At this stage of the pandemic, people are reengaging as volunteers in their congregations. One area that is in need of new energy is children and youth education. Rotation-model Sunday school offers a great way to include members of the congregation. While a full year of teaching one grade or group might be daunting, a four-to-six-week commitment teaching a specific workshop is more manageable for many people. The Spark Rotation curriculum is especially helpful in guiding novice teachers with its excellent layout.
Our congregation has found that using a rotation model for Sunday school has created a great way for people of all ages to teach. The rotation model helps kids experience a Bible story over several weeks in different workshops like art, music, games, and cooking. It is a great way to really delve into a story through varied teaching and learning modes. Some of our teachers are more adept at arts and crafts, while others prefer to lead games or drama. Whatever your volunteer might feel comfortable leading, chances are the rotation model will line up with their skills.
We have found that getting to know new members in our church for at least six months is key to recruiting new volunteers. It is welcoming to families to have the time to worship, make friends, and get their footing in our programs before we ask them to take on any teaching or helping roles. It also gives us a safe and clear way to bring teachers and volunteers into working with children with best practices of background checks and teacher training.
We also invite our youth and young adults to work with children in Sunday school. The high schoolers and college students who are not involved in choir or handbells, for example, love the connection of helping in the preschool class, which always needs more hands to help with play, crafts, and snacks. Young adults who have returned to the church after college often find themselves in a strange place as they are no longer youth and no longer have prescribed programming. Involving our young adults helps them to find a place to engage with children and families in ways that rely on their new adulthood and bolster their faith and growth in the life of the church.
Making meaningful connections while teaching children the stories of faith has been a source of energy in our church. We are grateful that the rotation model for Sunday school has created this lasting effect by connecting many more people in teaching than would be possible with a more traditional year-long classroom model.