Summer Sunday School Obstacles:
People take vacations. Attendance fluctuates. Teachers need time off.
Sometimes it is hard to keep the momentum going over the summer.
This is especially problematic for smaller churches.
Some churches will drudge through regardless of these issues. But, doesn’t that get discouraging for teachers?
Others will disband Sunday School for the summer. But, aren’t the faithful few important?
Summer Season Brings Opportunities:
Does it have to be an all or nothing matter? Why not change the way you do Sunday School over the summer months to overcome obstacles? You could make Summer Sunday School special or unique.
It might take a little planning and promoting but you could be surprised at the results, particularly if what you do it born out of prayer.
What does God want you to do over the summer? That’s the real issue, not what is expedient or what other churches are doing.
You can use it as a time to reach people you might not normally reach like people who are visiting regular attendees or the community. (Parents especially might be glad to have something to send their children to every week now that school is out.)
You can use it as a time to get people involved who are not teachers. People who will not teach during the Sunday School hour might be willing to commit to other types of serving if you offer something different over the summer.
Options for Sunday School During the Summer Months:
- Combine some classes close in age.
- Combine all classes for special events …. a movie, Puppet show, drama, magic, musical program, Bible game show, etc.
- Use stand-alone lessons rather than a series that do not build on one another so people who miss a week or two won’t be lost when they return or so you don’t feel like you must spend half of each session reviewing for those who missed the previous week.
- Use a VBS curriculum, or perhaps a camping curriculum, during the Sunday School hour. (Some churches do this in lieu of a week long Daily Vacation Bible School.)
- Bring in guest teachers to give your teachers a break.
- If you use traditional curriculum, switch to learning centers or use the rotation model.
- Take advantage of the good outdoors. Hold classes outside when the weather isn’t too hot or raining. Youth or adult classes can sit under some trees, under a pavilion or tent for a good discussion of relevant topics. Children can sit in the grass for a Bible story and enjoy some added activity outdoors. Many traditional games can be used to teach verses, truths, etc. Kids would especially enjoy water balloons on a hot summer day.
- This could be a good time to try some intergenerational learning where you bring all ages together.
- Prior to summer, have different classes plan something special to present to everyone or to other classes. Remember to have people check their calendars before assigning a responsibility.
- Develop a big brother/sister type of program wherein you pair older students with younger ones to read a book or Bible story together, do a craft together, etc.
- Plan field trips, outreach or service projects to sick/shut-ins, hospitals, nursing homes, tract distribution at parks, etc. Adults could be assigned to groups of kids. Travel time could be used to discuss things like being a Good Samaritan, etc. Some projects could be done on church grounds such as preparing food boxes, making cards for missionaries, etc.
- Move small groups for adults and teens to the Sunday School hour and do something special for children like a movie, Puppet show, drama, etc.
- Serve breakfast each week and give a brief devotional or object lesson, some singing and break into small groups for fellowship and prayer.
- Do special outdoor activities during the normal Sunday School time with community outreach in mind like a carnival, breakfast under a tent, a car wash, etc. wherein tracts and/or information about your church can be distributed.