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Teaching Parables: The Laborers in the Vineyard

The parable of the laborers in the vineyard may at first seem obscure. There are multiple layers; but this fact makes the parable all the more useful for teaching in the Sunday School classroom and beyond. As you prepare to present this parable in the classroom, keep in mind that Jesus is on His way to the cross. He wants His hearers to understand that salvation and the Church—that is, the Body of all Christians in heaven and earth—is founded on the forgiveness of sins, which He will provide at Calvary. What’s more, Jesus engages the rich young man in Matthew 19 who asks, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” (v. 16).

The Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard (Matthew 20:13–16)

Summer Sunday School Evangelism Opportunities

As the summer gears up, my mind is drifting toward how I can make the most of the opportunities I will have to interact with children and their parents this summer! My calendar likely looks very similar to yours—Sunday School will look different in some ways from the normal school year programming, and we will have VBS starting in a few weeks. Many families are heading out on vacations here and there, and in years past I have done less at church in a sort of one-way “non-compete clause.” Last fall, I heard from many families that they missed chances to be with other families outside of Sunday worship, and I got to thinking that perhaps summer is a unique time in a family’s year where outreach and evangelism can happen in fun, different ways than could be done in other seasons.

Teaching Parables: The Wedding Garment

While Jesus’ parable of the wedding garment is relatively brief, it presents two fundamental teachings of the Christian faith: God’s definitions of “good” and “bad” are vastly different from our own, and there is salvation only by grace through faith in Christ. I’ll include a few thoughts on Law and Gospel, some ideas for presenting this parable, and couple of song suggestions.

Ending the School Year Well

With the end of the school year close at hand, many of our congregations’ Christian education programs are also winding down and getting ready for a summer break. What can you do to make sure things end well for students and volunteers? 

Teaching Parables: The Lost Sheep

On the surface, this parable comforts us with the truth that Jesus treasures each of His children. But there’s more! What can we teach children regarding Christian love for the lost sheep? How can we teach children to care for the lost?

Teaching Contrasts to Children Using Biblical Examples

One of the very first concepts we teach children is contrasting. We show them the difference between right and wrong, quiet and loud, day and night, fast and slow.

Teaching Parables: Three Levels of the Good Samaritan

Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan is a well-known, well-used, but often misunderstood piece of Scripture. Frequently, preachers and teachers, believers and unbelievers alike employ this parable to reinforce the importance of showing kindness to others, especially those we don’t know or those we might be naturally disinclined to assist.

Teaching Parables: The Barren Fig Tree

Continuing our yearlong journey through Jesus’ parables, let’s consider the barren fig tree as a lesson topic. I’ll examine the content and major themes of this parable from a Law and Gospel perspective, present a few teaching ideas, and suggest a couple of songs that complement the lesson.

Teaching Parables: Build Your House on the Rock

Jesus is the master teacher. Through parables, He repeatedly made the Kingdom of Heaven accessible to everyone, connecting spiritual truths with concrete elements of human life. Matthew 7:24–27, the parable of building your house on the rock, is a wonderful example of Jesus explaining spiritual matters in everyday terms.

Three Tips for Easy Sunday School Teacher Prep

For many of our students, the lessons we teach enhance the things they are learning in worship and at home. For some, these lessons are the only opportunities they have to hear the saving Gospel. We want to share the Gospel effectively. We strive to find time for lesson preparation. Here are three easy tips that will sneak additional preparation time into your busy schedule.