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  • Children’s Biblical Story Assessment

    Do you want to know what your children know about the Bible? Here is an assessment that is intended to be given to children at end of the 5th grade level and/or leaving the Children’s Church for the Youth group. This 13 question assessment was developed by Tom Bougher to help you evaluate your Discipleship processes.

  • A Soldier Has Died

    On a lone weekend day an early A.M. phone call was received that announced the death of a soldier. This particular soldier is not well known and the death followed an all too familiar lament – died in the line of duty.

  • 10 Small Group Questions

    Adult Resource Consultant, Tom Bougher, discusses 10 questions to ask about your small group ministry.

  • 360 Disciple: Communicating for Maturity

    Assistant General Superintendent Alton Garrison begins discussing effective communication from chapter five of his book The 360 Degree Disciple.

  • 360 Disciple: Leadership Wrap-Up

    Alton Garrison wraps up his discussion on leadership as he finishes going through chapter 4 of the 360 Degree Disciple.

View full archive of What's New.

Articles: Sunday School

  • A Soldier Has Died

    On a lone weekend day an early A.M. phone call was received that announced the death of a soldier. This particular soldier is not well known and the death followed an all too familiar lament – died in the line of duty.

  • 10 Small Group Questions

    Adult Resource Consultant, Tom Bougher, discusses 10 questions to ask about your small group ministry.

  • 360 Disciple: Communicating for Maturity

    Assistant General Superintendent Alton Garrison begins discussing effective communication from chapter five of his book The 360 Degree Disciple.

  • Growth in Sunday School and Small Groups: An Acts 2 Webinar

    An archive of a webinar event with Dan Stanley that occured on December 4, 2010. This is the third webinar in a series discussing the Acts 2 process and how it incoporates into Sunday School and Small Groups.

  • Sunday School - On Purpose!

    You read it right … Sunday School -On Purpose! This article has been written for the express purpose of getting you to re-evaluate your discipleship processes and weigh the advantages of a Sunday School ministry.

  • Connect More! Webinar Archive

    View the archive of Tom Bougher's webinar, Connect More!

  • Five Steps for a Fabulous Fall

    Having great classes doesn't have to be hard. Here are five tips to get your class off to a great start this fall.

  • Want Better Grades? Go to Church

    What do church and good grades have in common? Check out this article from Christianity Today to find out.

  • 2010 Teacher of the Year Interview

    Wes Bartel sits down with 2010 Teacher of the Year, Peggy Southerland, and her husband Jurl.

  • Teaching for Life Change

    Wes Bartel discusses teaching for life change and how to help your students apply the word of God to their lives.

  • Bible Study for Teachers

    The Bible stands at the center of Christian education. It is our main textbook, our training manual and the primary source of God's revelation to us. Without the Bible you can't have Christian education.

  • Finally, I Understood the Bible

    I became a Christian shortly after I was married. My husband was in the army in Arkansas. He had been saved just before we married.

  • The Word of God Leads to Salvation

    The central figure of the story you are about to read is presently the Kids’ Church Pastor of Timberline Church in Fort Collins, Colorado where he ministers to over 400 children every weekend.

  • The Word of God Transforms Lives

    Inga attends Tacoma Life Center in Tacoma, Washington. She has quizzed for one year and has memorized two books of the Bible. This is her first person account of how memorizing the Word of God transformed her life—and a friend’s!

  • The Word of God Builds Faith

    Read this mother’s account of how her child’s knowledge of Scripture encouraged his whole family during a dark period of their lives.

  • Tough Bible Questions

    Teachers: Can you dialogue with your students about these tough Bible questions?

  • The Food of the Bible

    On May 19, 1845, 129 men led by Sir John Franklin set sail from England to discover and chart the fabled Northwest Passage.

  • Teacher Commissioning Service

    Honor and Validate the ministry of your teachers.

  • Apologetics

    “Americans revere the Bible—but by and large, they don’t read it. And because they don’t read it, they have become a nation of biblical illiterates.” — George Gallup

  • The ABCs of Apologetics for Kids

    Christian kids will encounter questions about their faith through peers, teachers, and even parents. As their spiritual mentor, you can help them develop apologetics for their faith—and also equip them to discover biblical answers for themselves in the future.

  • Getting Into the Meat of the Word with Kids

    Young children love hearing “adventure” Bible stories like Noah’s ark and Moses and the burning bush. As children grow, however, they will want to delve more deeply into these Bible stories. They will need to develop a personal understanding of their faith.

