Finding people to teach Sunday school can prove to be a tall order. Most of the time your classes are run by the same faithful few who tirelessly give their time every Sunday.
Certainly, you appreciate this reliable group, but when your leaders are overworked, they can easily become burned out or disenchanted with teaching Sunday school at all.
You may find it difficult to get new people to teach Sunday school for a variety of reasons. Some may not want to make a time commitment, some may think the positions are sufficiently filled, and others may be intimidated by the responsibility of teaching kids about Jesus.
If you’re scrambling for children’s ministry ideas and trying to get more volunteers involved, here are some helpful tips for expanding involvement.
- Show Your Ministry
When the children’s ministry is shut away in far off classrooms, it can be difficult for congregation members to fully envision the need.
To increase interest in your church’s Sunday school ministry, it’s important to make your children’s ministry visible. Show photos of the students engaged in learning kids’ Bible stories. You could even present testimonials of volunteers sharing their experiences of teaching Sunday school. At the same time, you could also show videos of students discussing their favorite things about Sunday school and talking about their relationship with children’s ministry volunteers.
By putting faces to your Sunday school ministry, you show your congregation the flesh and blood behind the need. When they get to see the faces of who they’ll be helping, they may be more compelled to meet the needs of your church.
- Integrate Messages
Another way to increase interest in your children’s ministry could be to integrate your services to occasionally include the younger members of your congregation.
On the most basic level, this could be a welcome reprieve for some of your more active volunteers who might be on the brink of burnout. But it is also another way for your congregation to have more interactions with the children of your church. By establishing relationships with the children of your church, more of your members may be motivated to teach Sunday school and to continue investing in the lives of the kids they’ve grown to love.
Incorporating children into your regular Sunday services can also be an opportunity to model what Sunday school teaching can look like. A lot of the reticence your members likely feel about teaching Sunday school may be because they are intimidated by the idea of teaching kids faith. Your congregation may believe that topics of this much import require years of study before they are qualified.
By demonstrating a simple, straightforward message, you can show your congregation that delivering stories about Jesus doesn’t have to be complex or esoteric.
- Clarify Expectations
It’s important that your congregation knows what is really expected of them as leaders in children’s ministry. If you’ve already demonstrated what an accessible Sunday school message could look like, you have clarified your expectations for the content they are expected to deliver.
If your church has a team planning out what will be taught to the children, make sure your congregation knows that they are not expected to spend time studying and planning for a Bible lesson outside of the work they already do. If your church does not have a children’s ministry leader, make sure that your volunteers have ample support and guidance so they aren’t wandering without a clear idea of your expectations for their teaching.
Being a leader of any kind can be intimidating, even more so when those you lead are impressionable young minds who look to you for answers to the “big questions” in life. Encourage your church members to rest in the knowledge that they are meant to be models, not idols. Your leaders should demonstrate to the kids what it looks like to walk in faith and the love of Christ, which also means demonstrating how to make things right when they mess up.
Ensuring that your church members know they are not expected to be Bible scholars or perfect humans is a great tool to get more members excited about teaching Sunday school.
“It takes a village to raise a child” isn’t just a tired adage. It truly does take members from all over the church to help support a child and point them toward a Christ-like life.
It isn’t just pastors who help guide children, but also parents, Sunday school teachers, mentors, and everyone else who shows them the love of Jesus.