Don’t Throw Away Leftover Sunday School Literature; Share It! Part 1

Saturday 19th July, 2008

I get calls every year about what to do with used and leftover Sunday School material. The caller hates to "waste" good curriculum. The only thing wrong with it is that the dates printed in pupils' and teachers' books and magazines are now in the past. The pastor, Sunday School director, or teacher wants to know if I have a church or ministry to which the literature can be sent.

The truth is that there is seldom one place that could utilize the amount of literature for which all my callers have to dispose. So what is the answer? My friend, David Francis who is the director of Sunday School at LifeWay Christian Resources in Nashville, has written a great article entitled What to Do with Leftover Literature. In the article, he lists seven ideas for sharing your leftovers.

In Part 1, I will share the first three of David's seven ideas in all capitals followed by my commentary:

  • TAKE THEM TO PLACES PEOPLE HAVE TO WAIT. You might ask your doctors, nurses, business owners, receptionists, and others to take some to place in their waiting areas. Or when you have an appointment with doctors or business persons, take a leftover pupil book or magazine and leave it when you are called out of the waiting room. Francis also mentioned bus or train stations, hair salons or barber shops, work break rooms, auto repair shot, crisis pregnancy center, blood donor center, and fire station. How about airports? How about police stations?
  • LEAVE THEM AT PLACES WHERE PEOPLE READ WHILE THEY'RE DOING SOMETHING ELSE. This sounds a bit like the first one, but David added some more suggestions. Leave pupil books and magazines in coffee shops, fitness centers, planes, and public bathrooms. Spouses of lost or unchurches persons could leave them in the home bathroom. How about the dining area or game room of nursing homes? How about daycare drop off/pick up areas (or any other child activity facility)?
  • HAND OUT AT CHURCH EVENTS. Only your imagination limits what you can do here. Share age group pieces with parents of children participating in VBS, children's camp, music programs, sports programs, fellowships, or other preschool or children activities. And don't forget to share pieces targeted to youth with their parents. David also suggested sharing copies of Christian Single with your divorce recovery ministry, but let me add sharing leftovers when you work on cars for single mothers.
Along with these great ideas, let me suggest one more: share leftover literature during visitation with every prospect. After all, it is a free commentary that can show them the kind of materials you use in Sunday School. And if you are using LifeWay materials, it contains the plan of salvation. Encourage them to read the articles and lessons. Use it until you run out. You may decide to order extra next time just to take with you visiting! Remember to place an address sticker on it with contact information for you or the church!

In Part 2, I will share Francis' final four ideas of how to use leftover literature and magazines. Do you have materials you have to throw away every quarter? Stop filling the landfill and start looking for places where it can make an impact! Have you found another creative way to utilize these leftovers? Share it by pressing the Comments button below. Share your leftovers. Be revolutionary!

For more ideas about reaching out, check out these blog posts:

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