  • The Bill Irwin Story

    Video Featuring Bill Irwin

  • Create Your Own Sunday School or Small Group Website

    Use these tips, resources, and links to create your own Sunday School or small group website.

  • The Proper Care and Feeding of Teachers

    Five practical ways to support and honor teachers.

  • Core Disciplemakers

    As Christians, we are all called to be disciples. But a select few are chosen, as Christ chose His intimate followers, to be core instructors.

  • Sunday School: The Largest Discipleship Ministry

    An adult class may open with coffee and doughnuts and 10 minutes of small talk. Children sometimes enjoy a game before their lesson. High school or college students might incorporate a skit or human video. Seating arrangements can be a circle of chairs or a section of pews in the sanctuary. All these scenarios are different faces of one vital ministry: Sunday school.

  • I have a dream

    Interview With Scott Davis, Daniel DeLeon, and Randal Ross

  • The Landon Altizer Story

    Choosing Obedience

  • A Tale of Two Churches: The Case for Rousing the Sleeping Giant

    By Rob Burkhart

    (The story of these two churches is true. Names, dates, places, statistics, and other details have been altered.)

  • Where They Want to Be

    It is remarkable what people will put themselves through to be where they want to be.

    By Michael H. Clarensau

  • The Pastor: Key to a Vibrant, Growing Sunday School

    While specific factors related to organization and emphases are important, the differentiating factor between healthy Sunday schools and unhealthy Sunday schools is often the active and visible support of the pastor.

  • A Model for Sunday School

    How would you like to go to an exciting Sunday School class every Sunday? If you live in Humble, Texas or are within driving distance, you can. It has been my privilege to go there for several years now.

  • I Have a Dream for Christian Education

    Enthusiastic proponents of Christian education share a desire with the Psalmist when he said, "I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you" (Psalm 119:11, NIV).

  • My Garage Sunday School

    By Patricia Brown and Ken Horn, Managing Editor of Today’s Pentecostal Evangel

  • Sunday School Is a Necessity

    One of the worst mistakes I made as a pastor was to allow a few people to convince me that Sunday School was no longer relevant or important. As a result, we canceled it.

  • The Pentecostal Frontier

    The late Elton Trueblood, advocate for Christian learning and discipleship, once compared the state of the church to that of Rome in the moments when its empire began to wane...

  • Facilities, Furnishings, and Technology

    The Classroom of the Twenty-First Century

  • Do Methods Matter?

    Although methods in themselves are not sacred, as we address spiritual issues, we must base our methods of evangelism, discipleship and church growth on the revealed principles and directives of God’s word...

  • From the Director: Answering the Call to Teach

    The scene was strangely reminiscent of race day at Churchill Downs. Fifteen bodies strained forward, intent on the ringing of the bell. When it sounded, they burst from the room, as though released from a lifetime of captivity...

  • From the Director: Making Children a Priority

    "What you believe by the time you are thirteen is what you will die believing."

    What an amazing and frightening statement! It is a statement taken from a recent study published by the Barna Research Group. This study in reality challenges us to rethink the whole issue of our priorities within the church and within the home.

  • From the Director: From Dread to Discipleship

    It seems strange that a community could come to dread a day of the week but that happened in Gloucester, England in the eighteenth century. Instead of inspiration and rest, Sunday became a day of dread for much of the population.

  • From the Director: How Do Churches Grow?

    That question has birthed a publishing phenomenon. Ministers' libraries are filled with books that portend to give advice on "How to grow a church in five easy steps" or "How to grow from 70 to 7,000 in 7 months."

  • Active Students + Active Learning = Active Faith

    In Sunday School, we want to teach God’s Word in such a way that God’s Spirit can activate faith in the everyday lives of students. We are not trying to turn young children into "Sunday Christians" who know how to look and act in a church building. We want them to become seven-day-a-week disciples. When Bible lessons include active learning methods that match everyday activities, children find it easier to apply God’s ideas to everyday events.

  • Building a T.E.A.M. Spirit

    Baudeville, a company that specializes in affirmation resources, has created a line of T.E.A.M. The letters stand for "Together Everyone Accomplishes More." Has that been your experience? Maybe we could adapt their acronym for Sunday School to, "T.E.A.M. Together Everyone Achieves Ministry."

  • Curriculum and You

    Which is more important in your Sunday School–the curriculum or you?

