DIY Small Church Learning Resources: Faith Formation

Small churches often ask how they can offer religious education programs for children and youth when there are very small numbers of children who attend on any given Sunday. There are lots of ideas for supporting spiritual growth and faith formation for all ages (not just children and youth) in small churches. We've gathered some articles with ideas and resources for you to experiment with. If you want to talk through these ideas with an NER staff person, contact ksweeney [at] uua [dot] org (Kimberly Sweeney) for a consult!

Making a case for faith formation....

Church on Sunday: Because Spiritual Education Takes More than Good Intentions: Op-Ed piece by a UU parent about why her family makes the choice to attend church on Sundays, even if some family members would rather stay home. Might make a good small group discussion source.

 Just What Is Faith Formation?: Article by Vibrant Faith Ministries. Written from an explicitly Christian orientation, affirms that much of what churches do beyond religious education classes can be faith formation opportunities when they focus on transformation and embodying our faith.

Making a case for new directions in faith formation programs....

Transforming the Way We've Always Done Things: blog post from Vibrant Faith Ministries with suggestions of good questions to ask your congregation to think about how to faithfully and intentionally structure your religious education and faith formation work.

Full Week Faith: This paper describes a way of approaching faith formation that de-centralizes the one-hour Sunday School model as the only way of having a religious education program, in favor of multiple approaches to faith formation to help congregants engage their faith all week long. Sample activities on the website can be downloaded free and adapted for any size church.