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Youth & Education

Train up a child in the way he should go; and even when he is old he will not depart from it. - Proverbs 22:6


Opportunities for all of us to grow in our Christian knowledge and faith at Good Shepherd include:




Children in Worship

Children of all ages are always welcome at any Good Shepherd worship service. If children are present at the Sunday morning services, they will be invited forward before the regular sermon for a brief chat and children's sermon with the Pastor. For parents of small children, we also offer specific aids for their children. There are activity bags at the entrance to the Sanctuary containing books and coloring supplies. We also have a dedicated nursery with books, toys, and a private restroom. The church's audio system pipes the service into the nursery for the benefit of parents watching their children there.


Sunday School

When there is a need, Good Shepherd is pleased to offer Sunday School for any children, featuring songs, Bible stories, prayer, crafts, and other ways to learn about God's love for us.


Each year, children of Sunday School age collect offerings for ELCA World Hunger, through their Good Gifts Catalog: Some of the offerings over the years have gone to buy Bibles, a pig, warm blankets, goats, chicks, community vegetable garden, water filter, clinic visit for a child, vaccination for a child, school supplies, stocking a back-pack with food, feeding a refugee family, solar-powered lantern, mosquito net, farming tools, honey bees, fruit tree, school fees, and school uniforms.


Our own 3rd-graders are also presented by the church with a Bible of their own, to help encourage a life-long habit of Bible reading and study.


Communion Preparation

Historically, the church offers the sacrament of Communion to any who are baptized. In recent times, however, it had become more common for Communion to be given only to children who had received specific instruction. So although we do encourage everyone to participate fully in the sacrament of Communion from the time of their baptism, for parents who wish to wait for their children to receive Communion only after having received instruction, we do offer sessions for children on preparing to participate in the sacrament. Such instruction is, of course, also valuable for children who are already active communicants as well.


For information about Communion Preparation or Confirmation, please contact the church office at at 815-369-5552 or e-mail us at goodshepherdlena@outlook.com.



As we mature it is important that we have a good knowledge and understanding of our faith so that we can affirm it as our own. Good Shepherd provides Confirmation classes for 7th- and 8th-graders, preparing them for the rite of Affirmation of Baptism and recognition by the church of their faith.


New Member Instruction

For those who wish to join Good Shepherd, but who are not currently members of an ELCA church, we offer New Member Instruction, consisting of a few evenings of casual conversations with the Pastor, and possibly others in the congregation, to explore what being a Lutheran Christian is all about. Current sessions are being held on Friday evenings, but we can always work out a way to fit your own schedule. New members will then be received by the congregation through Affirmation of Baptism.


Adult Bible Study

Christian education is not just for children! At Good Shepherd we are enthusiastic about continuing to learn about the Bible and our life as Christians. In the summer of 2023 we enjoyed several evening sessions of "Adult Vacation Bible School", in which we took a new look at some of our favorite Old Testament stories, shared refreshments, and engaged in some creative projects.


New Bible studies are being planned for 2024, focusing on some of the beloved New Testament letters.



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