National Back to Church Sunday is not just for adults, but for people of all ages. Church is supposed to be a community, and we want families to come and experience Jesus together. Part of getting families to come to church is having a strong children’s and youth ministry because having a good place for kids to learn, be in community, and have fun is something parents value and one of the top things they look for in a church.
In recent years we’ve had awesome Back to Church resources for adults, but nothing created specifically for children’s ministry. Every year we ask what resources would be helpful to serve you as you prepare to host Back to Church Sunday. Last year the number one thing that was requested was…kids resources! We listened and made an awesome youth program guide with lessons and ideas to engage your young members and visitors (this free download should have been emailed to you when you added your church to the list of participating churches).
And we made it easy for you! The downloadable guide includes memory verses, lessons that follow the book of Ephesians (these tie in with the sermons in this year’s event kit), craft ideas, fun game ideas, and so much more. The guide contains content specially crafted for three different age groups: 3-6 year olds, 7-10 year olds, and youth grades 6-12. The best part is, the guide is completely FREE when you add your church to the map of participating Back to Church Sunday churches.
There are four lessons for each age group – one for the week of Back to Church Sunday and three for the following weeks to keep kids coming back. Each lesson has four parts to it: Learn, Listen, Discover and Create (or Move for the older kids) that are designed to inform, grow and engage the kids who come to your church this fall.
Here is a little sneak peak into what is included in the download and ideas to engage the youth in your church this Back to Church Sunday.
1) Learn & Listen
The first two sections in each lesson are Learn and Listen. The Learn section of the download has a memory verse from Ephesians for each week. The verse is a learnable length for each age group with the verse for the 3-6 year olds being very short and getting longer for the older age groups. This is the perfect way to start off the lesson and teach the kids to hide the Word of God in their hearts.
After the Learn section, the Listen section is the lesson for the week. These lessons follow the theme of togetherness that is found in Ephesians and are similar to the sermons the adults are going through at the same time. These lessons are applicable for each age group with lots of practical examples and connections that make the concepts easy for the kids to remember.
- Week 1: Topic: The peace we find in Jesus. Example: Legos
- Week 2: Topic: Experiencing the love of Jesus. Example: Love letter
- Week 3: Topic: Together we grow stronger. Example: Aspen Trees
- Week 4: Topic: Together we can change the world. Example: Superheroes.
These sections are the perfect way for the kids in your church to learn about Jesus in a fun and memorable way, as well as memorize verses that will be with them when they go home.
2) Discover & Create (or Move)
To go along with the lessons, the kids resource guide has fun game and craft ideas that are a great way to help the kids remember the lessons and have fun.
The Discover section includes lots of fun ideas for each age group. Some of the game suggestions include things like:
- Building a lego church
- Making care bags for the local shelter
- Relay races
- Making posters
- Minute-to-win-it games
- A service project
- And much more
The last section of each lesson in the download is the Create section for 3-6 year olds and 7-10 year olds and the Move section for the older kids who are 6-12 graders.
The Create section includes age-appropriate, easy-to-do crafts with inexpensive materials that go with the lesson for each week such as:
- Making sailboats out of apples
- Writing messages on legos
- Decorating capes
- Making movie posters
- And baking a snack
For the older kids the Move section includes athletic games such as:
- Relay races
- Team building challenges
- And a movie making contest
All of the resources within the download will get the young people in your church involved whether they are 3 year olds or seniors in high school. Each lesson is hand crafted with each age group in mind to challenge them, encourage them and let them have fun.
Ways to Engage Youth
Along with this download, an awesome way to engage the kids at your church this Back to Church Sunday is to ask them questions. Kids love to be asked questions because it not only allows them to learn and understand things, but also demonstrates that their thoughts are valuable.
Another great way to engage the youth is to do activities that are associated with the lessons. Kids might forget a lesson, but they often will remember a game, and if the game is tied to the lesson then the chances of them remembering the concepts from the lesson are much higher. Using games and challenges where your youth have to work together to accomplish a goals also increases interaction. There are so many lessons that can be learned when kids have to work in groups such as comprise, patience and teamwork to name a few.
We want to be able to equip your church to reach as much of your community as possible on this Back to Church Sunday. Use these resources to reach all age groups in a practical way that engages them and teaches them about the love of Jesus and the togetherness we have in him. Take advantage of this guide to create an unforgettable Sunday for all ages!