Preschool and Children Curriculum Update

Originally Posted on June 11, 2021
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest

Webinar Transcript

– Well, good afternoon or good morning. You might be watching it at your convenience anytime of day or night. And we are glad to have you join with us today. As we are going to get overview of our curriculum options coming up this fall, many of you are looking to completely relaunch your preschool and children’s ministries this fall. And so you’re probably in the order process or maybe wanna make some last minute changes to a different curriculum line. We want you to know all your options. So we’ve invited our partners in Lifeway to come and to help us know that. And I’ll introduce our main speaker in a moment but I do want you to meet the office staff or the office of Sunday School and Discipleship here at the State Board of Missions. I’m Daniel Edmonds Director of the Office, but for those of you that are watching for preschool and children’s purposes, you need to know Patty Burns. And Patty is our Preschool Specialist in our office and also is passionate about Vacation Bible School. Easiest way to reach Patty is just first initial, last name. So pburns@alsbom.org. And then our Children’s Specialist is Belinda Stroud So if you have questions in children’s ministry all things children’s ministry direct them toward Belinda. She is also very passionate about Bible drill. You will reached Belinda at bstroud@alsbom.org. And so you feel free to call on us anytime. We are thankful today to have a good friend as well as a good partner Landry Holmes. And we’re not gonna take up any more of his time. He has got a lot to cover. And so Landry, you just take over and we’ll listen intently.

– Thank you, Daniel. I always enjoy being in Alabama even though I’m not physically in Alabama. I just always enjoy meeting new friends and getting really acquainted with other friends that I’ve had through the years in Alabama. And actually what Daniel probably didn’t know is that I do have some relatives in Alabama, kind of distant but I do have some blood relatives living in Alabama. So I guess I have some Alabama blood in my veins. My dad’s family, my dad’s mother and dad moved from the red clay of Alabama to Sandy loam of Central Texas back before I think it was before the depression days. And anyway, so I ended up being a Texas, who lives in Tennessee, but I do have Alabama blood. So just wanna make that quick connection. I have the privilege at Lifeway of leading our publishing teams who are responsible for ongoing Bible study, for what you use in Sunday school and life groups and just ongoing Bible study curriculum. And so I’m going to be reviewing our three primary Bible study curriculum lines that we have at Lifeway. But before I begin and I’m gonna go ahead and share my screen. And before we really get into all of the curriculum choices I wanted to just start off with having you think through this. So if you have something you can write with fine, if not you can use your fingers and toes or whatever but I’d like for you to think of 10 names or the names of 10 preschoolers and/or elementary kids or preteens who were in your ministry. Who you know. You may think well, I don’t even have 10 kids in my church. You can think of the name of a nephew or niece or a neighbor, but just think of 10 names, names of 10 kids. Now keep that list handy, whether it’s in your mind are written down but I want you to circle again, in your mind or written down circle seven of those names, okay? You need to have seven names out of the 10. So seven out of 10 I want you to have circled. Now out of that seven places a star by two of them. All right, now if you’re just doing this by memory, you’ve got a better memory than I do, but by now you should have two names in your head. Here’s what’s gonna happen. According to research, seven out of 10, so the seven your circled of kids who grew up in church they’ll leave church after high school. So seven out of 10. Now, hopefully not those specific seven and hopefully your church will be spared of this but just when you look at across the country, seven out of 10, according to statistics will leave the church after high school. Now five of those seven will return eventually. Remember I had you think of two names, star two names in your head or written down two out of that team will leave and never return. And of course we know that even one leaving and never returning is not according to God’s plan and is not a good thing. We want all to be part of God’s family and all to be part of his church. And just like Jesus went after that one, even though he had 99, the parable that he told of the sheep, we want to make sure that we do everything we can to help close that door so that children do not leave before middle school or high school or after high school. And that even those that do leave, that they will come back. So one of the things that we found with some research that we did a few years ago, we set out to find out what are some indicators of children who remain spiritually healthy, or children who grow in their faith, or children who as adults do not stray from their faith. So in other words, what can we do today in kids ministry to impact young adults in the feature? And what we found out of all the indicators, of all the things you would think of, like having them eating dinner together every day, or going to church together every week, all those are important, but the largest impact was for a child to grow up reading her Bible regularly. And regularly doesn’t mean once a week when he or she goes to church, it means regularly reads her Bible, regularly reads his Bible while growing up, you would think it would be, if they’re doing a big research project you would think it would have some kind of really light bulb moment, but actually this did become a light bulb moment that the largest impact on a child’s future spiritual health is reading the Bible. Unfortunately, we have many adults who’s are