2Myths about teaching Sunday School You have to know the Bible backwardsand forwards if you’re going to teachMyth Busted!Reading the Bible is a great practice for your own faith, but you don’t have to be a Biblical scholar to teach children about God. What’s important is that you take time to familiarize yourself with the Bible story in your lesson so that you can teach with confidence.
3Myths about teaching Sunday School You have to have your faith all figured outMyth Busted!It’s ok if you don’t have your faith figured out, because it means you are still growing. And teaching children about God can even help you grow in your faith. Do take time to pray and ask for guidance if something stumps you.
4Myths about teaching Sunday School You have to have all the answersthe to the questions children may ask youMyth Busted!It is impossible to predict what kind of questions children will ask you. But, if you have an answer, go ahead and share it! If you don’t have an answer tell them so. You can also turn the question around and ask them what they think. You will be surprised to hear what they have to say.
5Children’s Faith Development: ClassFaith StageWhat to expectPreschool(ages 3-5)Will mix fantasy and reality together; imagination is formed; unable to think abstractlyFaith is developed through stories, images, people, and experiences. Preschool children will need something to touch, taste, feel, and see to go with the Bible story.Children will be egocentric. They will have difficulty seeing from other’s perspective.ElementaryClasses(ages 6-11)Understands stories literally; still thinks in concrete ways; able to step back from story to find overarching meaningThey are sorting out real from make-believe. They will be interested to know that people in the Bible were real and not characters from a story or superheroes.Children can imagine other’s feelings and perspective.Children can find the “moral of the story”Pair abstract ideas with concrete actions (i.e. explaining love with hugs)
6Prayer with ChildrenTeaching children how to pray is one of the greatest ways we can help them form their faith. There are many different ways to pray and types of prayer to use, and the following slides offer some suggestions. Experiment or stick to what you are comfortable with. Variety is great. And if you aren’t comfortable with any of these types of prayer, you can bring one in that is already printed. What is important is that children see adults pray so they can follow the example.
7The Alphabet PrayerPick a letter from the alphabet and ask them to think of something that starts with that letter to be thankful for. Then say a quick prayer thanking God for all the things they said.“Dear God, thank you for apples, Alice, alligators, and everything that starts with the letter ‘A.’ Amen.”
8The Echo PrayerSay a simple prayer with simple words in small parts, so that children can repeat what you say. You will need to tell them to repeat after you.“Dear God (dear God),thank you for this day (thank you…),and thank you (and thank…)for loving us (for loving…).Amen (Amen).”
9Teacher Led PrayerYou can say a prayer out loud for the children, using your own words. Just keep it short so they don’t lose interest (kids have short attention spans) and use words they will understand.
10Fill in the Blank Prayer This kind of prayer is more for the older students. With heads bowed and eyes closed, you start them off with a sentence and the class fills in the blank. You can go in rounds so everyone says something, or they can speak over each other. Both are fine. Here is a simple format, but you can use your own.“Lord God, we thank you for ______________. Please help us with________________. We love you because __________.In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
11The Teaspoon (tsp) Prayer The Teaspoon Prayer uses “tsp” as a guide to praying. The letters stand for Thank, Sorry, and Please. You can use this prayer like the Fill in the Blank Prayer, letting the children finish the sentences starting with “Thank you for… I’m sorry that…Please…” Or you can make it conversational like the Alphabet Prayer by listening to their “tsp” prayer requests, and then saying an overarching prayer at the end.
12The Important Stuff God is already present with you in that classroom. Prayer goes a long way.The kids are all children of God and so are you.How you treat the children and act in front of them will teach them as much about faith as the actual curriculum. Show them love, grace, kindness, and patience in what you do and say.
13You Got This!Thank you again for serving Central’s children in Sunday School! Just by volunteering, you have already taught the children that they are loved and are important. Just let the Holy Spirit flow and let prayer guide you, and you’re going to be great!