Sunday School shutdowns during Covid-19: How will this affect our children’s faith nurture?

Churches responded swiftly when physical meeting ceased due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In order
to provide children with a replacement for “Sunday School” type meetings, many churches began
compiling video content for children to access online. Of course, these online outputs were part of
an emergency response to the crisis that was unforeseen and not part of the church’s intended
strategy. Therefore, in the majority of cases they were produced with limited time and resources,
compounded by the heightened stress and anxiety within their surrounding community at the time.
There were obviously barriers to overcome, such as specific expertise and training, resources, time,
and availability of appropriate tools. Despite this, the online children’s discipleship content quickly
became widespread.

This research project investigated the materials provided by one hundred UK churches, to evaluate
their effectiveness when compared with a theoretical understanding of children’s faith and
discipleship methods. The aim of this project was to gather beneficial insights and good practice
from the sector and provide recommendations to churches worldwide in order to inform their
ongoing work and improve effectiveness for children’s faith nurture through this media. Focus
groups, comprising participants with diverse and extensive experience in children’s and family
ministry, deliberated the tentative findings prior to the formulation of conclusions and

A more detailed academic paper will be published in the future, but this report
seeks to support churches in improving the effectiveness of children’s faith nurture online during
this pandemic. (Please contact the author if you wish to access the academic paper.)

You can read the full report here:

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