biblically illiterate. And so we have a big task ahead of us. We have a big task and that’s what we do at Lifeway Kids. So what I want to share with you today hopefully will help equip you as a church to partner with homes, to partner with families with content that you can trust and your families can trust in order to make disciples, in order to equip parents to disciple their children. You’ll notice as I talk today that in the bottom left-hand corner there’s gonna be some links that you could write down like this one, lifeway.com/kids will take you to our main page at Lifeway Kids where you can explore some of the things that we’re gonna talk about today, plus other things as well. And one of the things that I wanted to share with you that’s available online, and you can see again the link there are some video training. So while today I’m gonna give you an overview and I’m gonna give you an overview of the Gospel Project, Bible Studies for Life and Explore the Bible for Kids. I will give you an overview of those three but for further training, you can go to kidsministry.lifeway.com/videos, and click on these icons that I show you here and get additional training on the Gospel Project, Big Picture Question and Answers, which also applies to the Gospel Project, Levels of Biblical Learning which applies to Bible Studies for Life and Bible Skills for Kids, which is for the Bible. And then there’re gospel presentation videos that go along with each of the brands. Is not that there’s a different message in those just a different host, a different setting so that if you did show it to kids, they will maybe relate to that person ’cause they saw them on video somewhere else with their curriculum materials. Also there’s the BBS presentation videos there too. They’re designed also for training where you can show it to, you can watch it your shelf, show it to teachers, just to kind of get more comfortable with sharing the gospel with kids. So I would just want to make sure that you were aware that whenever you are watching this presentation today that you can always go back to lifeway.com and find these other more involved trainings. And you can use them in your churches with volunteers. Now, I want to start honing in a little bit now on our three what we call ongoing Bible study curriculum lines. So I’ll not spend time on the three icons that you see here on Teach Kids, but the three elements, three essentials of a healthy kids ministry, preschool ministry, children’s ministries, that is kingdom expanding. We’re about sharing the gospel with families and growing God’s kingdom, not our kingdom, not our churches kingdom, but God’s Kingdom. And we also are about helping kids live like Christ. And in that way that they will shape culture rather than being shaped by culture. They will actually become the culture shapers now and in the feature. And then heart transforming. Every ministry should be about heart transformation because that’s what Jesus is about. Not about just changing our behavior, but letting Jesus change our behavior because our heart is changed. And we know from scripture that that’s where lasting change comes takes place just through relationship with Jesus because He transforms our heart. So every thing we do has these at its core, kingdom expanding, culture shaping and heart transforming. So I want to talk a little bit more about how do we go about selecting, what’s the best curriculum materials for our ongoing Bible study. And whether it’s Sunday morning or Saturday night or whatever our ongoing schedule is but this is the time that most of the kids come and most of the families come. So this teachkids.lifeway.com is a place where you can go and do a quick overview. So after we’re through and you want to do your own exploring a quick overview of all three of our curriculum lines, the Gospel Project for Kids, Bible Studies for Life and Explore the Bible Kids. And within each of these there’s a, actually, before we get into each of these, there’s a little really short quiz that you can take very quickly, just get on there and take a quiz. And the results of the quiz will help know, maybe which curriculum fits your church best. And so that’s kind of, it’s not full proof, but it just kind of points you in a direction. But then within each of these on this page, with each of these brands you can click on the links below the icons there, and you can click on those links and you can view instantly without having to sign your Lifeway. You can instantly do some samples. Not complete samples that you would use for teaching. Those are available. We do need your name to sign up for that. So we can email those to you. But also there is the study plan. And so each of these have a study plan, a multi-year study plan, and that will be you can click on there and flip through that and see that, or even download it. And then there’s another link that talks about the framework. What really undergirds this particular curriculum line. And I’m gonna be talking about those frameworks as I explore each of these. So I’m gonna start with Explore the Bible. Again, if you wanna sign up for free sessions that you can preview, you can go to goexplorethebible.com/kids. And Explore the Bible for kids is on a five-year cycle. And I’ll explain that a little bit more in a moment. But Explore the Bible is where you can jump in any time. You can start at any time and I’ll explain why in just a moment. But I want to give you more of the why behind this each curriculum on. So what’s the why behind Explore the Bible? Why would I want to use Explore the Bible? And by the way, if you have multiple times that you need Bible study, you can use more than one curriculum line. But the why behind Explore the Bible, really goes back to some of the research we talked about with Nothing Less. And I mentioned that the number one indicator of spiritual growth is, for an adult is as a child that they spent time, regular time in the Bible. And so “Nothing Less” is a resource. It’s a book that just talks