How To Write A Children’s Church Lesson From Scratch

You’ve been asked to teach children’s church this Sunday – without curriculum. Here is the 9 step process I use every week to write lessons for children’s church. If this article is helpful please leave a comment to let me know. This article is a work in progress and I would love to hear your ideas.

Need More Help? Check out these free Sunday School crafts and more Sunday School lessons for children.

#1 Pray: Begin by asking for God’s help. Omitting prayer will lead to an attitude of pride and leave your lesson spiritually weak. So stop reading now and pray for God’s help … really.

#2 Read: Start as early as possible to read the Bible passage you will be teaching. I like to read through the passage several before crafting my lesson. This step is foundational. You can’t teach what you don’t understand. Make notes of difficult words or ideas. Write down anything that God uses to deepen your love for Him.

#3 Focus: Ask yourself, “What is this passage saying about God?” You must discover what God is saying about himself in the passage. Children don’t need Bible facts. They need to know God. Everything about your children’s church lesson must be focused on God.

#4 Apply: Discover the connection of the passage to daily life. After answering the BIG GOD QUESTION you are ready for application. If the passage teaches that God is strong to save his people, how does this apply to the children? Resist the temptation to bend the passage around your application. Be crystal clear. Use real life examples.

#5 Draft: Write an initial draft of your lesson. This is an essential step for me to know where I am going with the lesson. I need a concrete plan. I rarely use my notes when I teach but having them give me the freedom to teach.

#6 Check: Compare your lesson to a doctrinally solid children’s story Bible. I only use these sources after I’ve written my children’s church lesson. I usually find ideas illustrations and object lessons from these sources.

#7 Supplement: Find relevant supporting material for your lesson. There are many free sources for coloring sheets, children’s ministry activities or Sunday school games available. I’m a member of Kidology – for $44 per year they may be the only supplemental resource your need. You can also find some ideas from my post on children’s Sunday school lessons.

#8 Feedback: Seek input from others. Once your lesson is complete, ask your pastor or fellow children’s ministry volunteers to review it. They might have a great idea to contribute.

#9 Evaluate: Review your lesson after you’ve taught it. In my ministry I’ve often learned best from trial and error. This step will take some discipline, but constantly examining your children’s church lessons will make you a better teaching. Be sure to thank God for what works and ask for wisdom to learn from your mistakes.

I want to hear from you. If this article has been helpful or not so helpful, leave me a comment to let me know what you think.


  1. Brenda Ford says

    Thank you for your time to put all this together, the whole site! I have recently read “God is in the nursery” article, and others on encouraging the volunteers and have looked at a lot of the preschool lessons and they are wonderful. I am just getting ready to take over the nursery/preschool area in our small church and am very grateful for a place to start! Thank you!

  2. says

    Hi Tony,
    I have written Kid’s church curriculum for the last 12 months for our church. I did this many years ago in a church we were pastoring. It has been very rewarding and I have appreciated your input in the above article. I would like to be able to chat with you about a few ideas I have been meditating on in the area of, ‘what are we missing? – The history of the church, the Bible and the Missionary & salvation testimonies, famous Christians of the past and what they did!’ and ‘How can we teach kid’s the stuff that lasts a lifetime’ ? My mob/ph number is 0402449966. Thank you and God bless. Jean

  3. Jacob Affainie says

    Oh! Uncle Tony, May God richly bless you for this wonderful Ministry that He has given you. I must say with all sincerity that this your Children’s Ministry has been very supportive to my Church Sunday School in Ghana, West Africa. And I hope to spread this good source of teaching children Sunday School to other sister Baptist Churches in my community and the entire country. God bless you. Jake.

  4. rachel says

    seriously, I was looking for step to write the actual lesson. my aim was to find a guide as how intro, body , conclusion and before I even started google it I received on my spirit that I should pray for GOD guidance rather but I said to my self come on I need something to start from. the funny thing is that I couldn’t find anything better cause I wasn’t looking for curriculum or something similar, anyway GOD richly bless you cause your post is just the confirmation from GOD on what I have already received. blessed be your ministry.

