Bo Prosser, CBF Coordinator for Missional Congregations, offers tips for ministers and teachers as they prepare for a new school year.
One of my favorite times in the church calendar is Promotion Sunday or “Back to Sunday School Sunday.” This is always a time of renewal and excitement as preschoolers, children, and youth move to new teaching units, as new teachers and workers come on board, and as everyone renews their commitment to the Bible-teaching ministry of the church. What a time of excitement!
Make this a big deal! Children and their Parents will certainly have some anxiety about the “new” room and the “new” teachers. Have an Open House or reception in the preschool and children’s areas with light refreshments. Talk to parents about some of the teaching and learning exercises and the role that parents also play in the spiritual formation of their children.
Let the youth have a “Happy New Year” party complete with those “honkin” horns and pointy hats. Have refreshments and maybe play a few “New Year” themed games. Talk about some expectations for learning and spiritual growth.
Ask the pastor to preach on the importance of Bible study and spiritual formation. Have a special teacher training event with guest faculty. Have a teacher appreciation day or special banquet for your workers. This is a wonderful time for adult classes to set some goals for outreach and fellowship.
Celebrate the goodness of Bible study creatively. Encourage spiritual growth as well as numerical growth. Sunday school is still the most effective tool in our church ministries for reaching people for Christ and for teaching people the Bible. Get some of those “Honkin Horns” and have a party!
People go where they know they’ve been prepared for and are cared for. Nothing communicates “prepared for and cared for” better than a good party. Happy New Year!
You nailed it! Got my pointy hat and honky horn ready.
Hi Bo… Another good Sunday School “kick off” document for the new year would be having a group meeting of SS Leaders and using the Annual Sunday School Guide I sent you recently. Just a thought. Don Cannata