Back to School with God Sunday

Dates vary to fit in with start of the school year.

The 2020 theme is  “Prayer shapes, Prayer saves.”

After this long period when children and school staff have not been at school, we believe it is even more important than usual to mark the start of the new school year. Many will be anxious at this time; a routine has been broken; the school community needs prayer. With its theme Prayer shapes, Prayer saves, a Back to School with God Sunday service is a great reminder that God is the one who truly hears us and is close to those who pray (Psalm 145:18-19). There is an opportunity at the end of the service to pray for nursery schools, primary schools, secondary schools and the community in general – plus an ongoing challenge to support children, young people and school staff in prayer.

The all-age service explores the Bible story of Daniel. Daniel faced huge challenges – but his character was shaped by spending time with God in prayer. Prayer not only shaped Daniel: it saved his life, and that of King Darius too, who subsequently came to faith in God.

The all-age service is easy to use and includes all you need to take a service.

There is more than enough for a one-hour service; feel free to adapt to your own situation! Supporting resources available for download include PowerPoint slides,  a poster and a separate Children’s Talk for those who don’t have the option of leading a whole service.

Pray for Schools (Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and Wales) are encouraging local churches to send children, young people, and anyone working in schools Back to School with God, at the start of each academic year.

Back to School with God is about inviting God to be part of school life, and affirming support for those who are part of the local school community. It is an opportunity for churches to commission their young people and school staff, and to encourage ongoing prayer for local schools throughout the year.

The prayers available here for download could be included in a church service near the beginning of term in August/September. Other ideas include interviewing a teacher or young person about their life at school, or asking them to do a reading as part of the service.

To promote prayer for schools, Scripture Union Scotland and Northern Ireland produces resources each year to lead an all-age service in August/September at the start of the new school year. Entitled Back to School with God Sunday, the aim is to show the care of the church family towards its children, young people, and those who work in schools, and to help them see that God is with them at school as much as he is at church.

Everything you need to run the service is provided, including publicity, service outline, prayers, children’s activities, PowerPoint slides and bookmark (pre-order this if you would like a quantity sent out to you ahead of your service).

If you include a Back to School with God element in a service, let us know what you did – it is always great to have your feedback and it provides inspiration for others as well!