Getting teens to wake up early on a Sunday when they know that they have to sit through a Sunday school class isn't always easy, especially if the class content seems boring to them. Sometimes, the classes are in need of updating to adapt them to the needs of maturing teens. An interactive Sunday school program that makes religion relevant to teens can help renew interest for the middle school and high school church members. If you're a parent teaching the class, or just a parent involved in the program, initiating some changes can help inspire your own teen, as well as others, to attend.
Suggest changing the location of the class if possible to create a more relaxed atmosphere. Ideas include a nearby coffee shop, a teacher's home or a nearby park, weather permitting. If you can't change the location every Sunday, try for a change of scenery at least once per month.
Decorate the Sunday school room to make it more relaxed and teen-friendly if the only location option is at the church. Break up tables and seating to encourage small-group discussions. Get the teens involved in decorating the space to create an environment they want to experience.
Move away from a traditional Sunday school curriculum to avoid having overly structured lessons or simply lessons that only include lectures. A more relaxed atmosphere rather than a school-like one can make the worship group more appealing to many teens.
Ask for input from the teens on the topics and activities they would like to see in the program. Give the teens a chance to plan a Sunday school session on their own. This teen involvement makes the program more relevant and allows them to connect religion to their own lives and problems.
Invite the teens to lead the discussion instead of having an adult lecture or lead all the conversations. The student-led approach gives the teens another chance to relate the Sunday school topics to their own lives. Small group discussions led by the students are another option.
Plan hands-on activities instead of only discussions. Let the teens plan a community service project or put together a skit for younger Sunday school classes. Changing up the type of activities keeps Sunday school interesting so teens want to come back to see what will happen each week.
Encourage fellowship before and after the Sunday school sessions. Music and refreshments support the types of interaction that helps the teens build relationships with one another and the leader. When the teens connect, they are more likely to attend on a regular basis to experience that positive social circle.