about that resource. Not about Explore the Bible. It talks about that research. But it gives the why behind, why would we do Explore the Bible? Explore the Bible is a lot about biblical literacy. Explore the Bible helps kids understand the context in which the Bible was written, the world of which the Bible was written and who would have been the first readers are hears of what are God’s word. And it also did of course expands on that into our context today, but it starts with the text and the origin of the texts and what was going on in the world at the time that God was inspiring the writers to write his words in the Bible. And I mentioned a while ago about biblical literacy. So while all the curriculum lines do talk about the Bible and the text and do teach Bible skills, we have a heavy emphasis on Bible skills in Explore the Bible. We recently revised our Bible Skills for Kids, material or a booklet. So this is a little booklet you can actually download. This is the framework I was telling you about. So you can actually download it yourself if you want an electronic copy, we sell the little booklets in packs and along with the booklet comes a poster that you can put on your wall, that basically it has by age group, Bible skills that kids need to learn and can learn. And some children may be advanced in the Bible skills because their skills is not cognitive, I mean, it’s cognitive, but it’s actually things you can do and know and understand about the Bible or biblical literacy. Some children who have no Bible background, no Bible knowledge, they may be supposed to be on the far right hand of this chart but they’re not because they had not grown up in the church or in a home where the Bible was used and taught. And so they’re gonna start more at the beginning. But this gives us as leaders an opportunity to know here is some things that kids need to know in order to be biblically literate. So they do need to read the Bible regularly. And that’s part of biblical literacy, but just understanding the Bible is also an important part of biblical literacy. So when we think about Explore the Bible Kids we’re thinking about the whole truth for the whole kid. Kids don’t need to grow up to study the Bible. They need to know now the Bible grows with them. And so Explore the Bible Kids will help kids in preschoolers read and study God’s word now. And book by book in a way that’s fun engaging, age appropriate, sustainable for lifetime. Going back to that reading the Bible regularly, knowing the Bible. So book by book, that is what defines the study plan of Explore the Bible. So over a five-year period, children will study books of the Bible. Some books they may study for one week, like the Song of Solomon, some books they may study for several weeks like Genesis, and they don’t go through it chronologically, but over in a year’s time, they’re gonna be in different genres or different divisions of scripture. They’ll be in history and there’ll be in prophecy and they’ll be in the new Testament. And there’ll be in the old Testament. But they’ll take chunks by studying particular books of the Bible in order to study God’s word in context as it applies to their context. So Explore the Bible really in summary is the champion biblical literacy. I mentioned that in the thing about every book for every kid. So over a period of five years, they will have studied 66 books of the Bible. And if you think about it that five years, if a child is in Explored the Bible from birth through pre-teen years, they will actually study, go through that study plan twice. Not the same curriculum, I mean, not the same activities, not everything the same, but they will be able to study every book more than once. And it’s also to have fun exploring God’s word. In fact, one of our funnest curriculum pieces that we have, which again everything we do is available digitally and in print. But one of the funniest things that we have, one of the I think the pieces for kids that they’re most proud of is the Explore the Bible, Explore guides for younger elementary and older elementary. They look like what their magazine and each week they have an opportunity to immerse themselves in that magazine and see images of real objects that they’re from a Bible times or from antiquity. And so sometimes there may be illustrations. Sometimes there may be actual archeological objects that we have photography of. And so we have an opportunity for elementary children to use a technique called object based lesson, not object lessons, but object based teaching. Where the teaching starts with this object, this historical objects or some other object. And then they learn, they take that, that’s kinda what gets their interest in. And they delve into God’s word to understand what God’s word teaches us. Not only in the original context, but also for our context. And by the way, Explore the Bible, Bible Studies for Life, the Gospel Project, they all teach the Bible or they’re all based on the Bible. Lets say the people are the ones who teach the Bible but they’re all based on the Bible. And they all points to Jesus and they all help kids apply to the Bible to their lives. So I wanna make sure that as we get into what you might call a starting point, like Explore the Bible starts with the text in its context. All the curriculum that we do is gonna be rooted in the scripture and focused on Christ and applicable to the child’s life now and in the future. So I mentioned a while ago that there’ll be studying all 66 books by genre, twice during their childhood if they go through preschool through preteen. And you can again, that teachkids.lifeway.com. there’s a link there to the study plan. And you can see the different genres that are gonna be taught in there and the actual study plan and the books. So again, genre is things like law and history and profits and letters. All those are groups or genres or scripture, but it’s all God’s word, of course. And then something that is fairly new to Explore the Bible, actually it started in