The Pennsylvania State Sunday School Association’s
2017 LOCAL WORKSHOP
In 2017 we will continue to place a major emphasis on training local church and Sunday school teachers and leaders by offering 18 different workshops on a wide variety of topics to help bring about Sunday school growth and renewal in your church!
We Would Like to Invite YOUR Church to Host
One of Our Workshops in 2017!
WE HAVE MADE A MAJOR CHANGE IN HOW
OUR WORKSHOPS ARE PRICED IN 2017!
Every church would like to see their Sunday school and other Christian education programs grow, but what are they doing to bring about that growth and renewal? Here at the Pennsylvania State Sunday School Association, we believe that Sunday school and other Christian education teachers have the greatest influence over whether or not the local church’s Christian education programs will grow. These are the people who have the greatest contact with program participants. And, we are also told that the number one reason that people give for leaving a Sunday school is that they didn’t like their teacher. This means that if a church’s Christian education programs are to grow and produce persons of all ages who are well grounded in God’s Word, local churches must have the very best teachers and leaders that they can find, persons who are trained in using today’s best and most effective methods as they work in these most important areas of Christian education.
How can you help your teachers and leaders get the education, information and inspiration that they need to be their very best? We believe that the Pennsylvania State Sunday School Association can provide the help and training that you and your Christian education workers need. What can we do? We offer “Local Workshop Training Programs” where we bring the very specific training that your teachers and leaders need right to your local church and community.
In 2017, we will offer 18 different 3-hour training workshops. These workshops can be held on either a Saturday morning (from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon) or Sunday afternoon (from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m.). Each of our workshop leaders is a highly trained and experienced trainer who will help each workshop participant gain valuable knowledge and practical experience related to the topic of study. In addition, we know that each of your teachers and leaders who attend the workshop will return to your church inspired and excited to do even more and better work for the Lord through the Sunday school and your church’s other Christian education programs.
Listed below, you will find information about each of the workshop that we will be offering in 2017. Each of these 3-hour workshop events can be presented right in your local church.
THE BIG NEWS FOR 2017: In the past, the price of each workshop was based on the number of participants. But, in 2017 we will offer each of our Local Training Workshops on a FLAT FEE BASIS of just $300.00. That's all you pay! JUST $300.00! There is no minimum number of participants required. There are no extra mileage charges, materials costs or promotional costs. You pay only the $300.00 for each three-hour event. You can even invite persons from other churches in your community to attend at no additional cost. (Full payment is due on the day that the workshop is presented.)
Churches interested in hosting one of our workshops in 2017 are urged to talk with potential participants about possible dates for the event (we suggest that you have at least two different dates in mind). Then contact the Pennsylvania State Sunday School Association office in Harrisburg to begin the scheduling process for YOUR workshop event. For even more information, go to the P.S.S.S.A. website (www.SundaySchoolHelp.org). If you have additional questions, contact P.S.S.S.A. Executive Director, Rodney Pry, at 717-652-1930 or 1-800-358-2303.
IMPORTANT NOTE: OUR LIVE WORSHOP TRAINING PROGRAMS CAN BE PRESENTED ONLY WITHIN THE STATES OF PENNSYLVANIA AND MARYLAND!
OUR 2015 WORKSHOPS…
“GET BACK TO THE BOOK”
A Workshop on Revitalizing the Bible Teaching Ministry of Your Local Church
The American Bible Society says that 90% of all Americans own a Bible. But, they also report that less than 20% read their Bible “on a regular basis” and fewer than 10% say that they have a “good working knowledge of how to apply the Bible to their daily lives.”
The sad fact is, most people in the world today don’t really know much about what the Bible says. Biblical illiteracy is rampant…even among Christians! And, if you don’t know the handbook, how can you possibly live the life that our Lord expects each of us to live for Him?
This workshop is designed to help church and Sunday school teachers, leaders and all other interested persons learn how to make the Bible teaching ministry of their local churches even better and more effective. The workshop will focus on ways to improve local Sunday schools and the other Christian education ministries of the local church. In addition, the workshop will look at ideas for new programs such as a variety of types of small groups, focused Bible study groups and other programs that churches might consider. And, it will also look at ideas that you can use to tell the members of your church and community about the importance of the Bible and your C. E. programs.