  • Grouping for Early Childhood Learning

    All of the positive learning elements teacher s want to provide for young children will be very difficult if not impossible, unless some basic guidelines are followed when organizing groups of children. Just because it is possible to cram a large number of youngsters into one room does not mean it is desirable. A church that truly cares about providing loving, quality nurture for little ones will put a high priority on organizing its ministries for this age group so that effective learning experiences really can be provided.

  • Learning Together

    "I don’t want to play with you." "Don’t sit by me. I want to sit by Jeremy." Young children unintentionally hurt one another, because they are naturally self-centered. They see all their relationships and experiences from one perspective—their own.

  • R.E.T.R.A.I.N.

    Thoughts to ponder at the beginning of a new year

    "Without training, we tend to teach the way we were taught."

    "By giving up good, it’s possible to become great!"

  • Romans 12:1 Living

    Children frequently memorize Romans 12:1, but how do they put the concept of sacrifice into practice? They need living examples to help them learn about sacrificial living. In the months since September 11, 2001, children have seen up-to-date examples of sacrificial living. Firemen, policemen, steelworkers, and even rescue dogs worked sacrificially at Ground Zero. The nation applauded their efforts, praised their courage, and admired their sacrifice.

  • Toddlers' Learning Styles

    Tips for teaching and working with toddler age children

  • Using the Thinking Chair

    The Thinking Chair as a tool for discipline

  • What Preschoolers Want Grown-Ups To Know

    Tips for teaching preschoolers

  • God Grows Kids—You Can Help!

    Proverbs 22:6 says: “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it” (NIV). Many Christians interpret this to mean if you train a child in spiritual things, that child will grow into a God-fearing adult, too. But how can you tell if the child is truly embracing the greater truths of the Bible as Jesus taught? How can you help strengthen children spiritually so when they are grown, they will live for the Lord?

  • Tips for Time-Challenged Teachers

    Managing your time in the elementary classroom.

  • Make Your Own Music!

    Music should be a vital part of your Sunday School class time! You should use music to welcome the early birds to class and to start every event. Students love to march, walk, and hop to the next part of class. Those wiggly kids need the time to get up and move! Plan time for that to happen as they rotate to the next learning center.

  • Building a Successful Teaching Team

    Ask children's pastors what are their greatest needs in children's ministry, and most will say getting enough qualified workers is among their top three concerns. Our hectic society puts time at a premium, and most people feel they are already stretched to the limit. Yet, despite busy schedules, many concerned Christians want to contribute time and resources to expand the kingdom of God. How can we help them be involved in Christian education? One answer is team teaching.

  • Humor in the Classroom

    Is humor appropriate in the Sunday School class or children’s church? Yes. Humor helps break down walls of fear or distrust. It can heal a child’s hurts and anger. It helps all of us forget about our troubles or see them in a different light.

  • Middler Characteristics

    Spiritual Characteristics chart of middle elementary students

  • Parental Involvement

    Sunday School teachers play a vital role in the lives of Christian families. They provide an important link between the church and the home and are in a key position to encourage young families in regular Sunday School attendance.

  • Teaching Children to Share Their Faith

    Children who have had a genuine conversion experience want to share their faith with others but sometimes lack the understanding of where to begin. We can help by giving them practical experiences and training in the church setting. Here are some ideas to consider...

  • You Can Be a More Effective Teacher

    We have made several moves during our married life. Each time we looked for a good church in the area before we made our move. We realized the important influence the church would have on our family. We knew that if our children were strong spiritually, they could handle the challenges of life and would choose the right path in whatever situation they found themselves.

  • You Can Tell a Story

    Jesus was a storyteller.He taught deep spiritual truths through parables, referred to historic epics, and discussed the future in story form. Jesus realized the effectiveness of storytelling in teaching and set an example for us to follow.

  • Never Ask, "What Did You Learn in Sunday School?"

    The following material may be used in your parents’ newsletter, church bulletin, or a handout to be distributed as parents arrive at church with their children. The suggestions will help them enhance their children’s Sunday School experience.

  • 10 Habits for Teaching Teens

    The youth teacher can find success in instructing teens by recognizing the unique ways they learn. Consider the following 10 habits of a youth teacher who successfully instructs teens.

  • Are You a Student Teacher?

    Great teachers use class time well by being effective teachers. And they know that time outside of class — not as teachers but as students — is just as important.

  • Communicating the Gospel to Teens

    Regardless of our position in ministry, our purpose is to bring people to Jesus. In everything, we must be effective at communicating the good news of forgiveness and new life in Christ.

