How to Lead Hybrid Sunday School with Tru Ministry

This guide is designed to help you use Tru curriculum as your ministry adjusts to another new normal.
6 min read

Editor’s Note: If you want to discover more about Tru Curriculum, check it out here.

Children’s ministry has never changed at a faster pace than it is changing right now. But what hasn’t changed—and will never change—is our goal to bring God’s Word to children and families.

This guide is designed to help you use the Tru curriculum you know and trust as your children’s ministry adjusts to another new normal.

We’ve provided tips and ideas to help you adapt the lessons for teaching and engaging with families—whether you’re meeting online, meeting in person, sending lessons home, or taking a hybrid approach.

Providing lessons and resources for children at home is a great way to invest in and connect with the families you serve!

Teaching—A Hybrid Approach

When we use the term “hybrid teaching,” we’re referring to combining virtual tools—tools that enable you to communicate and interact online with students and families—with physical options.

Check out this article on teaching virtually. You’ll find technical suggestions as well as tips to keep your kids engaged online!

Even when your ministry is ready to return to your church building, some of your families won’t feel comfortable coming back right away. Consider offering—or continuing to offer—an at-home Sunday school option. Providing lessons and resources for children at home is a great way to invest in and connect with the families you serve!

We’re also creating bonus curriculum content (coming soon) that is free to you as a current customer. It will be full of resources to help you engage the children and families you serve.

Prepare to Teach

Close-Up Of Mobile Phone In Cover On Diary At Desk
Image Credit: Fabian Krause/EyeEm/Getty Images

Decide which portions of a lesson will work best for teaching in your current reality. We’ve provided suggestions below. It will vary depending on the technology you have access to, your class size, and the age group you are teaching!

Remember that activities that call for pairs or groups of kids will be more difficult to use online.

  • Set a time limit for each lesson. Allow time to socialize before and after the lesson.
  • Organize your lesson and the digital files you will be using. Remember that for younger ages you can still use puppets through digital interaction!
  • Decide how you will get activity packs to families (physical pickup/drop-off, download links, or both). And be sure to let families know how to access the lessons and the activity packs.

For Each Lesson

Prepare you heart with prayer as you prepare and organize your materials and digital files so you can access them easily while you teach. Maybe even consider creating a PowerPoint or Google Slides presentation for the lesson.

  • Practice telling The Big God Story ahead of time so you are comfortable presenting it on-screen and send families The Big God Story resources for children to use at home.
  • Let kids and parents know ahead of time if there are any resources/materials their children may need for the lesson.

The David C Cook Church Support Program

This program is designed to help church leaders, teachers, and volunteers continue ministry—whether virtually, in person, or a hybrid of the two.

The David C Cook Church Support Program

This program is designed to help church leaders, teachers, and volunteers continue ministry—whether virtually, in person, or a hybrid of the two.

The David C Cook Church Support Program

This program is designed to help church leaders, teachers, and volunteers continue ministry—whether virtually, in person, or a hybrid of the two.

Teach the Lesson

Before the Lesson Starts

Begin streaming your lesson at least 10 minutes before your scheduled start time. This gives families time to sign in. You can use a countdown video or use PowerPoint or Google Slides to display a welcome message and even use a worship song as a cue that the lesson time is starting.

  • Include a slide reminding parents of the materials they need to gather for their child to use during the lesson.
  • Greet children and families as they join you on the screen.

During the Lesson

Cool young woman sitting in apartment with laptop
Image Credit: Klaus Vedfelt/DigitalVision/Getty Images

Take a couple of minutes to touch base with your students. Share what’s new with you and give them time to share what’s new with them. Then move into your activity.

For some activities, it may work to have a scavenger hunt type of activity. You could also choose a fun icebreaker video to share on-screen and capture kids’ attention. We’ve pulled together dozens of icebreaker videos in our bonus curriculum content (coming soon)! For the youngest of children, you could even use this time for show-and-tell!

  • Use PowerPoint or Google Slides to create a presentation that includes visuals of activities, supplies, finished crafts, and the Storytelling images needed for telling The Big God Story.
  • Focus on telling the story and encouraging interaction with the kids. If a lesson calls for you to assign roles to children, have all the kids do the actions together. For some of the discussion questions, encourage children to respond by calling on them by name if needed—or even have them wave their arms in the air. Be comfortable with some silence as the children ponder the questions and their answers.
  • When you bless the kids, have the children’s parents (or guardians) participate in this section and say the blessing over their children as class ends. If parents of older children aren’t available, you can speak it directly to each child.
  • Remind families where they can find resources for continuing to respond to the lesson during the week and tell them how they can prepare for next week.

The Big God Story for Large Group/Small Group

For this portion, focus on keeping the Bible story simple. Sometimes you may be able to do this section as written, but you may need to adapt any lessons that were written for a large team of presenters.

  • If you are focusing on small groups, prerecord this section at your church building and make the video available to families or small group leaders to watch with their group.
  • For lessons that have a video provided, show the Storytelling Video and then move on to the next small group section.
  • For Worship as Response, you can find MP3s of the suggested songs in the Library (found on Disciplr).

Remember and Celebrate Lessons

Use these weeks as opportunities to do a virtual celebration with all the families together, even those that attend in-person classes (if possible). And don’t worry about getting through the full lesson during these times. Focus on the big picture of the lessons!

  • You can create a fun interactive experience by tying together different technology tools like YouTube Live, Zoom, Kahoot! and others.
  • If you only have the CRE guides, focus on the Remember section and go through that with your families.

Equipping Families

Help Families Prepare for Virtual Ministry.

If you’re teaching virtually using Zoom, Facebook Live, prerecorded videos, etc., be sure to let parents know what to expect and what you need from them.

  • Where and when can they access the lessons?
  • Do they need to be with their children during the lesson?
  • How can they keep their child engaged spiritually if they miss a week?

Create Activity Packs

Activity packs are bundles of resources for students and families that encourage them to interact with the lesson. You could send these packs home or provide them to kids attending a family worship service.

Here are some resources you might include in the packs:

  • A personal note to the child
  • Ministry announcements
  • At Home Weekly pages
  • Remember Verse cards
  • Crafts and Activities
  • Song MP3s

Decide when and how you will provide the activity packs to families.

  • Once per quarter? Once a month? Every week?
  • Will they be physical or a digital download?
  • Will families need to pick them up from the church?
  • Can volunteers deliver them in person?
  • Are you able to mail them to families?

These answers will be specific to the needs of your ministry and are likely to change as the needs of your ministry change.

Creating a Plan for Your Ministry Post-COVID-19

This guide can be used as a post-COVID-19 re-entry planning tool for your entire church or for a ministry within your church body.

Creating a Plan for Your Ministry Post-COVID-19

This guide can be used as a post-COVID-19 re-entry planning tool for your entire church or for a ministry within your church body.

Creating a Plan for Your Ministry Post-COVID-19

This guide can be used as a post-COVID-19 re-entry planning tool for your entire church or for a ministry within your church body.
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  Updated on July 2, 2020

About the Author

  • Tru is a life-changing, spiritually-forming, parent-engaging, kid-captivating, downloadable curriculum designed for churches of all sizes and denominations

© 2020 David C Cook. All rights reserved.
© 2019 David C Cook. All rights reserved.
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