Christmas was easily my favorite holiday when I was kid. My family kept so many traditions that made the holidays special. However, it wasn’t until I became a youth pastor in my native Kentucky that I understood just how stressful Christmas could be. As anyone who works as a pastor or teacher in the church knows, Christmas time is filled to the brim with carol singing at nursing homes, choir practices, special Christmas events that bring the community into the church, and meetings to discuss the church’s plans for the coming year. On top of this, the congregation (rightly) expects to hear a word from the pastor and teachers about the nativity of our Lord.
As a youth pastor, I was tasked with teaching through the Christmas story with our teenagers. My resources, however, were pretty bad. I had a few single-volume commentaries on Matthew and Luke and the book The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, a great book but not exactly prime study material. I was absolutely unprepared for what is arguably the heaviest teaching season of the year.
This Christmas, you and your teaching staff can avoid running into the “book barrier” by picking up key resources for preparing Sunday School lessons and sermons. Here are a few of the resources that I return to again and again for lesson prep.