How To Write A Children's Church Lesson From Scratch

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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.

9 thoughts on “How To Write A Children's Church Lesson From Scratch”

  1. Thank you so much for drawing out these simple and easy instructions to follow and stay focused on what I need to do in my classroom. I used to be a teacher in my younger years, but had an aneurysm in 2002 and couldn’t do it anymore, ever, I thought, but I’m going to try this year. May GOD bless you in all that you do.

  2. My name is Jessie and I am just beginning as children’s minister in a small church. I kinda stumbled upon your website and have found it super helpful. I appreciate your focus on knowing God and being grounded in the scripture and allowing the leadership of the Lord. This article particularly resonates with me as I have been working on curriculum development. Thank you for this resource and keeping it free! I will definitely be using this in the future!

  3. I will be teaching for the very first time at my church children’s ministry. The instructions that you have given will be very helpful to me. Thanks much. May God shower you with his choicest blessings.

  4. I have been teaching grades combined (lst – 6th) for many years. I love it. though some say it is to hard preparing a lesson for that age span. I dont find that a problem….you weave info for all of them into the lesson so they all get what you are teaching and what God wants them to have. One of the things I have learned is this: sometimes I have poured my heart and time into a lesson only to get to class and find the Lord has suddenly brought something else to the table. I think of the time I worked all of 2 weeks on a lesson and then a girl broke down in class crying. And poured her heart out about a family problem. needless to say, my lesson went out the window and we ( the children in class and I) all ministered to her. by the time class was over she was smiling and ACCEPTED THE LORD. Dont be dismayed if Gods Spirit takes over your class……thats what He is supposed to do……..

  5. I’ve been teaching children’s church for a while but you’ve provided a few pointers that will help improve our lessons so thank you.

  6. Than u for this great help on starting Children’s ministry and the lesson plans. This is very helpful and will use the ideas to draft for my church. God richly bless u!

  7. Looking for administrative resources like volunteer rotation tracking…budget..fundraiser…bilaw template..blank lesson to get organized with all the administrative part of running the ministry I’m sure I’m missing somethings and just need to know what I need to know and should keep track of.. ..?

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