I’m always intrigued as to how people find out about Illustrated Ministry. More often than not, people arrive here from Facebook, Pinterest or other direct links people share. However, often people will get here from their Google searches, and there has been a particular Google search that has shown up a few times in the past week or two.
From what I can tell, about 10-20 people have arrived at Illustrated Ministry by typing this into Google:
Teaching sunday school no one else will.
No one else will.
I’m not entirely sure how to understand that. But when I read it – it sounds like there is desperation behind that statement. And what do we do when we’re desperate? We search Google.
Teaching Sunday School Shouldn’t Be That Hard
First, let me say that there are absolutely people who have the gifts and skills that naturally lead them into the ministry of teaching, specifically with children. And with lots of different master-level programs and certification programs for becoming Christian educators, I don’t want to take anything away from any of those avenues of receiving education about teaching.
But I just think teaching Sunday School shouldn’t be that hard. It shouldn’t be something that causes us to feel inadequate. It shouldn’t be something that makes us nervous because we don’t know all the “Bible stuff” or the answers to some of the hard (or crazy) questions kids might ask. It shouldn’t be something that only a handful of people in your church do, because that can easily lead to burnout and kids should be able to develop relationships with a greater amount of adults in your faith community.
Part of what I hope Illustrated Ministry does for people in the church is to help take away some of the “magic” and “fear” behind the idea of teaching and working with the children in our faith communities and in our homes.
If your volunteer teachers are worried that they don’t know enough to teach kids, maybe you haven’t fully communicated to them that educating and forming children has much more to do with relationships, caring adults in their lives and an openness to have conversations, rather than about giving them the right answers.
If your curriculum scares off potential teachers because it’s too long, too involved or just too confusing or boring, maybe you’re using the wrong curriculum. The Bible is an amazing storybook – so just tell the stories! Building community and having fun with each other is important, but you don’t need a bunch of fancy animated videos, games, activities or workbooks to have a fun and engaging Sunday School class.
An Illustrated Earth: Celebrating God’s Creation
If there is any part of the year when your most diligent and faithful teachers might be googling “teaching sunday school no one else will” – it’s probably the summer. As we’ve talked about before, summer Sunday School is often one of the great unsolvable problems in churches today. I know from experience that it’s very hard to find people who are willing to agree to teach during the summer, and so many churches just give up trying to offer anything to children and young families.
One of the main reasons we are creating An Illustrated Earth: Celebrating God’s Creation, is so churches will be able to have a resource that could easily work as a summer Sunday School offering that is not difficult to coordinate, is not overwhelming to plan for and does not require multiple trips to Michael’s or Hobby Lobby to gather craft items for the massive suggested supply list.
With An Illustrated Earth, your volunteers and leaders will gather kids together with an opening activity, read a Bible story, have some open-ended conversation about the story, create a piece of community art to share with your congregation, and help kids connect the stories from the Bible with the stories of their lives. If you want to see a sample lesson from the curriculum, you can download it here.
We aren’t saying that An Illustrated Earth is the answer to all of your summer Sunday School problems, but maybe after hundreds of churches use it this summer, there might be fewer people googling “teaching sunday school no one else will.”