With the start of Sunday School right around the corner, the following are 30 ideas that can help promote Sunday School ministry in your congregation throughout the year. These have been compiled by Lori Aadsen, LCMS Children’s Ministry:
1. Offer Prayers of dedication for staff and families in all worship services.
2. Introduce the teaching staff and other volunteers in all worship services.
3. List the teachers’ names, brief bio, and grade level in the bulletin (Include pictures).
4. Create the entire worship service around Christian education and children’s ministry.
5. Serve lunch or special refreshments after the services in celebration of a new Sunday school year.
6. Provide a corsage/boutonniere or button for all the staff.
7. Hang Sunday school celebration banners in the entryway, hallway, or narthex.
8. Select two or three children to briefly share what they like about Sunday school, midweek school, or VBS (have an essay contest with prizes for all entries).
9. Develop a “Prayer Partner” program where members of the congregation choose a teacher or child to pray for and send cards and small gifts to during the year.
10. Create a slide presentation of past Sunday school classes, programs, and events. Display it in the fellowship area or during the lunch.
11. Christmas ornaments, poinsettias, Easter lilies, or candy.
12. Teacher resource books.
13. Homemade cookies, candy, or other baked goodies.
14. Gift certificates to local restaurants or craft stores.
15. Fresh flowers or potted plants.
16. Mugs, tote bags, T-shirts, pens, pencils, or buttons.
17. Cards or thank-you booklets made by children and/or parents (be sure to include original children’s art, photos, and handwritten notes from children and parents.)
18. Breakfast, brunch, or lunch
19. Banquet, potluck dinner, or dessert
20. Family picnic, barbecue, pizza party, or ethnic feast
21. Short program after eating or a full evening program
22. Concert or guest speaker.
23. Make all teachers feel appreciated and important. (Include Sunday morning and weekday staff and the nursery staff!)
24. Articulate the purpose and benefits of the teaching ministry.
25. Ask these questions: How did you get started teaching? What do you remember about the first class you taught? What is one of your favorite parts of teaching? Why do you still volunteer time teaching? How have you benefited from being a Sunday school teacher?
26. Feature a different teacher or department each week in the bulletin, newsletter, or Web site. Include photos, interests, profession, hobbies, and family information. Print quotes from teachers about why they enjoy teaching children about Jesus.
27. Send birthday cards to teachers as well as children–and be alert to other special occasions in their lives (job promotion, anniversary, new baby, etc.).
28. Designate one Sunday as Teacher Treat Day. Ask a parent from each class to bring a basket of muffins, cookies, or other treats to his or her child’s teacher. Don’t forget to include a thank-you note signed by all the children.
29. Place a bulletin board in a well-traveled area of the church facility. Feature a department or age level monthly. Use pictures of teachers and children engaged in activities.
30. Implement personal touches for your Sunday school ministry. Consider:
-Send welcome letters to new families
-Send home devotions from the Sunday school
-Create a brochure about your Sunday school. Distribute to the congregation and community.
-Distribute invitations to the congregation for Christmas programs and other Sunday school events.
-Send “hands-on” take-home activities to involve families.
-Begin parent-teacher conferences.
-Conduct home visits.