Sunday School Lesson Plans Demystified

At first, if you thought about Sunday School lesson plans, it probably went something like this:

Just tell them about David and Goliath, do a simple craft and safely deliver them to their parents. How hard can it be?

But then you were confronted with both the message and the children's questions. Teaching Sunday School, you've discovered, is not just telling a cute story. It's finding a way to transmit important, life-changing truths to the children in your care.

Now, if you could just take time out for education courses at your local community college�

Questions, Questions, Questions

Without formal training in education, you find yourself in a new world: Sunday School curriculum and lesson plans, Sunday School worksheets, Sunday School activities � a world of questions.

  • Is there a difference between a lesson plan and a curriculum?
  • Given that we have almost no budget, where can we find free Sunday School lessons and materials?
  • How do I actually use a Sunday School lesson plan?

In an ideal world, you could consult your church's director of Christian education or the youth minister. You could, if only your Church had such a staff member.

Lesson Plans vs. Curriculum

As you may have already read elsewhere on our site, a lesson plan and a curriculum are different ( link ). With the curriculum, you get the full map for a year-long expedition: where you're headed and how to get there, including each small step (class) along the way. A lesson plan, on the other hand, is your itinerary for a one-day journey (your class next Sunday).

Using Prepared Lesson Plans

By now you're probably aware of one of the keys to a great Sunday School class: how well you've prepared ahead of time. And you know that just because you're using a "prepared" lesson plan, doesn't mean that you don't have to invest a little time and brain power. You need to:

  • Plan ahead.
    Plan your quarter, semester or year with a full set of Sunday School lesson plans before you even start with the first class.
  • Take your time.
    Beat Saturday-night procrastination by setting aside Sunday School preparation time early in the week.
  • Immerse yourself.
    Thoroughly acquaint yourself with each lesson plan before teaching it. Grasp the one truth you're communicating and don't let go of it; structure everything around that main point: the prayer, the verse, the story, the activity.
  • Be realistic.
    Not all lesson plan suggestions are cut out for your class. Discard unfeasible ideas; add your own, experimenting with class order.

Creating and Customizing

A certain degree of customization usually comes into play when you use Sunday School lesson plans prepared by others. Most plans cannot realistically be "one-size-fits-all" and you know the ages and unique needs in your own Sunday School classroom.

What about creating your own Sunday School lesson plans? You need to develop a template, which will give you a similar structure and outlook to follow for each plan. A basic Sunday School lesson plan template follows:

  • Opening activity
  • Scripture text
  • Objective or goal
  • Lesson
  • Questions
  • Memory verse
  • Supporting application activity or craft
  • Closing activity.

Finding Sunday School Lesson Plans Online

If creating your own lesson plan is not an option for you, remember that you can find both free and commercial Sunday School lesson plans online. A good place to begin is right here: check out our Sunday School lessons.

Share your questions and comments about Sunday School Lesson Plans with us !

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