Concordia Publishing House began publishing Sunday School materials for LCMS congregations in 1899. Sunday School, classes before or after Sunday morning worship, has been around for a long time, but what has stayed consistent is its goal. Sunday School is an educational time for all ages to study God’s Word, hear both Law and Gospel, and come together to more deeply understand our faith in Jesus.
Sunday School can be a key component of Children’s Ministry. It can also be a term to cover youth and adult Bible study or even inter-generational Christian education on Sunday morning. In most cases, age distinctions are made in order to provide age appropriate instruction. Classes can use different developmentally appropriate methods and strategies for teaching God’s Word. There can even be the use of videos, puppets, games, crafts, snacks and other activities. All these can be helpful tools, but they should always be used to help explore Scripture.
Healthy Sunday School programs effectively train volunteer leaders to assist in Sunday School instruction. While pastors and other church works often teach in Sunday School, most congregations need to equip lay leaders with theological instruction, quality curriculum, and other tools to help them lead their class. With the appropriate mentoring, Sunday School may also be an opportunity to allow teens to serve and lead with younger students.
Congregations should also consider important pieces like risk management, locations, supplies, and publicity. It may be important to have a leader or leadership group that ensures that all the logistical pieces of Sunday School are attended to. This group may also help identify celebrations that can be tied to Sunday School, including, for example, a Rally Day at the start of the school year.
Regardless of size or context, Sunday School can be a valuable cornerstone of your Christian Education program. While it may look different in each congregation, it can be a powerful place where young and old study God’s Word each week.
Concordia Publishing House has an entire line of Sunday School curriculum designed for use in LCMS congregations. Enduring Faith Bible Curriculum traces God’s plan of salvation throughout the entire Bible—pointing students to Jesus, their Savior. It includes both Leader and Student guides for each age.
Cross Explorations is a large group/small group Sunday School program for grades 1–6 that takes kids through the Bible in three years. This mixed-style Bible learning experience—similar to a site-rotation program—is perfect for teaching kids and their parent the same Bible story in age-appropriate ways so family can grow in faith together.
Cross Explorations provides more material than a typical Sunday School can use in a one-hour time slot. The flexible format lets you pick and choose what works best for your Sunday School volunteers and kids. Cross Explorations can also be used as a midweek or family program.
Checkups help us identify our strengths and set new goals so we can make the most of our time, energy and resources. This blog post from Concordia Publishing House will walk you through a Sunday School checkup for your congregation.
Engaging parents with Sunday School not only helps parents and children grow together in their faith, but it also gives you, as a teacher, a better chance of instilling your knowledge of Jesus to your students. This blog post from Concordia Publishing House will help you to start.