The Life of Jesus
Various Authors, Children’s Ministry Deals, 2018

£72.00 (Approx)
3.2
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Overview

What does it say on the tin?

Teach kids that we can follow Jesus’ example and live like he did. In this 12-week series kids will study Jesus’ life from beginning to end to get a better understanding of who Jesus is and why we can trust him as our Saviour. Memory Verse: “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’” John 14:6 (NIrV)

What do you get?

12 sessions for leaders to run on Jesus’ life from birth to death, what he did and who he is. Includes leader instructions, graphics, games, memory verses, colouring pages and an option to view all content as one file or each file separately. Session titles are:

  1. Jesus was born
  2. Jesus studied God’s word
  3. Jesus was obedient
  4. Jesus never sinned
  5. Jesus called his disciples
  6. Jesus preached
  7. Jesus calmed a storm
  8. Jesus healed
  9. Jesus came to bring peace
  10. Jesus paid the price for sin
  11. Jesus rose from the dead!
  12. Jesus will return

Available to purchase as a download from Children’s Ministry Deals

Who is it for?

Children aged 6-12 years old

Cost?

£72.00

Review

  • What is the overall quality of material presentation?

    Material presentation is good with clear headings, layouts and accessible instructions for leaders to follow. Each section can be accessed as a standalone PDF document to allow leaders to mix up their running order. The series covers Jesus’ birth to death and includes a mix of what he did practically, as well as why he came and what his character was like. Overall, this series has a balanced representation of Jesus’ life on earth and offers children lessons from his life which they may not have considered before.

    How clear are its aims and outcomes?

    Each session lists a key memory verse, and an objective at the beginning. There is also a summary which succinctly explains what lesson the children will learn from the session.

    How accessible are the leader’s notes?

    Leader notes are very accessible to understand, run and follow. The sections can be run in order or leaders can mix them up a bit, and some areas require the leader to improvise. For example, an instruction like ‘Discuss what it means that Jesus came for the children’ may be given. The leader notes are quite to the point, with no unnecessary content, but leaders may need to fill in a few of the gaps when prompted.

    Who could lead it?

    Context dependent, this series could be led by any Christian adult passionate about bringing children to Jesus. Setup and resourcing are simple; more planning would be needed for large groups or lots of different ages.

    How helpful are the participants’ resources?

    Limited to print out resources, very easy and simple to complete making them more suitable for the younger ages.

    How good is any digital material?

    No internal media files for this series, however the sessions themselves are available for immediate download once purchased for the leader’s ease and convenience. Review activities can be set up on a PowerPoint or on paper and consist of easy review questions from the session.

    How much prep will I have to do?

    Preparation is easy and should not be time consuming with each week taking an hour to plan and prepare for (slightly more for getting resources some weeks). Leaders need to read through the running order, allocate helpers in to roles and collect or purchase extra resources listed for games, activities and demonstrations. All resources are pretty standard, for example towels to be shepherds or paper to rearrange puzzles. The most important extra resource for each week is having helpers for roles in the skits and to lead small groups if there are lots of children.

    Is there website support? Links?

    The series is available to buy online so some extra information is available on the Children’s Ministry Deals website, however this is not essential extra information which would be needed to run the series. Questions can be submitted to the team online too and they typically respond within 24 hours.

  • How well does it encourage interaction with the group?

    Children interact with one another during games and crafts as they learn through doing. At other times, they interact more with the leader, and this is predominantly during teaching, small group time and the kids sermon. Interaction is age appropriate with some variety for older children vs younger children and large groups vs small groups.

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

    There are a few styles of material delivery offered which allow a good mix of learning without too many decisions needing to be made by the leader. Children learn through games, very simple crafts, talks, discussion time and skits. Each week, there is also a memory verse for children to learn and take home with them.

    How adaptable is it to my situation?

    As stated, this resource is intended for use with children aged 6-12 years old however I would suggest that leaders use this for children in the primary school age bracket rather than secondary school age due to the simplicity of some of the questions, crafts and discussions. The sessions take in to account that children have a limited attention span so there are lots of different approaches taken to ensure children stay engaged, and there is no one section which occupies lots of time. Preparation is short and resources are mostly standard ones found in any craft cupboard or kitchen. There are variations for large and small group engagement so leaders can choose at times what is most appropriate. This series focuses on Jesus from birth to death so it is advantageous to run the sessions in chronological order, however some sessions can be picked out if needs be and used alone too. No extra need for projectors or other digital material and one session can be accessed free of charge as a taster for leaders to check out the series.

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

    Children apply material gently during discussion time but it is recommended that leaders add their own questions on during this time too. Children the apply what they have learnt to crafts and games while parents are given a sheet of ideas to keep the children learning the main message from that week while they are at home too.

  • How much of the material is Bible-based?

    Biblical material is presented by the ‘kid’s sermon’ and the ‘large group lesson’. In total, these sections constitute approximately 15 minutes (minimum) of each session, depending on how long leaders want to linger on certain topics or statements.

    How well is the biblical material presented and used?

    The kids sermon is a short narrative where the leader uses props as a metaphor to demonstrate the main story. For example, when teaching about Jesus’ birth, candy canes are used to draw parallels between the sweet and Jesus; the cane is a hard rock and Jesus is our rock. The large group lesson is a longer narrative which includes reading from the Bible and the leader giving a narrative about what is going on, it includes rhetorical questions for the children too.

    How well does it apply biblical material to everyday life?

    Children gently apply the material to their own lives during small group time as leaders ask them questions about the story, why they think things happened in a certain way, and what it shows us about Jesus and God. Leaders at this point may want to add on some context specific questions for the children depending on their understanding and time available. For example, one session asks children why Jesus was disappointed his disciples didn’t trust him to calm the storm, but this is not followed by an application question. Leaders may then want to link this to the children’s lives by asking their own questions like, ‘are there times you don’t trust Jesus? How can you get better at trusting him day to day?’

    Is there a particular theological perspective?

    No specific denominational liturgy is included which would make this series more or less appropriate for a particular church.

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

    Children are inspired towards whole life discipleship by learning about Jesus and how he was sinless but obedient to God and loving towards people. Children learn practical tools for discipleship from the example Jesus set during his life. For example, there is a session on Jesus studying God’s Word, where children learn the importance of the Bible and of learning from God directly as Jesus did during his life. The series also covers Jesus’ choice of disciples and this is used to encourage children that Jesus came for all people regardless of background, education or social standing.

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

    Children grow in faith by learning about the main focus of Christianity: Jesus. There are lots of stories about how Jesus lived, what he did and who he loved. Children learn about why Jesus needed to come and are encouraged to love him and therefore want to serve him and copy the perfect example he set.

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

    Vision of God is limited due to the age group. The main objective across the series is for children to follow Jesus’ example and learn to trust him as he is their saviour. They learn that by living like Jesus, they can show their love for him and God.

    How well does it connect with real life issues?

    Real life issues are focused on in an age- appropriate way for children with relatively common problems rather than worldly or difficult circumstances. For example, if they are scared, what should they do? In the session covering the sermon on the mount, kids identify something they would have to do differently to live like Jesus describes in this sermon.

  • How well does it encourage personal evangelism?

    This series engages in the topic of personal evangelism by exploring how Jesus talked to others about himself and God the Father. In particular, session 6 ‘Jesus preached’ introduces children to how Jesus made the good news known, and invites them to think about whether they would like to tell others about Jesus too.

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

    Not a huge focus in this series.

    How well does it connect with global issues?

    Not a huge focus in this series.

    How well does it encourage global mission?

    Not a huge focus in this series.

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