[Translate to Englisch:] Photo: Sriyanto Alwina Handayani/GKSS
06. August 2020
Sunday School Workshop of the Indonesian EMS member churches
"Such a meeting has never been held before. We are looking forward to the exchange that the EMS has made possible with this meeting," says Leni from the Donggala Church. Leni is one of the 34 participants who met in March for a four-day workshop on Sunday School in Makassar in South Sulawesi. They came from Bali, Sulawesi and the Northern Moluccas, from the nine member churches and three partner organizations of EMS in Indonesia.
This first joint workshop was attended by those in charge of Sunday School in the church leadership and also one person who is a Sunday School teacher. All of them first presented their own teaching materials, books, posters, puppets and more. Diverse because of the different ethnic backgrounds, similar because much of the material is oriented towards western materials. Some things had been critically questioned, such as the presentation of booklets with a long-haired, white Jesus.
The Sunday School is no longer just listening and learning by heart, but it has kept its task - the passing on of faith to the next generation (Genesis 18:19). The children between the ages of four and seven years should become familiar with important people, stories and contents of the Bible. And of course, they should gain trust in God and get to know Jesus from an early age. Many churches have now developed a three-year curriculum for Sunday School work. It should also strengthen the character and self-confidence of the children and promote their individual abilities.
A second focus was the importance of Sunday School for the churches. There is an agreement that children often play only a marginal role in the church, despite all the hopes placed in them. In what way are they part of the church community, what does faith education mean in a minority situation and a multi-religious environment?
Three churches already have a concept for a "child-friendly church". This drew everyone's attention - and at the end there has been the desire for another workshop on exactly this topic.
Half a day belonged to the presentation of the EMS children's programme. This was followed by a discussion on whether the materials meet the needs of Indonesian Sunday School work and what else the responsible persons hope for support from the EMS office. All of them wished to have curricula and appropriate materials available soon. Another big wish was the exchange on an international level, e.g. in the context of a workshop with all EMS-churches on a topic like "child-friendly church". And on a national level, a joint WhatsApp or Facebook group should will soon start an exchange about their Sunday school work.
EMS Liaison Officer Indonesia
Rev. Hans Heinrich presented the EMS children's programme at the workshop in Makassar