Small Group—Discipleship—Sunday School Creative Teaching Methods

Although ministry may look different than it did just a few months ago, your work is as important as ever. As we all continue to navigate these times, our desire is to come alongside you and help provide resources for the families you serve.

Church of God Publications would like to offer some creative small group, discipleship, and Sunday School teaching methods, and the resources to accomplish that mission.

    Adult Sunday School

    Meet Online:

• While many of the older adults may not be as technically savvy as the younger generations,
with a little guidance and instruction, they can master online opportunities for teaching using platforms such as Zoom, Skype, Go-To Meetings, or Facebook’s brand new feature—Messenger
Rooms. Many churches are facilitating their services via Facebook Live or pre-recording and
posting it on YouTube or Vimeo for their members.

• We recommend distributing the New Life Adult Student Guide to participants so that they can study and follow along with the lesson even when it is presented online. Many churches are
mailing, or personally delivering, copies to their members—while being sure to maintain social
distancing guidelines.

 To assist you in this endeavor, Church of God Publications will provide a FREE digital file of the entire 2020 Summer quarter of the New Life Adult Student Guide to our loyal customers who purchase their normal quantity of printed student and teacher’s guides. We are glad to offer the same benefit to any new customers who place a minimum order of One New Life Teacher’s Guide and 12 New Life Student Guides. (*no returns on printed materials with this special offer)

– This will allow you to email weekly lessons to regular attendees who were not able to receive a physical copy.

– This option has the added benefit of allowing your church the ability to email FREE lessons to those who are new to the church or who join you online.

    In-House Sunday School & Small Group Meetings:

While each region, state, or local municipality has differing guidelines on the ability to gather and assemble, some regions are allowing small groups of 10 or less to gather. As things open up, those guidelines may allow for up to 25 or 50 to gather.

• New Life Sunday School materials are a great resource to facilitate small groups as an intermediate step toward gathering together for fellowship and teaching.

– Many churches have been launching small groups that meet in homes around their respective cities and communities.

– Other churches are allowing groups to use the church facilities on different days/nights so that small groups can utilize larger spaces and maintain recommended social distancing.

– Some churches are having gatherings in local parks or a member’s back yard.

    Children’s Sunday School

In many respects, youth and children are some of the most impacted by the lack of weekly Bible teaching and instruction. The enemy would love to silence and stop consistent Biblical teaching for our kids which is why we believe it needs to
remain a priority.

    Meet Online:

While it can be challenging to teach children online because it may seem more difficult to keep them engaged, etc., many churches are effectively leading classes and lessons
specifically geared for kids utilizing digital platforms.

• Present Kids Worship via Facebook Live, Instagram Live, or other digital platforms, and have the kids and families join you, is a great option. Be sure to post beforehand to let parents and kids know when you’ll be live.

• Encourage Sunday School/Small Groups to meet via digital platforms. If you’ve never participated in a Zoom Meeting, it’s great for small groups to share and the kids can see one another and answer review questions, etc.

• Another option is to simply have someone make a video of you leading the weekly lessons and send it out to parents for their children to watch. You can post these on YouTube and designate them as “family friendly” to avoid inappropriate ads being shown while children view the video. You can also post your video on Facebook and create a Watch Party around it that can be promoted ahead of time.

• A great app that leaders or parents can download is the “Marco Polo” app. With this app you can develop a group so that they can share Bible verses, portions of the New Life weekly lesson, read Bible stories to one another, share prayer requests, etc.

• The Summer New Life curriculum is excellent material that can be adapted for these or other creative methods.

    Connect with Families:

• Some resourceful Children’s Ministry Leaders are doing drive-by visits to wave, say hello, and drop off the curriculum student guides to the parents of the children. In doing so, the parents have the resources to assist their children while the teacher teaches online, or the parents can use the material to provide Bible lessons/devotions at home.

• Other churches are utilizing local parks, church grounds, and back yards to facilitate outdoor, safe social distancing Sunday School meetings.

• Another option is to offer drive-thru Sunday School, which still encourages social distancing. Kids leaders prepare bags for each family and stand in the church portico during certain hours and the family drives thru to pick up their Sunday School supplies.

    Challenge the Entire Family:

• Post challenges for families. One example would be: take a walk with your children and talk about what they are learning together. Or, create a scavenger hunt where kids find specific things around the house that help them tell or learn the Bible story and Sunday School lesson.

• Children LOVE to make videos. Encourage the children to use their family to make a Bible story video related to the weekly lesson, and text or email it to you. There are some great apps available to help put together a video if they want to make it a little more produced.

• Encourage kids to learn the key Bible passage from the weekly New Life lessons, and let them know that when we return to our church buildings they will have the opportunity to share with the church as a group.

• Many of the activities within the New Life Student curriculum can be adapted for creative at home activities.

Hopefully this list will help you think of even more creative ways you can continue to minister to children and families when you can’t meet at your church building, and as you re-emerge and adapt for your local church gatherings.

Contact us if you have not yet purchased your Summer 2020 New Life Curriculum, or you would like to purchase other small-group materials.

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