It's hard to maintain momentum with a year round Sunday school season. This is the first year that my church is trying it, and so far... I wouldn't recommend it. Between vacation schedules and the laissez-faire attitude of summer it's hard to predict who (if anyone) will show up!
Instead of moving forward with sessions that half the group will miss, we've decided to do something a little different for K-6th grade. We're going to collect stories of God's faithfulness. For the next few we're inviting people to join our kid's ministry to share a little about what God has done in their lives, as well as some of the things they've learned and experienced over the years. This includes Bible stories that have become important to them, songs they sang as children, prayers their parents taught them, or wisdom they'd like to pass on to the next generation.
After each person shares we'll be creating a scrap book page and a small banner (with the help of a seamstress in our congregation) that highlights some of the things that person talked about. It will take some extra work to shape a full session out of each story. I'll be connecting with the presenters to make sure they're ready to share with kids in a way that's fun and engaging. We trust the Holy Spirit will work it all out.
I've shaped my session around the idea that God speaks to our hearts and calls us to follow him. We'll begin with a game that has kids follow the directions of a leader who is calling from the other side of the room. Then, with a path of cell phones and footprints made out of cardstock, I'll lead the kids through ten milestones that stand out as times when God called me to trust and follow him. Each one provides a song to share, a story to act out, something to find in an old Bible-or another interactive way to bring kids along on my journey. A response time at the end will help kids wonder about how God leads them and how they follow.
I'm excited to to add to our regular scope and sequence some stories of God's love here and now in the lives of people our kids see all the time. Hebrews describes a great cloud of witnesses that have gone before us. Our little church has witnesses too. They carry memories of God's grace and goodness that light the way for the next generation!
Have you incorporated testimony and faith stories into your children's ministry? What have you done? How has it worked out?