How to get Sunday School to the children

The new Sunday School teaching material is ready and is to be introduced everywhere. But in Africa this is not quite as simple as it may sound. This is what the District Apostle Meeting Africa is currently talking about.

How and in what format will the new teaching material for Sunday School reach the many thousands of congregations in Africa? Could it be done electronically? It would be the easiest way. No, in many regions there is a lack of technical infrastructure. What about distributing it as a book? That would be too expensive.

District Apostle Mark Woll is responsible for the project Children’s Teaching Material (CTM). His solution for Africa is: “We need a hybrid version—both digital and analogue.” Right now, the challenge is getting the lessons translated into the many different languages.

“In this respect, we have already made good experiences with the Divine Service Guide in Africa,” the Chief Apostle said. The Divine Service Guide for ministers in the New Apostolic Church is translated into some 70 different languages. The District Apostles will calculate how much they need and then work together in getting the material out.

Modern and child-friendly

The new teaching material has been in use in Europe since the beginning of the school year 2019/2020. The lessons have a modern design and contain child-friendly material to help introduce the children to their faith in an age-appropriate and contemporary way. The most conspicuous innovation are the many methodical parts of the lessons, the Activities, which playfully deepen the subject matter.

The new Sunday School material was developed in the District Church of Canada and was edited and prepared by a steering committee for the German and French-speaking countries. The aim was to ensure that the teaching material could also be used by teachers with no teaching experience. The teacher is given access to an Internet portal and a teacher folder containing the lessons for the respective school year.

For all age groups

Canada has in the meantime launched an app for mobile devices. The app is available to teachers free of charge in an Android and iOS version. Offline use is also possible. In addition to the website, teachers can access the digital teaching material in English, Spanish, and French.

The app not only includes the four volumes of the Sunday School material, but also the teaching material being used in pre-Sunday School, religious instruction, and confirmation classes. As the home country of the international project group, the Canadians are a step ahead of many other countries.

Teaching is a priority for Chief Apostle Schneider and something he is very committed to. “Instruct the ministers and organise Sunday School for the children in all congregations,” is something he already said during the Apostle Meeting on Pentecost 2015 in Zambia, making it his agenda for Africa. “I am aware that this is demanding, but I also believe that with God nothing is impossible!”

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Peter Johanning, Andreas Rother
Doctrinal instruction