Each lesson contains enough material to last at least an hour. Most churches have the children in “Big Church” until a certain time that is clearly marked in the bulletin or on the big screen in the front. Then the teachers lead the children to their classroom and the parents breathe a sigh of relief!
History of this Curriculum . . . My son who was in first grade was complaining that he heard the same Bible stories over and over. He was getting bored with church. That was crazy since God’s Word is certainly not boring!! During church he worked on worksheets or daydreamed. I didn’t want him to get into the habit of “tuning out” the sermon! As a concerned Christian parent and certified teacher, I started praying. I thought about how I had become a Christian as a result of going to Children’s Church. And after months of prayer and meditation on God’s Word, I felt God leading me to start a Children’s Church in our church in Galax, Virginia. Yet, I had trouble finding a great curriculum. Many really did teach the same stories over and over. Others had games and crafts but they didn’t have anything to do with the lesson! (Fun -- but the purpose??) Others were the same format every week – DULL.
So, I started writing this curriculum. And we began Children’s Church with the 1st – 5th grades. Not only did I see my son grow tremendously, other children were growing and becoming Christians! Plus, they were excited about church. There have been times when kids insisted that the parents come home from a trip on Saturday night so that they could go to Children’s Church. One child who visited occasionally, came one Sunday and remembered a Bible verse from a craft we had done a year before!
These lessons haven’t just been written in a book. (Actually they’re not in a book. They’re available by email in pdf format.) They have been used and rewritten to be as effective as possible in reaching children for God’s kingdom! My husband and I started a church in Ohio. Here we have used this curriculum and the children are responding! Now many of them are in the youth group. It’s obvious which ones have been learning God’s Word in Children’s Church! I give God the glory for all of this! With Him all things truly are possible.
Teachers . . . The best format for teaching is to have at least 2 teachers each week. One teacher can be in charge of the main lesson and the other can be in charge of the craft/song/game depending on the week. This format does not require the same teachers each week. Many churches do 2 week rotations or month rotations where the same pair of teachers teach for 2 consecutive weeks or teach monthly. Teachers should still meet with all other teachers on a regular basis to keep up with the overall plans, discipline issues, praise times, etc.
Format . . . Lessons are taught through reading, drama, demonstrations, games, stories, puzzles, songs, puppets, crafts, guests, etc. The children have fun, yet learn while doing so. Each lesson concept is taught by the Bible and then reinforced through at least 2 other means.
Reinforcing the lessons . . . Each week kids will receive FUNSHEETS to take home and work on. (Or they can be done in class when there is extra time.) These handouts are related directly to the lesson taught that day and will help them remember how to apply the new Bible knowledge. These FUNSHEETS are a great way for the parents to start discussions at home about what their children are learning!
Incentives . . . (This is optional of course.) Every child who comes to Children’s Church has the opportunity to earn stickers by Bringing a Bible, Bringing a Friend, and/or Completing the FUNSHEET. Each sticker is worth 5 points. The children keep up with their own cards with their stickers attached. Approximately each 13 weeks (once a quarter), the children will be able to exchange their points for small prizes.
*Currently in many churches this curriculum is serving the K-6 grade range.
For those churches with “5/6 years worth of children” the curriculum can be extended with Bonus Lessons such as special lessons for Mother’s Day, Christmas, Easter, general lessons such as “Learning the Books of the Bible”, and by doing review lessons each quarter. These lessons can be purchased separately as needed or desired.