Christmas Conundrum – Sunday School Teachers & Gifts

December 19, 2013

Administration, Programming

gift box in handWhen the Christmas season arrives, Sunday School teachers face a particular conundrum – whether or not to give gifts to their Sunday School class.

This can be a tricky situation for Sunday School teachers. They want to be generous and show their students that they care about them, but some classes are large and the teacher may not be able to afford gifts for everyone. Or maybe they are stuck in a situation where some of their students have siblings in other classes. Will those teachers give gifts? Is it fair for one child in a family to receive a gift from their teacher and another does not?


There are a number of situations possible. Maybe you can relate to one of these.

The children’s ministry department has a budget for gifts for the children but the leader has not communicated this to the volunteers. Or the children’s ministry department expects the teachers to give gifts to their own classes but have not communicated this to the volunteers.

A Sunday School teacher has the desire to give gifts to the class but cannot afford to, while other teachers have the capability to give gifts to their class no matter how large. As a result, some children in the Sunday School receive gifts, while others do not.

Some Sunday School teachers give big gifts to their classes while others give small gifts. Children may end up thinking Sunday School is unfair because a sibling or friend got a much bigger gift then they did.

Whichever situation you find yourself in, it can be hard to figure out what to do.


The solution to all of these situations is the same – communication.

Leaders, communicate with your volunteers! Let them know if there is a budget for gifts at Christmas or if you plan to give out treat bags. Let them know what the policy is for gift-giving at Christmas.

Teachers, communicate with each other! Talk freely about what you have done in the past and what you plan to do this year. This is especially important for new teachers who may not know how this issue has been handled in the past.

In the end, it’s not imperative that teachers give gifts to their students. What is imperative is that you love them and share the good news that Jesus came to save His people from their sins. Jesus is the best gift anyone can receive!

“She will give birth to a Son and you are to give Him the name Jesus because He will save His people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21

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About Janelle

I am passionate about Jesus and kids and the people who work with kids in the church. I want to help empower children’s ministry volunteers – especially those who work in small and rural churches.

View all posts by Janelle

2 Responses to “Christmas Conundrum – Sunday School Teachers & Gifts”

  1. Jonathan Kroeker Says:

    I thought this post was going to be about whether or not parents of students should buy gifts for their Sunday School teachers! My answer to that is YES. As to whether teachers should buy their students gifts, NO. Their teaching is the gift! BTW Thanks for teaching Haddon. I will try to remember to buy you a gift this year. LOL!


    • Janelle Says:

      Thanks, Jonathan! I will accept anything that has “Number 1 Teacher” on it. Seriously though, It’s my pleasure to teach Haddon. Last week he told my Bible story for me – all I had to do was mention John the Baptist and he took it from there!


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