fall of 2020, but fall of 2020, of course, we were still in the middle of a global pandemic and many Churches weren’t meeting, but Explore the Bible has a missions emphasis as do the other curriculum and our missions emphasis used to be in our second hour of Explore the Bible. But now it’s in the primary Bible study hour which brings me to another point is that if you need to expand Explore the Bible or Bible Studies for Life or the Gospel Project from just a Bible study time to a worship time or whether it’s worship time on Sunday mornings or Wednesday nights but you need to expand it to another hour or so. All of them have the option of also getting the worship components to each of the curriculum lines. So there’s a seamless time of learning and worship on Sundays. And then when I get to Gospel Project in a little bit I will be spending quite a bit of time kind of talking about some new things. And one of those is how we’re approaching the worship hour. But Explore the Bible also has worship included. Something new that we started in fall of 2020 were classroom bundles. So just to make it a little more economical and a little more convenient, we bundled two leader guides, 10 explorer guides, 10 family cards, and the video, the media pack, video music pack together. And so that’s if you get ready to or Explore the Bible and this fit you, it’s a little more economical and again a little more convenient, and you can think about how many you need to get. So just something you and Explore the Bible. We don’t have that pack in others. And by the way, in all three of these I mentioned, Explore the Bible, the Gospel Project, Bible Studies for Life all come in print, and they all come digitally. And I’ll talk about digital later on. So this is what a, just kind of give you a visual, ’cause this is what a pack would have in it. All right, now I wanna shift gears a little bit and talk about another curriculum line that we have, Bible Studies for Life, and what makes it unique. Bible Studies for Life has a three year study plan. However, the study plan is such that you can start using the Bible Studies for Life at any point and not wait till another cycle starts because of the way it’s organized. So I’ll talk about that in a while. And you can do that with all three of these. I wanna today talk about the why. Some of you may be familiar with something called the levels of biblical learning and that is such an integral part about Studies for Life. And I’ll talk about that specifically. I wanted to make you aware of this new book and actually this book will not be available until October of 2021, but it’s written and is in the process of being edited and designed and published, “Every Age, Every Stage” is the why, stronger why behind Bible Studies for Life that really is applicable just like “Nothing Less” to any curriculum line you use, because it just helps equip parents and churches to disciple kids. So this particular book is built on the levels of biblical learning. In fact, there’s a chapter that deals with every concept area, which I’ll talk about what that is in a moment. And in that this book actually is designed to help parents and help churches partner with parents to teach with practical ideas, it’s not a theory book, it’s got some theory in it but most of it is practical ideas. The bulk of the book are practical ideas written by Church Minister and who has taught this way and led his volunteers to teach this way for years. But every main areas to 10 chapters, there’s a chapter on God. And then it has broken down by age, from babies through high school, on how to equip kids, preschoolers students to know God’s word and to apply God’s word to their lives. So the why behind Bible Studies for Life it’s beginning point of life application. Do we teach the Bible? Yes, definitely we teach the Bible. Do we teach about Jesus? Yes, absolutely. But the starting point, rather than being texts the starting point is where the child is in their life and what their age is and what their stage is. And this is a booklet that has levels of biblical learning in it. And there are 10 concept areas. And within each of those concept areas there’re individual statements that it’s like truth upon truth. So they’re like stepping stones. So like for babies ones and twos, they’re gonna have very simple statements about Jesus. Jesus loves you, Jesus is God’s son, just basic statements. But as they get older and whether they’re middle preschoolers or older preschoolers, younger school-aged kids, middle school aged kids, pre-teens, middle schoolers, or high schoolers, this is a progressive way of learning. And so the Bible Studies for Life uses this as a tool to develop its study plan. So when you look at Bible Studies for Life it’s going to adhere to these biblical truths these concepts, according to the general age of the child. And of course they got to be general. And so sometimes you may have to scale it up. Sometimes you might have to scale it down but it’s a progressive learning God’s word by every age and every stage of life. And so basically we’re just helping kids connect God’s word to their lives in an intentional way. And then to know God’s word, we want to help them build biblical community in their groups of Kids. And also we talked about culture shaping a while ago. Bible Studies of Life because it’s heavy on life application. Just like the other curriculum materials, encouraged kids to engage in the culture missionally Bible Studies for Life, definitely points that way too, for kids. Like I said, it’s discipling kids with a study plan based on those biblical concepts. So it’s based on the levels of biblical learning. We introduced kids to foundational Bible stories and we’re gonna repeat some of those foundational Bible stories every year. Some of them, every three years, some of them every two years, just so that children are well-grounded in foundational truths that God teaches through His word. And of course, as I mentioned a while ago, life application just connecting