“CHILDREN IN THE CHURCH”
A Workshop for Ministering to the 21st Century Child
The Barna Research Group stated a decade ago that, “Social scientists have known for years that the moral foundation of children are generally determined by the time the child reaches age nine. Anyone who wishes to have significant influence of the development of a person’s moral and spiritual foundation had better exert that influence while the person is still young.” The determination behind this assertion is as important for the Church to consider now as it was when it was written.
With nearly 62 million children, age 0-14 (approximately 22% of the population), impacting a strong faith to that age range can diminish many of the problems that are later plagued with during adolescents and beyond…sexual activity, substance abuse, violence and chronic health issues. Since every decision one makes ultimately touches an individual spiritually, it is critical to teach children in a contest of absolute values, and strength of character based on the Word of God.
This workshop is designed to challenge traditional assumptions, promote spiritual development, identify best-practices, and motivate to action toward a solid ministry for children in the Church. Though parents are the primary guardians for a child’s spiritual formation, we need to consider as church leaders and teachers how we can champion and support their role most effectively during the time we have then with us as a group. Come join us as we look at their needs and how best to share God’s Word for the purpose of transforming lives for the Kingdom!
"THE C.I.A. - The Church in Action"
Church buildings…you see them on just about every corner in every city and town. But, do the people who live in the area of that church building really know that it is there? True, the church is the people, not the building, but in many cases, the people who make up the church are only seen within the walls of the building and are never seen and have no impact on the community.
Our brand new “C.I.A. – The Church In Action” workshop is designed to help churches become more visible and to help them engage in active outreach that will help them be more visible, make a difference in their community, and, most important, once again become a spiritual beacon for Jesus Christ within their area.
The workshop will begin by helping churches take a good, hard look at who they are, where they have come from, where they are today and where they are headed. The, we will help them work to identify a core group of members and leaders who might become involved in the “C.I.A.” to help implement the program’s activities.
Throughout the workshop, we will also give the participants many, many different ideas for things that they can do to reach out to their communities, and how they can more effectively promote these events.
The workshop will also show participants how they – as a church and as individual Christians – can more effectively use the many different modern technologies, such as church websites, E-mails, text messages and social media like “Facebook” and “Twitter” for outreach and witnessing, as tools to help their church and Sunday school grow, to the glory of God.
"WHAT TODAY'S TEACHERS IN THE CHURCH
AND SUNDAY SCHOOL NEED TO KNOW"
For almost 15 years, the Pennsylvania State Sunday School Association has been providing top quality training for church and Sunday school teachers and leaders through a variety of in-depth workshops that are offered right through local host churches. One of the very first of these workshops was our “What Every Sunday School Teacher Needs to Know” training event. In the 14 years since the “What Every Sunday School Teacher Needs to Know” workshop was created, many things related to teaching in the church – teaching methods, understanding of how students learn, technologies and more – have changed greatly. And, that is why we have made major changes and revisions in the “W.E.S.S.T.N.T.K.” workshop and have even given the workshop a new name – “What Today’s Teachers in the Church & Sunday School Need to Know.”
The new “What Today’s Teachers in the Church & Sunday School Need to Know” workshop is a three-hour event that is loaded with a wealth of information, ideas and resources for all teachers in the church. Information in the workshop is designed to be of value for all teachers, no matter what age group they are teaching. And, whether the teacher is brand new in their work or has been teaching for many, many years, the workshop will help them learn the methods and tools to be their best and most effective in teaching God’s Word to children, youth or adults in today’s church.
The workshop uses a variety of training activities and methods – including hands-on “active-discovery learning” – to help participants learn how to be even better and more effective in their work as a teacher within the church today. Specific areas to be addressed in the workshop will include:
- Why is Christian education through the church and Sunday school important?
- Why is being a teacher in the church important?
- What does the Bible say about teaching and being a teacher in the church?
- How has teaching in the church and Sunday school changed in recent years?
- How do people of different ages learn?
- How to prepare a great lesson.
- Using today’s most effective teaching methods and tools.
- Effectively using the Bible in teaching in the church.
- Active application of every lesson and more!
"Creatively Teaching What Jesus Did & Said"
The “W.W.J.D.?” (What Would Jesus Do?) slogan has been popular for many years. Even though there is certainly no better example or role model for anyone to follow, there is still a problem with the “W.W.J.D.” slogan. The problem: You can’t ask “What Would Jesus Do?” until you know what Jesus did and said. And where can you learn what Jesus did and what He said? By reading the Bible and then by attending Sunday school! This workshop is designed to help teachers of children, youth and young adults learn what the Bible says about Jesus and the things that He did and said, and then use a variety of creative, “active-discovery learning” methods to teach these things to their students in their local churches.
