‘That worked really well, Mum’ was the feedback from my daughter after I’d tried something different in Sunday School for the first time. This was not in line with her usual, occasionally indifferent, often critical, always brutally honest critique.
I’m not sure how others measure what a good session looks like. Over the years my metrics have shifted. I’d sometimes thought a session went well if everyone sat down to listen to the whole story or made a piece of craft they were pleased to take home or if no-one tried to escape. Now that I’ve been doing this longer, there are 2 things that gladden my heart more than anything.
1. Can they tell me at the end of the session something new they’ve learnt about our amazing God and awesome Saviour?
2. Do some of them opt into the ‘no pressure’ popcorn prayers?
In this particular week, for the first time ever, everyone shared what they’d learnt and everyone prayed. As a bonus, they all seemed to have had fun, too! As a Mum of children in Sunday School, I am far more desperate for their hearts to be engaged than I am for them to remember the story precisely or to create a beautiful craft.
I’m new to Faith in Kids resources. At our church, the younger group has recently started using them and is working though ‘Meals with Jesus’. The 10 plus age-group usually do a classic bible study, with added games. Our vicar wanted to break their sessions up and have a more discussion-based session once a month and this is when I came across the ‘Faith in Kids for Kids’ podcasts. I listened to the first ‘Meals with Jesus’ podcast and thought it could easily be adapted to use on a Sunday, so I gave it a go.
I’ve since used ‘Meals with Jesus’ podcasts twice. We sit around a Bluetooth speaker and eat popcorn while we listen. Last Sunday, we used the ‘Mary and Martha’ episode, which is all about listening to Jesus. We paused when the podcast hosts asked questions about listening, so that we could talk about our answers together. I also brought some Lego so we could create something we liked listening to. We then continued the podcast, stopping at the Bible verse. One of our group read out the story and then we listened to it being read on the podcast while acting it out with lots of laughter and the help of a few scarves, a chair and some imaginary cooking / cleaning equipment.
The podcast has great questions for different age groups, so we paused again and talked about a time when we listened (or should have listened) to God rather than someone else. This week we also sang the song at the end, too. We finished with each person in the group talking about what they’d learnt. Someone who’s usually silent talked about understanding the bigger picture and how we can get so caught up in the day to day we don’t listen to or see what (who) is really most important. I nearly fell off my chair! They wouldn’t call themselves a Christian and they didn’t pray, but they might not mind coming back next time. God can do amazing things when we open the bible … either in physical or podcast form.
The Lord is at work! Leading Sunday School for me can sometimes feel like a bumpy ride, but I’ll settle for being outside my personal comfort zone if children I love meet with their heavenly Father and want to hear more from him.
Karen lives in Southwest London with her 2 children (12 and 14), her husband and their pet rabbit, Pepper. During the week she can be found working in a hospital and once a month she helps in Sunday School at All Saints Wandsworth.