*Have a special Sunday school bulletin board. Change monthly with a different theme.
*On the Sunday school bulletin board, highlight a classroom each month with pictures and artwork.
*Use the bulletin board to announce upcoming events.
*Use the bulletin board to display pictures of the mission that the children are collecting money for - may even have a thermometer to show amount collected.
*Have a picture of a church displaying the attendance weekly on a bar graph. Community:
*Show the Kid's Connection on your local cable TV station.
*Advertise Sunday school in local papers.
*Put posters on/at intersections or community bulletin boards. Could also put at grocery and convenience stores.
*Put Sunday school on the congregation Web page.
*Have a friendship Sunday. Invite a friend/neighbor to Sunday school.
*Send out flyers (or door hangers - similar to VBS) inviting the neighborhood to an open house for Sunday school.
*After VBS, follow-up with non-church children who came to VBS inviting them to Sunday school.
*Organize an Easter Extravaganza for the community with games, prizes, crafts,and an egg hunt. Present a devotion or the Easter account using puppets, or a drama team.
*Invite the community to a Jesus Birthday Celebration on a Saturday before Christmas. Offer free child care so the parents can do their
Christmas shopping. Teach the children the Christmas account and have them present a drama when they return to pick them up.
*Host a Fall Festival as a alternative to Halloween. Include traditional pumpkin carving, apple bobbing, and a costume contest depicting Christian men and women from the past. End the evening with an informal family worship.
*Offer a "living Christmas card" to your community. Use real animals, people, and costumes. Hand out tracts inviting children and parents to Sunday school and
Christmas worship services. Congregation:
*Develop a Sunday school logo.
*Create a t-shirt with a Sunday school logo (or saying) in bright colors: I love Sunday school at __________ Church.
*Celebrate baptism birthdays.
*Develop a "parent support group" to do things like: provide cookies for treats, put on short plays (or act out stories), wrap Sunday school gifts, do bulletin board displays.
*Create a Sunday school newsletter.
*One Sunday a month, have either the pastor or superintendent take a few minutes at the beginning or end of the church service to inform the congregation of Sunday school "happenings." Or someone could record 2-3 minutes of footage and display it at this time (similar to the WELS connection).
*Plan social events or parties (hayrides, plays, Camp Snoopy - Mall of America, bowling games) or a dinner at church.
*Do banners or posters together and order pizza while working on it.
*Have a member of the congregation speak to the classes (maybe from the Evangelism Committee or some special story or talent).
*Have a Grandparent's Day (or adopt one for the day).
*Have children cut out hearts, put a verse on them, pass them out to members on Valentine's Day. (Could also be done with other objects for other seasons of the year).
*Display an attendance board with an attendance winner for each week. (Use highest percentage per class).
*Have a program for parents reviewing Bible stories.
*Have a Sunday school kickoff: A family night including a meal; opportunity to visit classrooms and meet teachers.
*Have other family nights - perhaps seasonal (pumpkin carving, making scripture hearts,etc.) Connecting the Family and Sunday school
*Establish a nursery that offers a welcoming, loving environment for children while parents attend Bible study or worship.
*Nursery activities are not just for church. The nursery can expand its activities to include Bible study groups, play groups, babysitting co-ops, and child care for choir practice, teachers' meetings, parenting classes, and much more.
*Many congregations offer parenting classes on a regular basis as a part of their Sunday morning Bible study curriculum. Other opportunities exist by offering a brown-bag lunch or evenings coupled with activities for children.
*Puppets and drama teams can be an integral part of any family program.
They may be used during Sunday school, VBS, midweek program, preschool, children's church or even in worship service. Puppet/drama teams are usually comprised of adults and teens who enjoy drama and working with children.
*The weekly worship service can be planned to actively involve families and children. Ways to do this include: a children's lesson; at least one song for the children; children's bulletins; worship bags filled with Bible story books, crayons, and tablets; children's choir or bell choir; children's acolytes; family greeters; family choirs, family instrumental groups, and seating where the children can see and hear in order to participate.
*Invite parents to attend Sunday school with their children to observe the teachers modeling his or her faith, and to begin to learn parenting and teaching skills that they can use at home.
*Designate seasonal sessions of Sunday school as a family event.
*Christmas and Easter are ideal times for families to gather together for
Bible study, group projects, and fellowship.
*Offer a Baptism class to parents who are expecting their first child.
*Explain to parents-to-be the meaning of Baptism and aspects of nurturing faith at home.
*Plan and schedule family field trips (picnic, zoo, aquarium, baseball game, bowling party, theme park, museum, concert, retreat). Always include a time for devotion and prayer.
*Plan special Sundays to add interest and fun to the schedule. Ideas include: crazy hat day, bring a friend day, ice cream Sunday party, family Advent celebration, family scavenger hunt, family video night, family talent show, family wacky olympics, Bible story trivia contest, make a t-shirt contest. Christian Education Month
*First Sunday: Sunday school opening service for families and congregation members. Dedicate the use of the new Christ-Light® Religion Curriculum.
*Second Sunday: Adopt a mission field for the Sunday school year. Make a display and invite someone from WELS World Missions or Lutheran Women's Missionary Society to speak to the children. Help the children to become acquainted with the missionaries and their families. Write letters and send e-mail to the mission field.
*Third Sunday: Plan an afternoon outing for families. Consider going to a baseball game or roller skating rink.
*Fourth Sunday: Have a Sunday school open house. Invite grandparents and parents to attend. Schedule the children to sing an anthem during the Sunday worship service. End the morning with a potluck dinner and program. Have the small children dramatize a Bible story or lead a hymn sing.Source: Divinity Lutheran Church, St. Paul, Minnesota
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