Developing/Promoting Church School

Kristin Putney, RI Conference Christian Education & Youth Ministry Resource Consultant



“NAME IT” Name your Church School program for a church season or the school year.

“Bible Stories A-Z” (preschool-1st grade) Each Sunday there is a focus letter of the alphabet with a story from the Bible.

“Rainbow Colors of the Bible” (preschool-1st grade) Each Sunday there is a focus color with a story from the Bible and children are encouraged to wear “color of the week” or bring in item of that color.

“Communion Class” Offer a communion class for 2nd and 3rd grade and offer it every other year OR offer for 2nd grade every year. Have a “Communion Celebration” ceremony during worship at end of year. ( this is not called ?rst communion) (Contact Resource Consultant for more curriculum resources and details.)  



  • Make a brochure / ?yer about new stylized church school program.
  • Send out postcards frequently to potential families with special holiday events.
  • Display banner or sign at street side advertising new church school program.
  • Advertise Church School program in: weekly bulletin, monthly ?yer, church website.
  • Put Church School program ?yers in local daycare parent/child's folder. (with permission)  



Make classroom inviting and impressionable with Bible story imagery and props.

Decorate classroom in a theme that goes along with curriculum and NAME room.


  • Noah's Ark theme: Use stuffed animals for props and make a large cardboard ark. Designate a water play area with water toys, an ark and plastic ?sh & animals. Cover Bulletin board with water theme/blue paper. Name of room: “Ark & Animals” classroom.
  • Jungle/wilderness theme: Hang vines from ceiling, green streamers in window and place faux plants and trees in room. Create a sand area to play at (use large low plastic bin with lid). Cover bulletin board with cloud paper and add vines hanging down over sky. Name of room: “Growing with God” room.
  • Rainbow theme: Hang rainbow streamers from ceiling or in window area. Cover bulletin board with cloud paper and add ?ber?ll/cotton clouds over sky then paint on handprints of children in shape of rainbow. Name of room: “Rainbow” Room  



One Adult and a High School Teen(safe space requirement 2 in classroom) will be needed for multi-aged group of preschool -5th graders.

Use 6th, 7th and 8th graders as teen “ helpers”

Helpers wear “ribbon stoles” (3 different colored ribbons, 3 1/2 feet long, knotted together at both ends and in 2 different places in middle)

Safe Space requirement - 2 leaders in classroom. Also suggested if adult is new, has waiting period of 6 months to one year before teaching.

  • Consider parents or grandparents of children to team teach (teach once or twice a month or for a block of time such as season of Lent or Advent)
  • Use possible teens looking for community service hours.
  • Contact guidance of?ce at local High School for teen teachers/helpers. (community service is often needed for Honor Society students and seniors)
  • Contact local Girl Scout/ Boy Scout troops for volunteers.
  • Other “temporary” teacher recruitment ideas: Utilize a different Deacon weekly, combined with consistent teen assisting Deacon.

Alternative to weekly church school classes

Design a 4 week program (with only 1 or 2 classroom sessions per month) that is consistent for each month. Example:

1st week - children stay in worship with families (and receive communion?)

2nd week - children have church school (multi-age)

3rd week- children stay in worship and possibly participate in worship (sing)

4th week- children have church school (multi-age)  



Acolyte list: Rotate children to light altar candles in worship. Have children commit to same Sunday of the month or for several weeks in a row...this special task brings in family to witness a special moment.

Children's choir: Gather a multi-aged children's choir , rehearse during coffee hour or during class time. Sing once a month in worship (even if it is only “Jesus Loves me”... Parents and relatives come to see their child sing!)

Special Coffee Hour Sunday: Create theme coffee hours (schedule them consistently perhaps every ?rst Sunday?)

“Cookies & Milk Sunday” Invite church school children to bring in uncooked cookie dough (homemade or store bought- no peanut butter ) and bake cookies during class to serve congregation at coffee hour with milk.

“Autumn Sunday“ Coffee Hour - “apple everything” theme coffee hour: invite congregation to bake apple pies, apple crisp, apple cake, warm apple cider.

Fruit Smoothie Sunday Coffee Hour- serve blended fruit, juice & yogurt frozen drinks

Pentecost theme Coffee Hour - All red natural foods pizza, watermelon, strawberries, red sprinkle cupcakes & cookies  


Offer incentives for children to have consistent attendance Create attendance wall charts with stickers for each Sunday attendance...maybe every 8 stickers, child can pick item from attendance reward basket ( stickers, tiny toys, lollipops, Bible theme tokens ordered from Oriental Trading) and then start again. Hand out end of the year Attendance Certi?cates.


Offer creative ways to pray (contact Resource Consultant for these resources)

  • “Lord”s Prayer” ribbons
  • Prayer rocks and water fountain
  • Prayer Beads
  • Candle ceremony prayer
  • Moment of Silent Prayer
  • Songs of Prayer
  • Word Rock Prayer


When child is baptized, suggest/require that parents start baby in Nursery and commit to one Sunday a month as caregiver. (combine 2 families for each week and that will begin relationship building) Use parents of babies as a co-op style, taking turns, signing up parents for once a month.



  • Send a postcard to new children saying “it was great having you in church school!” *Start email list. Send reminders of theme events, for parent involvement, for supplies.
  • ASK FOR PARENT HELP, FOOD & SUPPLIES... gives a reason to come to church!
  • Send Postcards when children are absent after 2 Sundays...”we miss you!”
  • After several weeks missed, call family to “check in”, it tells them you care about them.
  • Send out Birthday cards to children.