the Bible to the real life of kids. So that the resources that are part of this, the videos that are part of Bible Studies for Life Kids, point kids to applying God’s word to real life situations that they experience. And one of the things that Bible Studies for Life does in this is distinctive is that, out of the three is the only one that focuses on very closely graded groups. And I will illustrate that in just a moment. But that is how we can use the levels of biblical learning as the basis for what we teach and what kids learn. Because the Levels of Biblical Learning is again precept on precept, truth on truth by age and stage. And so you’ve got it closely graded in order to do that. And also of course, Bible Studies for Life the other curriculum lines connect with parents. And like I mentioned a while ago, there are also worship hour options. Second hour options with Bible Studies for Life. So here’s one of the big differences in product with Bible Studies for Life. I’ve already talked about, the distinctness with Explore the Bible. and main distinctiveness starts with text. Then in context, the main distinctive of Bible Studies for Life life is that I started with life application, real life of kids. But from a product standpoint, in order do that with Levels of Biblical Learning, there are 10 age groups. And I know you cannot see these age groups but again you can go to biblestudiesforlife.com and you can click on that and see all this information. You can also do the training that I shared earlier. But there’s actually two groupings, okay? So there’s what we call broadly graded is where, okay, I really buy into Levels Biblical Learning. And I really want the way Bible Studies for Life approaches scripture, but I don’t have enough children for one and two year olds to be in the room by themselves. Or even one year olds being in the room by themselves. I have babies all the way through five-year-olds in the same room and it may be I have three of them, but they’re all in the same range. Well, that’s why we have the curriculum babies through fives for preschool. We also have curriculum grades one through six for school age. So that you can combine ages and grades. And we’ve done the hard work for you. I’m sure any curriculum you’re gonna have to adjust and back to your size group and the kids in your group and the needs that they have, that these curriculum materials are designed in mind that you’re gonna have multiple ages in a room. Now, if you do grade your children more closely like one-year-olds together, or one and twos together, actually these titles are directed towards school age children. So we have first and second grade, third and fourth grade, pre-teens, and then special buddies. And special buddies is for children who have special needs. And it can be used with older preschoolers with special needs, school-aged children with special needs. And it’s designed primarily for a situation where a church has a separate class for children with special needs, but it can also be used as supplementary material if the children are included in the classroom with other children. And then you can use some of the ideas from that for school age. And then in our preschool materials we do give help from time to time about how to adapt things for children with special needs. And in preschool, the age groupings are babies. So there’s material just for zero to 12 months, ones and twos, three through pre-K and kindergarten. Because kindergarten is a standalone resource, it doesn’t matter where you put kindergartners in your ministry. You can use Bible Studies for Life kindergarten ’cause it’s standalone. So it can either be used in your preschool ministry. If that’s where kindergartners are. Or it can be used in your elementary ministry, if that’s where your kindergartners are. Because this is a standalone for kindergartners only curriculum. So 10 age groupings, when you include the two broadly aged group curriculum materials as well as the special friends, special buddies. Now the 3rd and the last curriculum line I wanna talk about is the Gospel Project for Kids. And there’s the, we just kind of say just in the last, I guess a month and a half, we relaunched the website gospelproject.com/kids. Now the study plan in gospelproject.com is it’s uniqueness, one of his uniqueness, the things that’s unique about it is that it is chronological. So were Explore the Bible studies over a five-year period. Every book of the Bible the Gospel Project covers the whole Bible in three years chronologically when things happened in the Bible. And so it starts with Genesis and it ends with Revelation. And it goes through the Bible in a three year period, three year study plan. Can you jump in at any time? Sure. But if you want to start with Genesis and you are planning for your curriculum for the fall, but you need curriculum right now, I’m gonna help you out here with an idea. And that is in the Gospel Project. Well I’m gonna to come back to that idea in a minute, but just introduced it to you. It’s the Gospel Project bridge. If you need something between now and the fall launch, then there’s something called bridge. I’ll talk about that in just a moment. But I did wanna talk about the why and this little book is a great tool. Again, any three of these leadership resources I’ve mentioned, “Gospels Centered KidS Ministry,” “Every Age, Every Stage,” and “Nothing Less” apply to kids ministries and parents, regardless of what curriculum line the church chooses to use. But I have seen sometimes churches decide to use the Gospel Project, but they don’t understand the why. And so then when a certain session comes along certain Bible story content, or the way it’s handled they don’t quite understand why are we teaching this to this age group and in the Gospel Project. ‘Cause we sure wouldn’t teach it in Bible Studies for Life. Well, if you understand the why, this small book helps you understand the why, “Gospel Centered Kids Ministry.” So rather than teaching kids truth by truth a