It’s easy to take our children for granted but, during this lockdown, how I have missed my class!
At the end of March, parents in our ecclesia decided they would provide Sunday School for their own children but it soon became apparent that they were missing out on interacting with one another and so the decision was made to create a virtual Sunday School.
For some time now, even our youngest infants have been enjoying a short story each week, while the rest have full lessons on Zoom, as I’m sure many from other ecclesias do. I personally have found it a real pleasure talking to the children this way.
They listen and interact well, join in any activity enthusiastically and of course, sort me out when I struggle with the technology! It is a real joy to see their smiling faces each week and still to be able to share the things that really matter. When questions are answered or a bit of a discussion generated, it feels rewarding. Just think, if we are passionate about our Bibles, then what joy to share this with our young people. It’s not a duty; it’s enjoyable and satisfying.
Just the regularity of Sunday School continuing, the consistency of the message, our attitude and example may be an anchor for the child with a difficult home life, a child whose daily life lacks stability.
This is always true but just seems especially important when many are at home 24/7. A carefully chosen word or genuine interest shown for their situation might be just what that child needs.
Please tell us of any particularly joyful moments you have had when teaching young people using technology or otherwise.
So the ‘new normal’ in many young parents’s houses (as in most other Christian households around the UK) is Sunday School by Zoom. So how have we found it?
After a few weeks of getting used to it and gaining confidence to speak up I’ve been surprised by how engaged my 5 year old has been. The teachers have been great at getting interaction – as well as the usual crafts we’ve had play doh creations, soft toys acting out parts, and we were delivered a doughnut and 2 Oreo cookies today for tomorrow’s lesson; I’m intrigued!!
Once we discovered that group worship is out, one family per week takes a turn to entertain the rest of us; cue the 5 year old and the 2 year old bashing on plastic instruments as me and my hubby chanted “The wise man built his house upon the rock” not that tunefully!! This whole group start is followed by the classes separating into ‘breakout rooms’ for their individual lessons and then meeting back at the end of feedback, much like our regular classes had been.
We do have times when the mute button comes in handy as the toddler gets bored and I have to round them up again to sit in front of the screen!!
I’m also very aware that the Iranian children in our Ecclesia are excluded as they don’t have adequate internet connection in their house.
Overall I actually think it’s been much better than I thought it would be. The children are getting taught the word of God still, and we still get the feeling we are part of a community of faith outside our own household. I feel so thankful that lockdown has not meant isolation from our family in Christ, knowing that it is a different story for many around the world.
For our ecclesia members it was also nice to see the works the kids made in their virtual Sunday class. It was great to see how enthusiastic they were and it was also lovely to see the few video’s some parents made of the constructions their children created.
Youth Leaders Handbook
Well with social distancing and restrictions on meeting, maybe now you have some time to think about what you’d like to provide for young people in and around your ecclesia in the future…
• Do you lead a Sunday school or youth group and feel like it needs a refresh?
• Would you like to start one but are daunted by the task?
• Would you like to run a holiday club but are unsure of the legal obligations?
• Do you need guidance on the health and safety aspects of running a camp or walking holiday?
You need the Youth Leaders Handbook!
This comprehensive guide is divided into a section of ‘need-to-know’ chapters covering setting up, planning activities, first aid and child protection issues among many other things, plus Appendices for special circumstances like holiday clubs and camps. There are template forms and a wealth of online resources to head to ensure you are fully equipped and up to date.