By Rachel Nussbaum Eby Before I became the managing editor of Shine curriculum, I served as my church’s Sunday school superintendent. My two most important responsibilities were to order materials and make sure I had enough teachers every Sunday. Sometimes finding teachers also meant convincing people that they could teach. I even planned a lunch and short seminar after church to encourage teachers—past, present, and future. Mary Ann Weber, managing curriculum editor, was the presenter, and she offered great tips on how to use the curriculum (which was then Gather ‘Round). Mary Ann also encouraged us to talk about our own experiences, and we learned from those stories too.
If I was still the Sunday school superintendent, I wouldn’t need a special speaker to talk about the new Shine curriculum because a lot of helpful information is available. One primary source is the Shine website. You can learn why the Shine curriculum was planned the way it was, the elements of each session, what Bible stories are featured, which products each age group uses, and much more.
An even better source of information is Shine Together: The Essential Guide for Leaders and Teachers. This small book is packed with helpful information and can be purchased online. I think my challenge would be deciding which topics would be the most important to discuss. Chapters include:
- Welcoming and nurturing our children
- The nuts and bolts of a Shine session
- The spiritual practice of teaching
- Worshiping together
- Transforming Sunday school
- Growing in faith
- God’s shalom
Shine Together emphasizes the role that Christian formation has in our churches and the importance of providing it with authenticity and love. With all practical advice and inspirational quotes about teaching, this might be a good item for every teacher to have when they leave your training event.
I would also want my training event to provide an opportunity for my teachers to look over the materials before they are preparing for the first class. If you haven’t already done so, purchase a starter kit. It’s a great deal and you don’t need to know the size of your age groups to order it. (For those churches who use Multiage—kindergarten through grade 6, there’s a kit especially for you, shown below.)
A kit includes actual products that can be used during the Fall 2014 quarter. Several items will be used even longer like the music and Shine On: A Story Bible.
The music on these CDs is part of the curriculum—not a product added for convenience’s sake. Chosen for its relevance to the themes and Bible stories, the music was professionally arranged and performed. At the same time it is a learning CD (as opposed to a performance CD) to make the music easy for teachers to use and for children to learn.
Matter of fact, I was so impressed by these music products that I encouraged my church—that hasn’t purchased music in many years—to buy it, and the current superintendent did! Now when I teach in the future, I’ll be able to include music in much more meaningful ways.
Rachel Nussbaum Eby
Managing editor of Shine
Is your church ready? What questions do you still have?
The new church school year begins Aug. 31 and Shine launches! Order by June 24, 2014 for best service! (Store is closed for inventory June 25-30. We’ll also be happy to take your order on July 1 or really anytime thereafter!)