California government has mandated no gatherings of more than 250 people for the rest of March because of the contagious coronavirus. Therefore, in submission to government (Romans 13:1) and to demonstrate kindness to our community (1 Peter 2:12), my large local church will be closed for gatherings on Sundays for a few weeks. With modern technology, we will still be able to access a live streamed sermons on Sunday morning, but as a Sunday School teacher, I’m going to miss my classroom of students! I really want to encourage families to have Sunday School at home.
Don’t miss this great opportunity to train your children to listen to church sermons by practicing skills while live streaming the sermon at home. Have them join you and participate in every part, opening the Bible to follow along with reading, bowing in prayer, and singing at home, which might make you miss blending your voice in a larger crowd. Show your children how to outline or take notes, a skill you might need to work on, too. For younger kids, tell them the main idea or key phrase and have them “note” whenever they hear it. Take some time afterwards to answer questions, find applications, and respond to God with praise and supplication based on what you learned.
Sunday School should be a fun place for children to gather and play safely while parents attend sermons and Bible classes, but it shouldn’t be mere babysitting. I have enjoyed asking my 4-year-old students why their parents bring them to Sunday School, and these children know that they come to learn about God, Jesus and the Bible (the big three answers to everything!) The two key components of Sunday School can be replicated at home with your family.
1. Read the Bible
For this, the only resource you really need is your Bible. Pick a passage and read it out loud. Define any words or big ideas. Talk about what we can see and learn about God. Be careful to identify what God wants us to learn from this passage, not our opinions about it. Then reread the passage again with a better understanding.
It’s great when children hear their parents read the Bible. I always told my children that we were teaching them to read so that they could read the Bible for themselves, so it’s also good to give children a chance to read Scripture out loud to you, too. If you need help understanding Scripture, go ahead and use trusted resources like a study Bible or commentary, dictionaries, or curriculum.
2. Reinforce the Bible Lesson
Don’t worry about having everything together before you lead Sunday School at home. Let your children help you gather craft materials, pick songs to sing, make a prayer list for adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication, and even find activities or fix snacks that are inspired by the Bible lesson. All of these fun elements of Sunday School are meant to reinforce the Bible lesson and provoke worship of God with praise and thanksgiving. There are lots of resources out there to buy, or do it yourself with whatever you’ve got to “play” Sunday School at home. Here are a few places to start for ideas:
- A Recipe for Shiny Color
- Creative Family Thanksgiving Activities
- Make cards or write notes with finished coloring pages to send to friends and family
Family Bible Study Resources:
- How to Prepare a Sunday School Lesson (with a booklet of four lessons from Revelation)
- Thanksgiving Bible Study of Psalm 100 to do with older children
- A Bible Study for Our Country to do with older children
- Sunday School curriculum from Generations of Grace or Answers in Genesis
Finally, I want to share a few resources to encourage you in these uncertain times:
- When Thoughts Become Anxiety
- A Beautiful Remedy for Anxiety
- Training before Trials
- Gripping Fear and the Corona Virus from Lisa LaGeorge
- The Gospel
Please let me know what you did for Sunday School at home this week!