Epic Explorers
Christianity Explored, The Good Book Company, 2014

£11.99 (Approx)
3.8
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Overview

What does it say on the tin?

Epic Explorers takes children aged 4-11 through Mark’s Gospel to discover who Jesus is, why he came and what it means to follow him. Ideal for a holiday club or vacation Bible school, the five flexible sessions can also be used for an evangelistic group or after-school club.

What do you get?

What do you get? Leader’s guide, log book (for ages 8-11 years), scratch pad (for ages 4-7 years) Purchasable from: www.thegoodbook.co.uk

Who is it for?

Children aged 4-11 years old.

Cost?

Leader’s guide: £9.99, Logbook: £2.99, Scratch pad: £2.99 (sample pack also available for £11.99)

Review

  • What is the overall quality of material presentation?

    Excellent. Fantastic use of creative layouts which make sections easy and appealing to read. Attractive and colourful exterior design.

    How clear are its aims and outcomes?

    Clearly states and explains the aims at the beginning of the leader's book. Aims are then expanded at the beginning of each session to help set the scene and let leaders know what the children are meant to be learning.

    How accessible are the leader's notes?

    Very accessible and comprehensive to allow full proof planning and understanding. Language used is easy to follow, and full explanations are given in all areas of planning and running sessions. The ‘Ideas Menu' is particularly helpful, as leaders can quickly see an overview of activity choices and select the ones best fitted for their audience.

    Who could lead it?

    An experienced children's worker or a first time leader. Due to the comprehensive notes and guidance, this resource allows for anyone to lead on the sessions. There are many other roles to be allocated too, such as drama performers, musicians and group leaders.

    How helpful are the participants' resources?

    BRILLIANT! Relevant, fun and engaging. Neatly designed booklets are given to each child to fill out different sections during sessions. Children can do puzzles in their books as well as answer questions asked in the sessions. The books are very age appropriate in their content and can be taken home at the end to help children remember what they have learnt.

    How good is any digital material?

    None explicitly necessary for the sessions, however there are a few supporting downloads and also an option to use any choice of children's worship songs.

    How much prep will I have to do?

    As these sessions are intended to be run as a larger event, for example a holiday club or vacation Bible school, a considerable amount of preparation is needed. The resource suggests that the leader should start planning 4 months in advance to make sure there is time to train leaders, get resources and prepare the sessions. Also, as the sessions are based around an explorer theme, there would need to be time to create decorations and props in the allocated space to make the children feel as though they are in an explorer's environment. Sessions can also be run for up to two and a half hours, needless to say, this would require substantial planning input.

    Is there website support? Links?

    Supporting downloads are available from www.ceministries.org/epic

    Is it dated?

    Not particularly, themes, activities and challenges to children will stay relevant.

     

  • How well does it encourage interaction with the group?

    Achieved through a plethora of pacy, fun activities relevant to the theme. Discussion and songs aid interaction too, along with the main reading which is done via an interactive role play.

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

    Extremely well, in particular, the longest session running time includes learning via talking, writing, drawing, crafts, worship, prayer and plays. Good techniques suggested for learning memory verses too.

    How adaptable is it to my situation?

    5 sessions on Mark's Gospel are provided. Sessions allow maximum flexibility in how they are run. Layouts are given for sessions lasting 2.5 hours, 1 hour, 40 minutes or 25 minutes depending on whether it is run as a holiday club or weekly group. The course can be completed in 4-5 days in a holiday club and there is an optional extra family session given too. Suggested timings are included for each section to help the leader run on time. Resource is easily adaptable as it has lots of suggested/optional activities. The material caters for both churched and non churched children so fits most audiences. The contents would not be intimidating for non church goers. Lots of helpful tips on effective preparation.

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

    Children are encouraged to apply material by answering questions in their activity books and talking through answers together in smaller groups.

     

  • How much of the material is Bible-based?

    Just under half of the material is directly Bible based. All other activities, games and songs are kept relevant to the passage and the theme too.

    How well is the biblical material presented and used?

    Very well. Bible passages are presented in the format of an interactive role play as one suggestion so that children can be a part of the story and give in put where necessary. They can then answer the questions in discussion groups and apply it to their own lives with the support of their group leaders. There are two options for talks in each session, one for ages 4-11 years and one for ages 8-11 years, the leader can choose which would be most appropriate for their audience.

    How well does it apply biblical material to everyday life? Children are asked directly how Jesus applies to theirs lives. For example, they are given an opportunity to ponder why we should do as Jesus did when he was on earth.

    Is there a particular theological perspective? Epic Explorers is the children's edition of Christianity Explored, evangelism and learning about Jesus is the main focus here.

     

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

    Introduces whole life discipleship by allowing children to understand what Jesus has done for them. They are asked, ‘Why should we do as Jesus says?'.

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

    Children are gently encouraged to grow in their faith as they are confronted with 3 key topics throughout this course: who Jesus was, why he came to earth and what it means to follow him. The course explains that Jesus has won over sin.

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

    Again, this is done well in order to relate to both children who know Jesus and those who don't. They are asked to consider how Jesus can help them, and given lots of space to express their opinions on what reactions Jesus may have had when he was on earth.

    How well does it connect with real life issues?

    This is approached in a way which is personal to each individual present. They are encouraged to consider how Jesus is relevant in THEIR lives.

     

  • How well does it encourage personal evangelism?

    As this is a resource by Christianity Explored, evangelism is encouraged. There is an optional final session along with one off events suggested to be run with children and their families. Children also go home with a variety of book activities and crafts which can open up conversation for them to approach the topic of faith with their families.

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

    Indirectly influenced as children will take what they learn in the groups out in to the community.

    How well does it connect with global issues?

    Not a focus.

    How well does it encourage global mission?

    Not a focus.

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