Energize

Energize
Urban Saints

Price varies
5
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Overview

What does it say on the tin?

Online youth & Children’s resources. A fully comprehensive & continuous stream of web-based resources, training & support. Get access to engaging, dynamic, Biblical material for ages 3-18+!

What do you get and how?

You get access to a whole database of resources for working with children and young people from 3 years old up to 18 and beyond. Sessions are categorised in age groups: 3-4s, 5-6s, 7-10s, 11-14s and 15+.

There is a mix of outreach and discipleship resources and the leader can use sessions as they are presented or they have the opportunity to build their own bespoke sessions, picking and choosing activities and Bible studies.

The database can be searched by age group, theme, series, Bible verse or by a specific key word. This makes the site very searchable and the user has the opportunity to pick and choose the contents of each session to make it accessible to their group.

There are nearly 40 different series of teaching resources, including Apologetics, assemblies, life of Jesus, pressure points and world issues. There are over 1,500 meeting plans to choose from as well as hundreds of articles and online training for leaders and young people.

Available from Urban Saints.

Who is it for?

The material is for those leading groups with anyone between the ages of 3 and 18. The material can be adapted to suit both Christian and unchurched children and young people. Sessions can be tailored to your particular situation so sessions can be as long or as short as you require.

Cost?

£20 per month for churches (£25 per month for community groups which require independent insurance and Child Protection checks). 6 week free trial period. The cost includes access to training and support from the Urban Saints team.

Review

  • What is the overall quality of material presentation?

    The material is excellent, providing an good range of content. This includes different ideas for engaging with the Bible as well as activities, games, food ideas, discussion starters and worship ideas.

    How clear are its aims and outcomes?

    Each session begins with leader's notes which explain what the session is trying to achieve and how it fits into the particular theme and series.

    How accessible are the leader's notes?

    The leader's notes are of a very high standard, clearly explaining each activity. The database works similar to offering the user a menu to pick and choose from to make the best session for their group. Once the leader has chosen the different material, they can email it to other leaders direct from the website.

    Who could lead it?

    This can be used by anyone working with children or young people. The cost allows all leaders from one church to access the material so there is no need for each leader to pay separately. The material is clearly laid out so the leader can find activities that they would be confident in leading, and can miss out any which they don't think will work.

    How helpful are the participants' resources?

    Some sessions have handouts for the children or young people and these seem to be always age-appropriate and attractive. Any person using these would find them helpful to enhance the teaching.

    How good is any digital material?

    This is a really well thought-through website and there is so much depth to it, both in the amount of content and the range of material available. In addition to the themes and teaching series, there are specific teaching resources on using movies to teach young people to be critical in what they watch and to explore Biblical themes in movies, as well as access to resources from other organisations such as Damaris, Christian Aid and Romance Academy.

    How much prep will I have to do?

    Preparation time really depends on how much you want to take the material at face value or to tweak it and make it your own. Most of the time in preparation will be in choosing the best activities and then finding any materials that might be required. These are all clearly listed for each activity.

    Is there website support? Links?

    There is excellent support available from the Urban Saints team as part of the subscription.

    Is it dated?

    No.

  • How well does it encourage interaction with the group?

    The material is designed to be used in groups and comes from a rich history of working with children and young people for many years. Every session is written to help people connect well and learn together.

    How well does it cater for a variety of both learning and delivery styles?

    All learning and delivery styles are catered for as the leader is able to pick and choose from a menu everything from the right icebreaker, movie clip and Bible passage to the most appropriate activity and response for the group.

    How adaptable is it to my situation?

    The website is designed for the user to make the sessions totally adaptable to their particular group. There is also the facility to add your own ideas and notes to the session outline that you wish to use.

    How well does it encourage people to work together in applying the material?

    Depending on the particular activity or theme, the material has the expectation that the learning will be done in groups and sharing ideas, knowledge and experiences.

  • How much of the material is Bible-based?

    Every session is built around a Bible passage and there is often a choice of passages to use. The leader can decide how much Bible content they want to include, to design it around the faith level of their group. It is also appropriate for the age group selected.

    How well is the biblical material presented and used?

    The material is presented clearly and with helpful suggestions as to how best to use it, points to bring out and questions to encourage thoughtful discussion. There are also a suggestion of different activities to use to help the teaching make a difference in the participants' lives.

    How well does it apply biblical material to everyday life?

    This is dependent on the particular sessions the leader chooses to use and the activities they select. Every session is designed to have an impact on the participants' lives and there are plenty of creative ideas to help the material connect with their lives.

    Is there a particular theological perspective?

    The menu driven selection of material means that leaders can adapt it to suit their own particular churchmanship.

  • How well does it inspire people towards whole-life discipleship?

    The breadth of material helps the leader to consider wider issues of discipleship and to make good choices to help young people grow in their discipleship.

    How well does it encourage and enable people to grow in their faith?

    All the sessions are designed to help aid understanding of Scripture as well as to help participants grow in understanding of God and faith. The choice of activities and discussions enable the leader to choose what will work best for particular children or young people and so enable them to grow in their faith and put into practice what they are learning.

    How well does it stretch faith and vision of God and his purposes?

    The material is excellent to stretch people's understanding of God and his purposes. There are sessions on how God has influence in areas of life such as politics, school and technology, to name just three examples.

    How well does it connect with real life issues?

    The material uses stories and examples from real life as well as pointing to relevant film clips to use and news events.

  • How well does it encourage personal evangelism?

    This will depend on the sessions used but overall there is a clear sense of the individual developing a robust faith so that they can take opportunities to share it with those around them.

    How well does it encourage local or network-based community involvement?

    The sessions encourage appropriate engagement based on the age of the group, such as their school or family setting.

    How well does it connect with global issues?

    There are good sessions on connecting with wider global issues such as world views and world issues.

    How well does it encourage global mission?

    Most of the material focuses on the lives of the individuals and those they can immediately impact. There are some sessions which help individuals explore their global responsibility and possible impact.

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