ROOTS – Children and Young People
Contributors are experienced practitioners, both ordained and lay, and from different denominations and traditions, ROOTS for Churches LTD, 2002-2016 and onwards.

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Overview

What does it say on the tin?

ROOTS Children & Young People resources
Practical, refreshing and inspiring ways to explore a weekly Bible reading with your group. 

How will ROOTS help your group encounter and explore the Bible? Each week, ROOTS offers ways for children and young people to get to know and think about one of the readings from the Revised Common Lectionary – and to explore how it relates to their everyday lives. For weeks when the Church of England’s Common Worship Lectionary differs, we provide materials online.

What do you get?

A magazine which covers 2 months worth of Sunday materials for children and young people. Also access to online support materials for activities and sessions.

Who is it for?

Children and young people aged 3-16 years.

Cost?

Subscription based, £10.85 per issue, each issue covers 2 months of Sundays. £49.50 for 6 issues which covers a year.

Review

  • What is the overall quality of material presentation?

    Very good, neatly presented in bi-monthly magazine issues

    How clear are its aims and outcomes?

    Aims presented as ‘This week's resources explore' followed by the aim/objective of the session. This is always in line with the adult version of the magazines too.

    How accessible are the leader's notes?

    Leaders will need to familiarise themselves with the material layout, however once accustomed, notes are clear and easy to interpret, with helpful hints about the purpose of each section of a session. Bible notes at the beginning of each session give leaders context and direction before beginning to plan the session.

    Who could lead it?

    Adults with little experience working with children to lots of experience. As the session provoke questions with children, a good knowledge of principles of Christianity is beneficial.

    How helpful are the participants' resources?

    Lots of web extras which can be given to the children in the session or used as follow-up activities at home after. Children's sheets are both relevant and vary in order to be age appropriate for different levels.

    How good is any digital material?

    Digital material such as short videos and music support online is good and easy to access.

    How much prep will I have to do?

    As the ROOTS resources are flexible and offer a range of activites/ways to present the Bible stories, leaders will need to prepare well in order to choose what is appropriate for their audience and get everything they need for activities chosen. Leaders also need to be aware of what is happening with the all-age/larger congregation as the kids resources are in line with the adult messages too. Preparation may therefore take some time, but planning well will produce fruitful sessions and discussions with children.

    Is there website support? Links?

    Yes. Lots. All available on the ROOTS website. Once you have subscribed, all access to resources is available. Further resources and planning sheets are very good quality.

    Is it dated?

    No, new issues currently being brought out every 2 months.

  • How well does it encourage interaction with the group?

    Very well, discussion and questions are encouraged. Children interact throughout most of the session.

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

    These resources have been created to agree with all different learning styles. Children can ‘Do, Make, Pray, Sing' and get stuck in with presenting the Bible stories. ROOTS has a fantastic range of learning and teaching styles for all levels and interests.

    How adaptable is it to my situation?

    Very adaptable and flexible in all ways. Resource considers people may have little or lots of space to use, leaders can tailor the sessions to last from 30 minutes to 1.5 hours if they want. The sessions can be used for small or large groups, although with large groups more leaders would be needed. There is also an option for Bible telling with tiny children which includes activities, prayer and story telling in short bursts to accommodate shorter attention spans! This resource really can be used across all age ranges while allowing children to access the same messages being taught. Also allows leaders to use lots of external resources or none. Can be used on Sundays, or mid week.

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

    Very well by use of the ‘Children's sheets' which allow them to apply Bible messages, and also during discussion and prayer.

  • How much of the material is Bible-based?

    Depends on how leaders choose to run their sessions and how many activities they include. 30-60% depending on this.

    How well is the biblical material presented and used?

    Each session gives two ways to present Bible material as well as a third way to present material to little ones. Material is then linked in with following activities, prayers and children's sheets.

    How well does it apply biblical material to everyday life?

    Depending on the age of participants, ROOTS applies material by generally asking children to put themselves in the situation and asking how they would respond or how they would feel. ROOTS makes suggestions to link the stories to the children's lives.

    Is there a particular theological perspective?

    No, open to all. ROOTS is lectionary-based. Where a specific denomination of Christianity is mentioned, for example for a specific prayer, there are always alternative options.

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

    Final part of each session is aimed at encouraging children towards discipleship in their week to follow. This is presented as ‘Send Out' in both adult and children's versions of the issues.

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

    Encourages this throughout the whole session.Children are encouraged to ask questions and discuss anything the stories may ignite in them. These resources do not stick to the ‘Standard' Bible stories, for example Noah and Moses, but expand the children's horizons by really exploring less well known Bible characters and stories too.

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

    Firm principle throughout these resources that God cares for all people and cares about our lives on earth. Teaches children that all things are possible with God on your side.

    How well does it connect with real life issues?

    Well in the context of children's lives. For example, how does Jesus' example on earth affect how we act with our friends? This is just one example of how ROOTS links to real life issues and daily occurrences.

  • How well does it encourage personal evangelism?

    Some issues cover this more than others. However, in general evangelism is positively encouraged among children. ‘Pass it on' web resources inspire children to live out discipleship and evangelism too.

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

    Each issue covers this to some degree, whether it is looking after our world, or loving others around us.

    How well does it connect with global issues?

    Weekly ‘PostScript' wed resources for older children encourage them to look at world issues.

    How well does it encourage global mission?

    Encouraged by teaching about Jesus' key disciples and followers journeys.

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