As we discussed last week, many churches haven’t figured out the solution to the problem of summer Sunday School. Well, actually, there are many problems tied up in this one program:
- Who will teach? Many churches want to give their teachers a well-deserved break from teaching, since many will do it throughout the school year. Many churches have their Christian Education hour during worship (which we are not fans of – but we know it’s a reality for so many churches), and so teachers enjoy having the chance to actually be in worship during the summer. And some churches believe they have a very small pool of potential teachers; if the regular teachers don’t teach in the summer, who will?
- Who will come? Will anyone come? Everyone knows we’re not in the Field of Dreams-era of church and program life anymore. In the past, you could build a program, and the people would come. That’s simply not our reality anymore. Will young families come to worship in the summer? Some will. Some won’t. And it’s quite possible that even fewer will come if there are no options for their kids. Regardless of the theological implications, many parents covet those 45 minutes when their kids are in Sunday School and they get to feel like adults again, sitting in worship, singing, praying, and hearing a sermon.
- What will we teach? So what do we teach in the summer if we’re going to go ahead and try it? Do we invest in expensive church curriculum, some that are over $300 just for the summer months, when we don’t have a guarantee of how many children will show up? How do I order pamphlets/lesson sheets for the children when we have no idea what our numbers are going to be?
It’s not an easy decision.
Illustrated Ministry is trying to make that decision a little bit easier for you this summer with our new product, An Illustrated Earth: Celebrating God’s Creation.
An Illustrated Earth: Celebrating God’s Creation
We wanted to create a resource that could work for you in a variety of settings, with any number of children participating. We wanted it to be flexible, adaptable and fun. But more importantly – we wanted it to involve little to no prep time. With An Illustrated Earth, if you have children that show up for Sunday School, you will have a quality resource you can use to have a fun and engaging Sunday School class with them, and you won’t have had to put any time into the preparation of it. Likewise, if no one shows up next Sunday, you don’t feel frustrated or bitter, because you didn’t have to spend any prep time on the class, and so you can just save that lesson for next time.
An Illustrated Earth can be used throughout the entire summer as a summer Sunday School program. However, because of the way it is structured, it could also be used if you’re creating your own Vacation Bible School and are looking for content and activities. It could also be used as an intergenerational activity throughout the summer as well. There are many possibilities.
Below are a few details about An Illustrated Earth, but for all of the information, including a list of the stories that will be used, be sure to check out the product page for An Illustrated Earth: Celebrating God’s Creation.
Summer Sunday School Solution: An Illustrated Earth
An Illustrated Earth includes three modules of four lessons each. The theme is celebrating God’s Creation, and so you will find stories about creation, food, plants, water, and animals. Each lesson includes the following:
- Opening Gathering Activity
- Bible Story
- Questions for reflection
- Coloring (either small sheets or large posters)
- Short prayer
Coloring Options: There will be a coloring component for each week (12 different designs), and you will have the option of just having kids color a small version, or order large coloring posters. The digital downloads of An Illustrated Earth‘s modules will come with 8.5×11 versions of the coloring designs. But you will also have the opportunity to purchase large 36″x24″ coloring posters as well. If you know you will have multiple classrooms, you may want to purchase more than one set of the posters, or make sure you also purchase the digital files so you can print more of them.
To learn all of the details about An Illustrated Earth, please be sure to check out the product page, which will include a listing of the Bible stories the curriculum focuses on, as well as to learn about the different ordering options for the resource. We are really excited to share this product with you, and we are confident this will be a very strong curriculum option for both churches that regularly have a summer Sunday School program, and for those who have been thinking about it, but haven’t yet figured out how to pull it off in their context.
We would love your help getting the word out about An Illustrated Earth. Please just take a few seconds and share about this on Facebook and Twitter. Thanks!
An Illustrated Earth is your summer Sunday School solution. This 3-module, 12-week curriculum celebrating God’s creation…
Posted by Illustrated Ministry on Tuesday, April 12, 2016
An Illustrated Earth is a new resource for summer Sunday School or VBS programs. 3 modules, 12 weeks and coloring! https://t.co/Ub66gtSv7u
— Children’s Ministry (@IllustratedCM) April 13, 2016
I’m interested in this but haven’t seen any reference to appropriate ages. My assumption is that this is for the “One Room Schoolhouse” model of all ages of children together but would love to get a better idea of the ages and development focused in this curriculum. It looks as though the level of detail in the coloring pages may also make it more difficult for our preschool/young children. For whom is the curriculum designed?
Adam Walker Cleaveland says
Martha, thanks for your comment. And it is a good question. We believe this is ideally for the “One Room Schoolhouse” model for children of all ages. Our curriculum is being written with K-5 children in mind.
In terms of the coloring pages – I really heard your comment, and have heard that before from a few folks as well. So I went through the four coloring sheets in Module 1 this weekend and redid them all. What I will be having is a more basic (“easier”) version of the coloring sheet that will be provided in the 8.5×11 format. And then the larger poster format will be a more detailed coloring poster, but will still be easy and accessible for all ages because it will be so much bigger. I poster the new photos here so I would encourage you to take a look at them.