The “W.W.J.D.?” (What Would Jesus Do?) slogan has been popular for many years. Even though there is certainly no better example or role model for anyone to follow, there is still a problem with the “W.W.J.D.” slogan. The problem: You can’t ask “What Would Jesus Do?” until you know what Jesus did and said. And where can you learn what Jesus did and what He said? By reading the Bible and then by attending Sunday school! This workshop is designed to help teachers of children, youth and young adults learn what the Bible says about Jesus and the things that He did and said, and then use a variety of creative, “active-discovery learning” methods to teach these same things to their students in their local churches.
Top Ten Trends Impacting Ministry to Adults in Today’s Church
Change mandates new expectations. The ability to take the ‘old, old story’ and share it in a new way is a challenge the Church must take to meet both the predictable and unpredictable needs that come with the passing of these ever-changing years. This workshop identifies ten categorical trends that envelop many resultant and consequential thoughts and behaviors that identify adults in twenty-first century culture. We then want to think of the ‘broad-stroked’ best practices that allow the Church of Jesus Christ to most effectively reach and teach these folks to live out a practical faith that authentically communicates the love of Christ for the whole modern world! There’s a little mix of theory and practice in this workshop, but the end result is focused on helping all of us to create an Adult Christian Education program in our church that changes lives as the years are changing.
Using Modern Technologies for Church &
Sunday School Growth & Outreach
In John 14:12, Jesus said, “The truth is, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.” How could you and your church possibly do even greater works that Christ himself? Well, using today’s modern technologies – things like the Internet, E-mails, Facebook, Twitter, etc. – we can potentially reach many more people than Jesus ever did during his entire earthly ministry. This workshop is designed to help church leaders, Sunday school teachers and ordinary Christians alike to see the real potential available to each of them in using today’s modern technologies to reach and teach the members of their church, their community and even unknown persons on the other side of the world. This is not a highly technical workshop. Rather, the goal of the workshop is to show the participants the many different options and opportunities that are available to them and to show them some of the ways that today’s modern technologies can be used to reach people for Jesus Christ and to grow their local church.
Five Habits of Highly Effective Teachers
Desiring to be an effective Bible teacher is indeed an honorable endeavor. Habits for teacher effectiveness begin with a desire, move forward as predispositions and dispositions, and ultimately become natural ‘bends’ in the way we think and facilitate our teaching. This workshop won’t delineate all of the good habits a teacher might acquire for becoming an effective teacher, but it will highlight five broad principles that help us to set a ‘savory’ table of Bible truth before our ‘hungry’ learners. Come hungry yourself to catch a vision of how you can habitually teach so that others absolutely enjoy the learning ‘course’ being set before them.
Teaching as Jesus, the Master Teacher, Taught
How can an ordinary Sunday school teacher become a special, even extraordinary teacher? Follow the example of Jesus Christ! Jesus was the Master Teacher. Modern research continues to show that Jesus' teaching methods were some of the most effective ever used by any teacher in history. And, even with modern technologies and media, they continue to be some of the best and most effective teaching methods that any Sunday school or Christian education teacher could use today. By studying examples of what Jesus did and how He taught, the "Teaching as Jesus, the Master Teacher, Taught" workshop will lead each of the participants to see how they can use similar methods and techniques as they effectively teach persons of all ages in the church and Sunday school. Even if you are not a teacher or leader, this workshop will be of great interest to all persons interested in studying the life and ministry of Christ.
Growing Your Church through Small Groups & Sunday School
One of the common traits of today's best and fastest growing churches is that they all have good, effective small groups and/or Sunday schools! These churches know the importance of in-depth Bible study and they also know that it is important for each of their members to become involved in small groups where they can develop closer personal relationships with other Christians and members of their church. The "Growing Your Church through Small Groups & Sunday School" workshop looks at why small groups - including Sunday school classes - are important, types of small groups churches might consider starting, how to start a small group, most effective teaching methods for small groups and much more.
Preparation for Sunday School Growth
This workshop is designed to give church and Sunday school teachers, leaders and concerned members the information and tools that they need to involve every member of their congregation in their Sunday school growth and renewal efforts. Practical points covered in the workshop will include...
