Children's Church: Do These 5 Things First

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I realized a couple of weekends ago that I had stopped praying each week before kids’ service.  It wasn’t a conscience decision, just something that happened in the hustle and bustle of the weekend.  I realized that when I stopped praying that coincided with those weeks that I didn’t feel went very well after they were over.  That got me thinking about those things which really ought to be routine and done every week before children’s church or Sunday school. Here’s my list:

children's chairs

5 Tasks You Must Do Before the Kids Arrive on Sunday

  1. Pray. Pray before you plan; pray while you plan; pray when you think you’ve planned so much you couldn’t spend another second on the lesson.  Then, just before it’s go time, pray some more.  Pray that God would speak through you and to you as you teach your lesson.  Pray that kids’ ears and, more importantly, hearts would be open to his message.  Commend your lesson into His hands.  You are after all at HIS church teaching HIS kids out of HIS word about HIM.  Ignoring the power of prayer in preparing for, planning and executing your lesson is akin to ignoring a water fountain when you are stranded in the desert with nothing to drink.
  2. Prepare. This really ought to go without saying, but preparation reduces the need for last second modifications and adjustments that will surely wreak havoc on your morning.  This really isn’t a last second thing, but if you’ve prepared ahead of time, it takes a lot of stress out of the last second.  The morning of, though, make sure you have everything you need.  Take your lesson and your props with you.
  3. Re-read the lesson. Just because you prepared all week and went over the lesson Saturday night before bed, don’t let Sunday morning go by without working through it one more time.  My own personal experience is that this is a time when God often moves to let you know what he wants you to teach.  Make sure that you never let your own planning and preparation stand in the way of God doing what he wants with his kids.  Doing a last read through also helps to ensure that the lesson is fresh in your mind when it comes time to teach it.
  4. Read the Bible chapter the lesson is based on. I am not a curriculum basher.  We use it, and I am grateful for all the work that people put into coming up with it every week.  It generally requires modification, but there is a lot out there which is really really good.  Even really good curriculum will need tweaked sometimes.
  5. Go over your backup plan. What?  You don’t have a backup plan?  Seriously?  Well, more power to you, but for me not having a back up plan is a lot like going sky diving without the second emergency chute.  That first chute may open nearly every time, but I don’t want to be a couple of thousand feet up when I realize I need the second chute which I never packed.  So, make a backup plan and prepare for it just like you would you intended lesson.  Line up the supplies and the people and the electronic stuff you need.  If you do it right, the kids will not even know that you’ve deviated from your original plan and kicked in to Plan B.  I’ll never forget the time I had planned my whole lesson around a particular video that worked fine at home the night before.  When I pushed play during the class on Sunday morning – I got nothing but a frozen screen a whole slew of eyes waiting to see what I was going to do next.  Fortunately, I knew the story pretty well and was able to slip into having the kids act it out rather than use the video.  It wasn’t as seamless as I would have liked, but it was definitely better than the alternative.

What would you add?  What is part of your Sunday morning routine?

If you’ve enjoyed this post, you should also check out our articles on starting a children’s church and writing a kids church lesson.

New Sunday School Curriculum: Our Bible lessons are designed to keep the kids’ attention and show how God's Word makes a difference. Every series is flexible enough for a wide-age group and affordable enough for small churches. Download a free Bible lesson in pdf or view our latest Sunday School curriculum for small churches.