     

  • Compassion in Crisis: When a Teen Is Pregnant

    The circumstances are not unusual. Attitudes change during the teen years. Expectations become unreasonably high as to what merits attention. Some feel as if they have seen and done it all. They’ve put in their youth group time, and it’s no longer relevant. Perhaps they are just busier and more discriminating with their time. Church involvement takes the brunt of many schedules.

  • Grouping Youth for Learning

    Youth classes, especially Sunday School classes, have traditionally followed one of two grouping patterns: Plan "V" or Plan "G."

  • Keep the Campfire Burning

    Seldom will your students be involved in a more intense spiritual experience than summer youth camp. I’ve seen students practically dragged to the departure by their parents, sleeping bag in tow, only to return at week’s end ready to take their city for God.

  • Youth Sunday School as Disciple Maker

    It was evident at the Ascension, that the disciples were in desperate need of the boldness and insight of the Holy Spirit. Yet the implications of Jesus' parting command were quite clear–they would soon be doing with others what He had done with them. What happened in their lives between the call to come and be and the commission to go and make was discipleship in its purest form.

  • Outreach Ideas for Your Church and Community

    An easy way for your Sunday School to reach out to the surrounding community is to take care of the needs of the people who live there. Use any of these outreach ideas in your Sunday School class, or join together as an entire church.

  • Seniors Who Believe in Sunday School

    It is unlikely that either Helen Ackridge, 92, or Muriel Kelley, 90, anticipated the longevity of their respective ministries when they started them. Despite the ordinary and extraordinary challenges of life, both remain faithful to their callings: Ackridge teaches nursing home Bible studies three times a week and Kelley remains involved in her church after teaching a primary Sunday School class for more than 60 years.

  • Avoid Information Overload

    The sound of an electronic droplet announced the arrival of yet another E-mail message. Like the hundreds before, this E-mail shared new information to be added to my already overflowing mental reservoir. I found myself wanting to shout, "No more messages," only to hear the droplet as another message plopped into my crowded in box.

  • Back to the Future in Adult Education

    A number of years ago, moviegoers filled theaters to watch the comedy Back to the Future. The film’s basic premise was if a person could go back in time and change a single event, the ripple effect of the change would have lifelong consequences. People who viewed the film were challenged, consciously or unconsciously, to think about the impact each action they make has on their future and the future of the ones they love.

  • Becoming a Teacher People Love

    Love is the essence of making disciples. Instructing people in the faith requires quality material, skilled presentations, and leadership gifts. However, all these characteristics are readily available in the world, but what is not available there is a caring heart, motivated by the Holy Spirit, that places the highest priority on people. Christian disciple making is set apart by love for God and for each other that draws both leader and learner into the journey of spiritual growth.

  • Ministering to Mentally and Emotionally Challenged Students

    The last promise in the Bible is still in effect: "Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely" (Revelation 22:17). This applies to the mentally and emotionally disadvantaged as much as it does to those who have been spared the challenges of disabilities. We need to include them in all the Christian education activities of the church.

    The question is: How effectively do we present gospel truth to the mentally and emotionally disadvantaged adults in our Sunday Schools and churches?

  • Plan Learning Opportunities Adult Will Say YES To

    By Pamela Honan Peterson

  • Talk to Me: Facilitating Discussion

    The difference between a good class and a great one often is determined by one feature: discussion. We know students learn most effectively when they are actively involved. We know quality interaction draws students together, making their class a home rather than just a house.

  • Teach All Your Students

    A common trait among volunteer teachers is to teach others according to their own learning preferences. This is normal and would be fine if everyone learned in the same manner, but this is not the case. If only a small segment of your class seems to be "with you" while the rest seem to be "zoned out," you may be limiting your teaching approach to methods that appeal to your learning preference.

  • Guess Who’s Coming to Sunday School

    In the classic film, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, a prosperous white couple faced the prospect of meeting their daughter’s black fiancé and his family for the first time. Suddenly confronted by this drastic change in their lives and faced with a new reality, they were forced to choose between their values and their fears–the security of their past and the risks of the future.

  • The Sunday School and Its Community

    If we are to turn the world upside down for Christ, then we must first turn the church inside out. In other words, to fulfill its mission, the local church and the Sunday School must look beyond its walls and into its community. The responsibility for world outreach begins here, with an obligation to win the lost to Christ and to minister to each member of the community.

