebrate our Savior. Or it could be because all of these events are filled with stories and lessons of who Jesus is and what He did for us. So what does Christmas and the nativity have to do with Vacation Bible School? EVERYTHING! The lessons and stories that are taught during VBS, Easter, Advent, and Christmas will follow children throughout their lives.

Engaging Your Congregation in Sunday School

You see members of your congregation regularly attending worship and being active within their small groups and social circles, but are they thinking of or active with the children growing in Jesus’ love during Sunday School? Does it even matter? Shouldn’t the parents be involved with their children and not have to “bother” the congregation members? Of course, parents should be involved with their child’s faith, but it is also important to have your congregation members engaged as well.  It can help parents feel connected to the church community, strengthen relationships across generations, and, most important, help students grow in their faith (and many times, the members as well!).

So now what? How do you start engaging your members with your Sunday School? The following are a few ideas to help involve your congregation with Sunday School.

How to Engage Parents with Your Sunday School

As you say goodbye to your students and watch them walk down the hall, hand in hand with their parents, do you ever wonder: Are they discussing the Bible with their kids? Are the lessons I am teaching being reinforced at home? Am I engaging my students’ parents enough?