Sunday School is a tough challenge for smaller churches. There are Sundays with no kids in church. There are Sundays with one baby, two toddlers, an 8-year old, and a middle schooler. Neither scenario lends itself to an easy classroom scenario, even if we had a consistent pool of volunteers, and someone to organize curriculum, prepare materials, etc. Those are issues too…
To further complicate things at St. Mary’s, we are a congregation that has been mostly English speaking for the last fifty-plus years, and now most of the kids come to the Spanish service. So even when the English-speaking parents who grew up with traditional Sunday School get together to try to revive Sunday School, there are issues of timing, and varying cultural expectations about what to do with kids in church.
What we have come up with is not perfect. But it’s quite a bit better than nothing. We created a kids’ corner. It’s at the back of the church, using a cozy-ish space that was previously used to store folding chairs. It’s immediately visible when you walk into church. We added a rug, a rocking chair, a small table with colorful little-people-sized chairs, bookshelves with donated books, an old wooden giraffe from a long-ago carnival set-up, a kid-sized altar that the Sunday School used to use, some colorful biblical art, and lots of paper and crayons.
Here’s what’s great about it: