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How to Rev Up Your Sunday School

Paul Woods

An article to copy and give to Sunday school teachers.

"Why do I keep doing this? I'll never reach those kids. Josh already knows more than I do. And AJ doesn't know any answers and doesn't really care. Of course Vicki and Emily will whisper through most of the hour. And Todd will do his best to disrupt whatever we do. It seems like we never make any progress."

If you've taught fifth- and sixth-graders lately, you've probably had Saturday night thoughts like this. What's wrong with Sunday school for this age group? What makes it so hard to reach them? What's lacking in curriculum? Here's what teachers say-and ideas to help solve the problems.

IT'S NO FUN

Let's face it: We all like to have fun! But fifth- and sixth-graders are a bit more demanding about it than adults. They aren't patient about being bored for an hour in Sunday school when they could be home playing Nintendo or riding a mountain bike.

One problem is that most curriculum and Sunday school classes attempt to pour biblical information into kids' heads whether they want it or not. As Rosetta McHugh of Bourbonnais, Illinois, puts it: "Many people think Sunday school needs to be cut and dried-the same old stuff every week. But kids need different things each week: Go out somewhere, add puppets, or do some 'off-the-wall,' exciting things. Let kids laugh and get involved."

Having fun in class isn't just a time-filler. At this age kids'social development is at a critical stage. What better place is there for kids to develop appropriate social skills and attitudes than with a bunch of other kids in the church? And after all, shouldn't learning about the Creator of the Universe be enjoyable?

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