little bit at a time, like the Levels of Biblical Learning, Bible Studies for Life or instead just starting with looking at books at a time of the Bible and starting with the text and its context and looking at all the history. The Gospel Project approaches scripture and everything in the Bible, Genesis through Revelation points, to the gospel points to Jesus. So that’s what a gospel on our kids ministry. And we can all be gospels centred kids ministries. The Gospel Project supports that approach in that every session is gonna point to Jesus. We call that the Christ connection. And we point out how this particular biblical content points to Christ, points to Jesus. And it’s done in a chronological way. So again, we’ll start with Genesis and we’ll end with Revelation over a three-year period. So children have the opportunity to go through the Bible chronologically several times, just like they have the opportunity to go through the levels of biblical learning several times in the ministry. If a church stays with that particular curriculum line. This booklet that goes along with this one is called Big Picture Question and Answers, because the way that we teach this gospel centric curriculum materials, the way we approach scriptures with a gospel centric lens is through learning some basic doctrine, and basic theology for children. Similar to a systematic theology, but it’s for kids. And we do it with question and answers. And these question and answers is a way for kids to learn the truth of scripture. So Questions and Answers, Levels of Biblical Learning, Bible Skill for Kids. Each of these resources can be used within a ministry but they help point toward that particular starting point where there’s texts, Bible skills for kids, biblical literacy, whether it’s the Gospel Project, theology, doctrine, or whether it’s life application oriented biblical concepts with Levels of Biblical Learning and Bible Studies for Life. So I mentioned the Bridge and here is the website for that, gospelproject.com/bridge. We developed this because of so many churches not meeting for so long, and then they were ready to jump back in and they really want to start Gospel Project in the fall with Genesis. And if you were to just jump in with Gospel Projects right now, it might be kind of hard. If you hadn’t been doing it all along. If you’ve been doing it all along then where the Gospel Project is now within the early church and moving into Revelation then it’s fine. But if you haven’t and the last time you were in Bible Study with Kids was in February of 2020. There’s a lot of the Bible you missed in the Gospel Project. So the Bridge does bridges the gap and it’s a short gap. And you can start with June or July. I’m trying to think what month. So whatever month you’re enlisting to August is the last month. So if you started June, you got June, July, and August. If you start in July, you’ve got July and August. And you pay quarterly just whatever you’re using, but basically is the love of Jesus in a condensed manner to bridge wherever you are now. And if you wanna start the Gospel Project in the fall with Genesis. So that is exactly what is this bridging and want to know more about that or how you can purchase curriculum for that. And it’s digital. Of course that’s the only way we could be this flexible with that. I don’t know whoever ever did the bridge again, but we knew that we needed to do it in this kind of year. So there are five new things about the Gospel Project for fall 2021. And one is a redefined approach. Two is a new layout and a size of materials, whether it’s print or digital, a new age group that we’re introducing, a re-imagined kids worship hour and then new resource. So I wanna cover these. And first of all, we’re preparing some new training materials. So you’ll be able to get those from where I showed you earlier, kidsministry101.com, lifeway.com/kidsministry, you’ll be able to find some of these training videos and we’re developing new ones to go along with this new cycle. So when I say new cycle, it means that because we go Genesis to Revelation in fall we’re gonna start with revelation again. But it’s not the same curriculum. Now, there are gonna be some of the same stories we’ve had before, but you know and I know that over three-year period you can’t cover every Bible story that there is, or every Bible story that’s foundational to kids’ learning and to a gospel centric teaching model. And so they’re gonna base some stories that we didn’t in the last cycle and all the materials new, being written new, just like in the other curriculum. So the learn, love, live. Some of you maybe familiar with head, heart, hands. And you can see about a lot of concepts that we are nodding to that, but the learn, love and live. This is in every Bible study session helping kids understand, learning the scripture, learning that biblical truth or the big picture question and answer through the Bible story, learning God’s word, learning the gospel. And as a result of that being called to respond in love, loving God, and then in response to our love for God and his love for us, how we live out our faith missionly. So all of that is involved in Bible study. However, I had mentioned a while ago that there’s a new resource. So that gives us three primary resources, primary teaching times, if you will. And each of those starting place is one of these. So Bible study your regular ongoing Bible study, Sunday school, life group whatever you call it, starts with learn. Now, there’s still a lot application. There’s still response to God’s love to us but it starts with learn. And then love is the second one. And love is the primary focus of the worst of our curriculum. And that’s one of the changes in the wash of our curriculum. And then live is the primary focus of a new resource that we have titled midweek. ‘Cause it’s really designed to be used outside your regular Sunday morning, or weekend, Saturday night, whatever Bible study hour. It’s really designed to be used like for our midweek