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Another Sunday school season has gone by... It’s time to breathe a sigh of relief and whisper a prayer of thanksgiving for God’s continued faithfulness in your midst! As you stroll through empty classrooms, notice the stained carpet and crusty Play-Doh remnants. Smile at the drawers full of dry markers, knotted balls of yarn, and left-behind projects. These are signs of life and evidence of ministry—reasons to rejoice!

As your faith formation programs switch gears for the summer, consider these preplanning ideas to help you kick off next year's Sunday school season with success.

To keep the ministry going . . .

  • Check on teachers: Is everyone still smiling and on board for next year?
  • Count the cash: Peek at the books to make sure your records and spending are on track. You’ll need the numbers to put together next year’s budget . . . and to convince the committee that Popsicle sticks are a worthy investment.
  • Pre-order materials: Those summer days sneak by quickly, so get this chore out of the way before you forget!
  • Save the date: Schedules fill up quickly, so choose dates for the fall Sunday school kick-off, parent orientation, and teacher training while there is still some room on the church calendar.
  • Take inventory of the supplies: Toss what no longer works and make a list of what you’ll need to look for when the school supply sales start in September.
  • Update the lists: Create a preliminary list for next year’s classes, note the kids that have moved away and check for changes in phone numbers or addresses.
  • Keep it current: Update the paperwork and safety procedures to include current dates and information for registration, volunteer applications, and abuse prevention policies.
  • Cast a vision: You can begin planting the seeds in potential new leaders by telling stories of the way God worked this year. Let people how much kid’s need adults in the church to invest in them, share their stories of faith, and be an example of what it means to love Jesus. Look for ways to include people in your summer programs who don’t usually serve in children’s ministry. They may just get hooked and stick around!

To keep the ministry growing . . .

  • Remember: Set aside time to remember the highs and lows of this year. Wonder and imagine what God might have in mind for the next time around!
  • Reflect: Revisit your ministry goals—the ones you have written down and the ones deep within your heart. Do they still reflect your passions and your church’s sense of calling? Where have you seen progress? Where is there room for growth?
  • Receive: Begin to pray for God’s leading, direction, and provision for the new ministry season. God is able to do immeasurably more than all you could ask or imagine!

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