  • Guiding the Three-Generation Sunday School

    Dave A. Goetz of Leadership magazine lists multigenerational emphasis as one of the top 10 trends in the church world. He quotes Lyle Schaller, who said of this trend, "The only agreement among generations in the church can be captured in the statement, ’I want to leave more hopeful than I came.’ Worship styles, theology, technology—all divide. Churches that do well unite around a common cause. Too often, though, to try to make everyone happy, many churches unite around, ’Let’s take care of each other.’"

  • Keeping Newcomers with a Pastor’s Class

    Admiral Perry planted the American flag at the North Pole. To accomplish this feat, he employed a dog sled, three Eskimos, and an African-American named Matthew Henson. Years later Congress awarded Henson a medal for being part of the expedition. The medal’s inscription expressed Admiral Perry’s reason for selecting Henson to be part of the team: "I can’t get along without him."

    The church and the Sunday school are vital to reaching and keeping people. The pastor’s class for newcomers is one strategy we cannot get along without if we want to reach and keep people.

  • Inclusion Means Ending Racism

    by Billie Davis

    A sad dark face seemed to accuse me as I opened my morning paper. "Tears rolled from the eyes of the African-American teen," the front-page story began. She had found ugly racial words scrawled on her art-class project. The article called black/white relations in the school a "racial divide," and asked, "What can we do to bridge it?"

  • Is Your Sunday School Family Friendly?

    When salespeople want you to buy machines and equipment, they use the word friendly because they know you may be afraid of new technology. Facing change is like walking into a strange country, so they tell you a computer is "user friendly."

  • Sunday School Offers What Parents Want Most for their Children

    Most parents want help. I felt newly convinced of this as I viewed the amazing array of materials on parenting themes in a large bookstore. I counted 31 different periodicals and 875 book titles! Such a market exists because parents feel uncertain and are reaching out for advice on how to raise their children.

  • Parents are a Necessary Part

    A Sunday School teacher was shocked when a first grader said this in class. The teacher had asked the children to pay special attention to some words in a chorus. The child did not speak in rebellion but simply quoted her mother.

  • The Sunday School's Ministry to the Home

    The Sunday school can play a major role in enriching families.

  • Most of What We Need to Know About Parenting We Can Learn in Sunday School

    "I wish we could have a seminar for parents," the pastor of a small church wrote me. "I know parents need help, but we lack both money and personnel. Larger churches can offer people many special services. What’s a small church to do? How can we meet the changing needs of today’s parents?"

  • Teaching is a Unique Joy

    Do you remember a happy event that made you feel you were leaving childhood—that you were growing up? My event was the day I became a teacher. Well, not a real teacher at first. I was only 13.

  • It Is More Blessed To Give

    Good Sunday School teachers are always looking for opportunities to give. They freely offer time and energy. Often they find ways to give material help to a class member with obvious needs. One of the greatest gifts I received from a Sunday school teacher was an opportunity to be the giver.

  • Learning to Live the Life

    The rags-to-riches story of a man who found his passion

  • Teachers Make a Difference

    Some know him as the legal counsel for the Assemblies of God. Others, as a graduate of Harvard Law School. Some know him as an expert on tax law or the author of 40 books. In Springfield, Missouri, a group of fourth-grade boys know him as their Sunday School teacher. Richard has made a long-term (read 17-year) commitment to discipling boys so they will know and live by God's Word. Each week via e-mail, Richard updates parents about their sons' Bible lesson. Enjoy this sample.

  • The Teacher's Joy

    Joy is one of the outstanding identification marks of the true believer in Christ. More than 500 times Scripture records such words as joy,joyfulness, rejoice, and gladness. The apostle Paul lists joy second in cataloging the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22).

  • The Teacher's Love

    First in a series of devotionals based on the fruit of the Spirit

  • Todd Beamer - 9/11 Hero and Sunday School Teacher

    Inspirational story of Todd Beamer

  • Tolerance or Appreciation?

    by Billie Davis

  • Ministry Description and Agreement for Sunday School Staff Members

    PDF

  • Tensions in the Team

    By Steve Mills

    Often we are unaware of what it is that has caused the spirit of another to react but we can sense the distance or tension in the relationship. As leaders and team members, who are serving together as part of the church and God’s Kingdom, it is essential that our relationship not be torn apart.

  • Investor Quiz

    The following quiz is designed to help you evaluate how well you are investing yourself in ministry. Answer each question yes or no.