  5. brenda says

    As an elementary school teacher these are the steps I would follow for any lesson but this makes it clear for the non-teacher. I’m glad you put in the supplement part because that’s the part that brings life to the lesson. There are so many ideas out there. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel!

  6. Audrey says

    Hi Pastor, I always head straight for your junior church lessons when it is my turn. The children always enjoy them. This was very helpful to me. Thank you.

  7. funmi moa says

    hi pastor, your 9 steps are really helpful especially step 4; application to daily life. thank you.

  8. Agnes says

    I already use ideas from your news letter for Sunday School Class.
    This lesson on tips for preparing lessons is great.Thanks and may God bless you so that thro’ you the children’s ministry may spread far and wide.Hope you can visit us if you come to Chennai , India

  9. Gloria says

    Its a vary nice post, I have learnt a lot,I’m going to use it every time I am preparing a lesson. Thank You Very Much.

  10. Jane says

    this is an awesome piece of direction for us teachers. sometimes, it can be so stressful compiling a lesson with practical examples for the kids. this is definitely good. Thanks

  11. says

    Thank God for you and for the article. Your time and effort in making this info available to us/others is immemsely appreciated.


  12. OR says


  13. says

    Hello. My name is Hannah. I’m 15 (16 in 26 days though lol) and I’m the Children’s Church teacher at my Assembly of God Church in DeWitt, IA. I love love love working with the kids :) . It feels so great to know that I can be the link between them and God and help them to better understand him. I still have so much to learn about him myself, but I’m anxious to learn :) . This website was a big help to me! It gave me a better understanding of the lessons I teach and how to prepare for them. Thanks so much!

    My pastor also has a blog and if you are interested in reading it, that would be great! :)

  14. Ava Maile says

    Thanks, I’m finding this to be very helpful. I’m considering this system for this weekend. God bless

  15. Joyce says

    Thank Kelvin you are doing a great job, your website has everything a sunday school teacher will need. May God richly bless your ministry.

  16. Pearl Greer says

    I”m going to use thi on sundy. I was asked to teach at the last minute and I am a little out of practice. I know the Lord was with you when you came up with this web site.

  17. Doraine says

    i have just be appointed head of the sunday school teachers. this is a very new for me, and also the sunday school department is fairly new as well. i m just having a difficult time writing a curriculum by monthly. do u have any suggestion that can help to write a curriculum monthly.

  18. says

    Great Outline Tony!

    As a Pastor & Sunday School Teacher & (among other things) a clown, I would only suggest one more point that should be added just before teaching the lesson, and that would be pray again! You can never pray enough about anything, and a prayer just before class can give you the spiritual “umph” that you need!

    Keep up the good Work!

  19. Lisa Casey says

    Thanks for this . I have just been granted the opportunity to oversee the Sunday School program within our church. I am a relatively new teacher, but I have the youngest children in the program, so as I will be with the program the longest, I have been handed this charge. You have given me a good basis and sound outline to follow so that I will be able to effectively help out my fellow teachers with our Sunday School. Please, pray that it all works out, I am going to try my best.
    Thanks for the guidance.

  20. Marian says

    This article was really helpful. I have been teaching Sunday school for months now and still find trouble planning lessons but your step by step instructions have made the process so much easier for me now.

  21. Zella Warren says

    I have just started helping in Childrens’ Church. Thanks for your help, suggestions, etc. I want to be sure each week that our children get the Word put into their hearts.

  22. says

    A resource which you might find helpful is Leroy Ford’s “Design for Teaching and Training: A Self-Study Guide to Lesson Planning.” It is a step-by-step guide for designing a lesson and a pretty easy read.


    Glen Woods

  23. says

    Wow, now you have made my day. :) You should consider joining the Kidology CP Team if you enjoy writing and encouraging others. For more info contact Todd, his post is above mine.

    Keep on keeping on!

  24. says

    I remember reading an article from you about beginning in children’s ministry. It was very helpful and made me think I might just be able to do it.

  25. says

    Great article. Indiana’s not too far away – we should get together some time! I’d love to meet you, it seems we share a passion for children’s ministry!

    Thanks for mentioning Kidology, you made my day. So glad it is a help to your ministry. I’ll be following your blog! Good Stuff!


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