study with kids. And it focuses on living our faith through spiritual disciplines. So we have learn, love and live and you will see these throughout the curriculum. We also have the leader guides which focuses, the Bible study leader guides, focusing on learn and have a new layout and a new size. So they’re a little bit bigger and that gives you more wide space, more room to write notes. Don’t feel as daunting as the packed text in the smaller size that we’ve had up to this point. However, in case you’re wondering they are still spiral bound, that’s for Project teachers have told us through the years that worked so well for them. And you’ll also notice it’s in color. Now before you get all excited about it being in full color, there’s only the digital version. So the print version is still black and white but the digital version is in color. But they’re both the same content, just that the printed version is gonna have the same images in black and white and gray scale. But they’re still are the same new size and not as large as Bible Studies for Life and Explore the Bible, but not as small as the current Gospel Project. So in between. Again, to give a little bit more space for notes and what have you. New age group. So we have heard since the inception, the Gospel Project and I have been blessed to be a part of the beginning of the Gospel Project through today. And has been such a blessing. And we had heard and I’ve heard many times and I’ve experienced it as I taught it that there really is a need for curriculum materials for younger preschoolers. So it still follows the same chronological study plan but the key passage is gonna be, simpler for the children to understand the big picture question and answer the cross connection. It’s gonna be simpler for younger preschoolers to understand than when we just did preschool. Now you may call that we introduced a few years ago, several years ago, Babies and Toddlers. We’re still doing Babies and Toddlers, but now we’re introducing, instead just we have Babies and Toddlers and preschool. And with preschool, with it being that wide age span, there were times that it was over preschoolers at hands or it was under older preschoolers at hands, now we’re able to focus on younger preschoolers with their own later guide, and their own activity pages and focuses on older preschoolers with their own leader guides and their own activity pages that fit them specifically. So I’m really excited about this new younger preschool leader guide. And we have a new editor who works specifically on this. Many of you know, Delany Williams, because she has been a ministry specialist and has been in Alabama and taught conferences. And she could do just teach for us. But now her primary role is to be a preschool editor with the Gospel Project. So we’re really excited about that note and excited about what she’s bringing to the table. Giving an idea of the activity pages, see how much more sample this is. If you’re familiar with the preschool. And the coloring page its a lot more simple than the ones in the past have been. So this is designed for younger preschoolers. And then also I’d mentioned that there’s a Re-imagined Kids Worship. This is still large group worship hour and it focuses on love. So it’s focusing on our response to God’s love. And so every week you’ll see an expected response such as in this session, that all of God’s power is our response. So there’s more of a focus on teaching kids to worship in kids worship, pre-school worship will stay much the same as it is now, but as kids get older and as kids become Christians we’re helping them understand how they should respond to God’s love for them. And God’s redemption of them. And then the new resource I mentioned, focuses on Live and spiritual disciplines, and it is a midweek resource. So if you have the whole suite, you would have your primary Bible study hour, you would have your second hour for children’s worship time. And then you would have a third hour for, and I’m using hour generically, it could be less an hour more than an hour, then your third hour for more discipleship oriented on Wednesday nights or midweek or Sunday nights, whenever you would have that and do that. Still they all tie to the same Bible content as much as possible sometimes with mid-week, it might have to not be exactly the same Bible story but you’re still connecting the still same cross connection. the big-picture question and answer, passage. And then as you can see spiritual discipline for this one is worship. So the Gospel Project learn, love, live. So those are the main changes that you’re gonna see in the Gospel Project starting the fall. Again then there’s the bridge. If you need something to get you until we tied over, until we get there but you don’t want to launch right into Revelation, you’d like to launch into Jesus and have a little bit of Jesus before it ends. It really sound right, did it? Have a little bit of Jesus, before we get into Genesis. But as you know the way the Gospel Project touches Genesis and every study is showing the Christ connection. As I’m beginning to wrap up now, I told you that we’ll tell you about our digital curriculum choices and it would take a whole another hour to do a how to. so I’m not doing a how to, but I wanted to point you to our new delivery method for curriculum. And if you have used digital curriculum in the past from us you’re familiar with My Curriculum Manager, and it has served us well for several years. It started at the inception of the Gospel Project over nine years ago. And so it’s time for a reboot. And we took a training platform called Ministry Grid and created a curriculum platform on it. And so you can go to ministrygrade.com/curriculum and look at the different options, the pricing models, they’ll different. And it’s a monthly rather than quarterly. So some things we’ve got to think a little bit different but the curriculum is still the same as you’re getting in print set. That is digital. I you have some other flexibility to