Sunday School Behavior Checklist

By Molly Thompson
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Most weekly Sunday school classes meet for just one hour each week, so basic rules are important to ensure class time is well-spent, kids behave appropriately and the teachers -- often volunteers with limited training -- can both maintain control of their classes and teach a meaningful lesson. Sunday school checklists typically include both common rules, such as raising your hand, taking turns and being polite, along with rules more specific to the church setting -- taking good care of Bibles and being reverent during prayers fall into this category. Five to six rules is plenty for preschool and early elementary classes, while older kids can handle slightly longer checklists.

Common Courtesy

Basic courtesy and good manners belong on every Sunday school behavior checklist. Remind kids to say "please" and "thank you" when asking a friend to pass a pencil or during snack time. The checklist might also include a rule about helping others, which applies both during Sunday school and beyond church walls. Sunday school checklists for tweens and teens might also need rules about arriving on time and not using electronic devices during class.

Be Respectful of Others

Respect for others is a common theme in classroom management checklists and procedures. Even at Sunday school, kids occasionally need to be reminded that their actions, words and behavior choices affect others. One of the main respect-related rules is to be quiet and pay attention to the Sunday school teacher when she is talking. Include a rule about waiting your turn to speak or not interrupting others, to prevent chaos and teach the kids about respecting others. A corollary might be sharing supplies without argument and taking turns with toys or favored duties such as snack helper or line leader.

Reverence

One of the aspects that differentiates Sunday school from regular school is the requirement for being reverent in God's house. This translates into common rules such as walking in the building -- not running -- and using an "inside voice." It also means treating the sanctuary of the church, as well as the religious elements, such as candles, Bibles and sacramental items, with respect and care. Encourage kids to follow these rules by having a separate shelf for Bibles, for example, so they don't just end up thrown in a pile or toy bin with other books. Even younger children can learn reverence by folding their hands and bowing their heads during prayer time.

God's Rules

The 10 commandments God gave Moses are commonly posted in many Sunday school classrooms and are helpful in reinforcing for the students the rules by which God wants people to live. Simplified versions of some of these rules -- "Don't lie" in lieu of "Thou shalt not bear false witness" -- are relevant for classroom behavior. Point out to students how the Ten Commandments, along with key instructions from the Bible, translate into appropriate Sunday school behavior: treat others with love and kindness, be thankful for what you have, don't use bad language and pray often.

About the Author

As a national security analyst for the U.S. government, Molly Thompson wrote extensively for classified USG publications. Thompson established and runs a strategic analysis company, is a professional genealogist and participates in numerous community organizations.Thompson holds degrees from Wellesley and Georgetown in psychology, political science and international relations.