- Why is Sunday school important?
- Why is it important to have the best trained and most effective teachers?
- Why is spiritual renewal a necessary first step on the road toward Sunday school growth and renewal?
- Why is it important to have a goal and plan for growth and renewal?
- Why must personal witnessing and invitation be a part of your growth plan?
- Why must prayer be an important part of your planning?
Teaching Children in Today’s Church
This workshop is designed to provide lots of information, ideas an resources for every Sunday school and Christian education teacher and leader in the church. The workshop focuses on a wide variety of topics, including...
- Why is Christian education important for children?
- What are children of different ages like and how do they learn?
- Making lessons more interesting, relevant and fun.
- Planning your weekly lesson.
- Effective teaching methods and tools for children.
- Discipline in the church and Sunday school.
- Classroom safety and much, much more!
The Art of Invitation
Statistics tell us that only about 10 of all churches grow in attendance each year. Why? Well, one reason might be found in another statistic: In the average year, only 2% of all Christians invite a non-Christian to attend their church or Sunday school! Very few people ever just show up at a church. We are told that over 75% of all persons who attend a church for the first time come at the invitation of a friend or relative. But still, so very few people are inviting others to come to their church. People often say that they are afraid to witness to others or invite them to come to their church, and other say that they don’t know how to do it. This workshop focuses on the importance of witnessing and invitation, and teaches participants some very practical ways that persons of all ages can use to witness and invite their friends and others through their normal, casual conversations and contacts.
Shedding Light on Ministry to Boomers in the 21st Century
Seventy-eight million people in America were born between 1946 and 1964. That’s 26% of the American population. What will the church do to meet the many and varied needs of this new and large group of people? How will the church communicate the redemptive message of Christ in meaningful and relevant ways that will guide twentieth century older adults in joyful ways throughout their remaining years and beyond? This workshop focuses on the “Line-up, Lifestyle, and Legacy” of Boomers and how the church can more effectively extend support for living lives that are pleasing to God.
Effective Bible Study for Excellent Bible Teaching
Excellent Bible teaching doesn’t just happen! Behind the content and method of what is being taught is a teacher who has taken the time to effectively prepare their lesson. The quality of the lesson is not necessarily based on the amount of time given to the preparation as much as it is dependent upon the effectiveness of the study that went into the preparation process. That indeed is the key to an excellent lesson. This workshop will highlight six “P’s” of effective Bible study and then lay out a schedule to help teachers fit the preparation process into an already busy schedule. Briefly, the six “P’s” of Bible study are:
- The Prerequisite for Bible Study
- The Presupposition behind Bible Study
- The Preparation for effective Bible Study
- The Principles of effective Bible Study
- The Perspective of Bible interpretation
- The Processes of deriving Biblical application
Reaching & Teaching Young Adults Through
the 21st Century Church
In far too many churches today, there is one particular age group that is very conspicuous it its absence. Who are they? Young adults, ages 18 to 30! We need to be doing more to reach out to the 18 to 30 year-olds within our communities. But what can we do? To prepare this workshop, the P.S.S.S.A. conducted extensive research and talked with a number of leaders from churches that have very successful young adult ministries, and we also talked with a number of young adults to find out what they really wanted in a church and from its programs. The workshop looks at 12 important elements that contribute to the success of young adult ministries and a variety of programs that many churches are currently using to reach and teach today’s young adults.
Overcoming the Biggest Obstacles to Sunday School Growth
All Sunday schools have problems, but only as you meet and overcome these problems will your Sunday school be truly successful. This workshop looks at the most common problems of today’s Sunday schools and how to successfully overcome them. Some of the problems to be addressed will include…
- The lack of training for Sunday school teachers and workers
- The lack of spiritual growth
- The shortage of teachers and workers
- The lack of children and youth within the Sunday school
- The lack of concern for Sunday school by church leaders and members
- The lack of good Sunday school literature and other resources
The Pennsylvania State Sunday School Association is a non-profit, interdenominational organization whose services are available without membership or membership fees. The two primary goals for the organization are to (1) promote Sunday school and Christian education through the local church and (2) to provide education, information, inspiration and resources to Sunday school and Christian education teachers, leaders and workers.
Pennsylvania State Sunday School Association
5915 Fox Street
Harrisburg, PA 17112
Phone: 717-652-1930 or 1-800-358-2303