a digital you don’t have with print. Some churches prefer print. There’s nothing wrong with print and there’s nothing wrong with digital. The delivery methods does what works best for your church and your context. As you get into Ministry Grid and before you subscribe, you can watch different videos, you can describe some of the things there. And then of course we’re always available to help. One of the things the Ministry Grid that I’m super excited about is something that we kind of wanted to do, but COVID pushed us to it a little sooner. And we’re glad that, we’re not glad of COVID but we’re glad that we were able to go ahead and do something called At Home. Now I’m only showing you At Home a screenshot of it with the Gospel Project, but it’s also available for Bible Studies for Life, and for Explore the Bible. With your subscription to Ministry Grid, curriculum through Ministry Grid, you are able to take specific content that we’ve curated for the Home, and send it directly to the Home. Unlike an app that parents have to buy, they don’t buy this. It’s part of your grit. It’s an app. It’s not an add on either. It’s just a value added bonus to your purchasing curriculum through ministry grid. You’re able to send out to families every week. I know that the preschool ministry of my church sends it out every week to families and it undergirds what they learned on Sunday or if they weren’t there Sunday, the Bible teaching gives them video, it gives them a song. It gives family worship ideas. And if they wanna go beyond that, it gives a family prayer suggestions, prayer prompts that they wanna go beyond that it gives them activities, ideas for families. That a family could feel successful. Parents could feel successful if they just had family worship once a week. I know so many families stop and start family discipleship moments in times with discipleship stamped all the time with families, but their family worship times, they start and stop because it’s hard. And we’re just trying to make it a little easier for families and easier for churches. Because as a church, if you purchase your curriculum through Ministry Grid you automatically have this that you can send out to your parents and they’re able to connect without them having to purchase anything or down. And it’s also mobile friendly. So these are just screenshots I took actually off my own smartphone. And you can see how it scales very beautifully. I clicked on a video today, I’ve done it before, or you can do this on the go with a mobile device. Now you may send that but I’m not moving from Brandt Landry. And I’m still gonna use print. Well, right now we are offering the At Home free, if you do purchase prints. I don’t know that we’ll do that forever, but we’re doing that now. And so it’s delivered through Ministry Grid a little bit differently than this. So it doesn’t quite have all of, it’s not quite as smooth, but it is the Ministry Grid. And we’re able to offer it to you if you purchase print and you should get noticed when you purchase print that you have access to it. And we’ll give you a code. If you don’t get that, just reach out to us. And we’ll make sure that you get that code. So in fact, the preschool minister in our church we used print materials. And so the At-Home materials that she sends, and then I received ’cause I’m in the preschool ministry is actually from being able to get it gratis because we purchased print material. So we’ve talked a lot about online curriculum. We’ve talked a lot about the fact that it’s given that we need to teach kids the Bible. And just going back to originally what we talked about, what is the number one indicator of spiritual growth? And that is regularly reading the Bible. And as A.W Tozer said, “Nothing less than the whole Bible “can make a whole Christian.” And so I’m gonna leave you with this thought from Paul writing to Timothy, “But as for you, continue in what you have learned “”and firmly believed. “You know those who taught you “and you know that from infancy,” or your translation may say childhood, “you have known the sacred scriptures “which are able to give you wisdom for salvation “through faith in Christ Jesus.” Every Bible study curriculum material that Lifeway does it’s designed to equip parents and churches, to help children from birth through pre-teens know the sacred scriptures. Because we know that God reveals himself to us and to each child through His word. And He reveals Himself through His words and its through His word that we come to know salvation through our faith in Christ. So just encourage you as you make curriculum decisions that you keep in mind what we’re about and keep this verse in mind as you make those choices. I’d like to pray. And then I know that our friends will close us. Father thank you for this time. Thank you for the privilege and opportunity you give us to teach boys and girls the Bible, to introduce them to Your Son Jesus. And Father I pray for everyone who’s listening to this presentation, that Father you’ll the just equip them, encourage them and empower them to reach, teach, and minister to kids and their families in Jesus name we pray. Amen.

– Amen. Thank you, Landry. We appreciate so much you being on and we had the opportunity to kind of ask you in advance to address certain questions and Patty and Belinda have both informed me that you did a wonderful job of answering those questions. And so we do appreciate that again for the listening audience, whenever you’re dropping in on this video, we wanna say, thank you. And that all of us Landry included, but myself, Patty and Belinda are here to serve you. Please contact us, let us know how we can help you. Lifeway has always been a faithful partner and Landry has always been a good friend. And so Landry, we thank you so much for being with us today. God bless you and take care.

– [Landry] Thank you.

This site is made possible by the gifts of Alabama Baptists through the Cooperative Program.

Learn more at ALSBOM.org/CP

Get In touch

Leave us a message