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If you have been going to a church for more than a few months, then you are probably familiar with the phrase “voluntold”. As in, no one would volunteer and I missed the meeting, so I got voluntold to do whatever.
If you were voluntold to teach the Children’s Church or Sunday School, don’t fear. It is not the end of the world.
So what do you do? Here are some steps to help you out. It is certainly not everything, but it is a start.
1. Find some help
My first piece of advice? Find some people to help you. You do not have to do this alone.
That may be that you get a teenager to physically help you while you are teaching. It may mean that you get your friend to team teach with you, or teach on weeks you do not teach. It may mean you ask around until you find someone who teaches Sunday School or Children’s Church at another church who can give you some ideas and be a sort of mentor.
But the most difficult times I have had is when I didn’t have anyone to help me out. Don’t do that to yourself.
2. Find something to teach
It doesn’t have to be fancy. My favorite way to find topics to teach? Open you Bible! I will literally pick a character or a book and just go through all of the stories until we get to a stopping point. I did this in a series called “Journey through Genesis” and again between Christmas and Easter (we started with the Christmas story and went through Jesus’ life until he rose again the week after Easter).
Or just think, what is my favorite Bible story? What did I enjoy when I was a kid?
When in doubt, go to the internet! I get a ton of my lessons off of Pinterest. There is no judgement in that. Some of my favorite websites for lessons are ministry-to-children.com (this one is literally the bomb) and DLTK-Bible.
I also will sometimes cover the same story in two different series. For example, we did a series of King David. During that, we did the story about how David cut a piece of Saul’s robe off but spared his life. About two months later, we were talking about the Beautitudes and we covered the same story when we talked about being merciful.
I don’t teach the same thing every day, but I don’t shy away from repeats when it happens that way. It reinforces to students that it is important, and also that the same story has many different parts to it.
Also, the repetition helps them remember.
3. Find Something Else to Do
You can’t just talk and talk and talk. They will not have fun, not pay attention, and not listen to a word you say. Find some activities to do with the kids. Games, songs, videos, and crafts. You don’t need all, but one or two.
I try not to do the same thing for longer than 20 minutes. They do not have attention spans large enough. Think: if you have one hour to teach, try 20 minutes of lesson, 20 minutes or crafts, and 20 minutes of games. It doesn’t always have to be the same, just don’t talk for an hour straight.
Extra tip: pick something fun to do at the end. That way during the lesson you can say, “If you do a good job, then we can play a game at the end!”
4. Don’t forget to pray
Jesus is why you are there, right? Pray for your kids. Pray for with your kids. Ask them to pray with you.
Need more help? Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments!