I am pumped up! I was very moved this week to letting the Spirit lead the discussion for tonight and going with God’s prompting on the material I wrote and was presenting to the kids. See this post about that. I threw out what I had been planning on this week to present the salvation message to the kids. It is one of the last weeks we’ll have with the kids before summer break and I know some kids may not be back in the Fall. (I hate taking a break!) Anyways – we had 4 kids make decisions to follow Christ! AWESOME! It was so evident the Holy Spirit was present tonight. I was on my knees in prayer as the kids were in small groups with their leaders and I was moved to weep over these kids and leaders. God is SO awesome. He uses times like this to humble me that I am even considered a servant of His.
Archive for the ‘small groups’ Category
Tomorrow night is the next to last night of Wednesday night programming before Summer for us. We just wrapped up a unit of Living Inside Out last week, so I can either start a new one for tomorrow night or do something new. I really have been thinking and praying about it today. I feel like I am being led to talk to the kids tomorrow night about becoming forever friends with Jesus. Just a presentation of the gospel for the kids. We have +50% of unchurched kids that attend on Wed. night and I feel like before we break for summer, I need to say it again. So, here I go – writing curriculum with just about 24 hours to go. I love it! Pray for me and the message I speak to reach the kids and make an impact in their lives.
Since we have used various curriculum thoughout the years in combination with writing our own material – I thought I’d post reviews of some of the materials. The first one we’re currently using for our Wednesday night programming. If you’ve used the curriculum I’d love for you to post your thoughts to help others out there trying to make decisions.
Curriculum Name: Living Inside Out
Company: Group Publishing
Genre: Sunday School material (we’re using for Wed. night program)
Format: Whole group/small group
Time length: 1 hour
It includes countdown videos, worship, various methods of presenting the main story, and a variety of activities to choose from for whole group time. The small group material provides an activity for age-divided groups, take home pages, and memory verse activities.
We use this material ith making modifications that work for our programming. I run all the presentation through Media Shout and toss in music videos at the beginning while kids are coming in. The theme song “Living Inside Out” is catchy and kids like it. Other songs depend. Some are typical Group VBS songs from their VBS materials. Some are older hymns sung by kids, and then some are original to the material. My interest in them varies.
They offer like 5 activities to focus on the point of the unit. Each unit is themed and runs for 4-5 weeks. The activities vary on amount of supplies and prep. One targets the main story through drama, video, or interactive telling. The other activities are games, object lessons, etc. The quality of the story presentation and activities is one of the strengths of Group publishing. They are relevantm hands-on, and do a good job of reinforcing the concept being taught.
The small group activities are easy to manage, pretty good quality, and work well with a 15-20 min. time frame. We do not use the memory work section because it requires materials purchased from Group and with the number of kids we have it is not cost effective to use. The kids branch out during small group time and spend it discussing their lives and troubles with their leaders.
The material is developed for preschool – 5th grade and honestly, I feel they do a good job of targeting 2nd & 3rd graders. It’s somewhat over the heads of the preschoolers and a bit redundant for older elem.
Overall, it’s been decent curriculum - the kids love it, they bring their friends, and are learning. The concepts and stories tend to be redundant. The quality of worship could be improved as well. The themes are fun and easy to theme out for.
I have the best small group leaders involved in Children’s Ministry EVER! (Okay – everyone involved in small group ministry probably thinks that about their leaders – so I guess I am biased! ) I love seeing workers that serve from the overflow of their lives. I can tell they are in God’s Word, on their knees and before the throne of the Holy One daily in their lives. They are awesome. They care beyond words about the kids they lead. They lead by example. The deal with “active” antsy kids after working a full day at their own job. They are there to listen to kids problems, pray with them, establish relationships with them, teach, lead, and guide them. And week after week they selflessley do this. I am so fortunate to lead a team of awesome volunteers that truly serve out of the overflow of their own lives. If they didn’t serve in this manner – I really don’t think they would be as effective as they are.