Beginning with God (Book 2)
Jo Boddam-Whetham & Alison Mitchell, The Good Book Company, 2010

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Overview

What does it say on the tin?

Beginning with God helps parents with young children to explore the Bible with their child. This book provides a simple way to start your child in a regular habit of reading God’s word and growing to know God, who loves them.

The main course: read today’s true story from the Bible; answer some simple questions; pray together; then stick in today’s colourful picture of the story.

Appetiser: an optional activity to grab your child’s attention before the story.

A snack for the journey: a conversation to have while out and about.

Make it and munch it: optional craft activities to help your child remember today’s true story.

What do you get?

Joint activity and instruction booklet with free stickers. Available from The Good Book Company.

Who is it for?

Pre-school aged children, boys and girls.

Cost?

£4.29-£4.99 per booklet

Review

  • What is the overall quality of material presentation?

    Very easy to use. Each session covers 2 x A5 sized pages and has an appealing font with a fun, child friendly layout.

    How clear are its aims and outcomes?

    Not explicitly stated, however implied by the ‘State the truth' section where children are given a main message from the story.

    How accessible are the leader's notes?

    Very, as this resource has been developed for parents working with their children to know God, the layout and material is very accessible and easy to work through.

    Who could lead it?

    Any adult, not necessary to be a trained church children's worker. Answers to the questions asked to children are given.

    How helpful are the participants' resources?

    Good. They are within the same booklet as the instructions and include stickers to accompany each session.

    How good is any digital material?

    None specifically provided.

    How much prep will I have to do?

    As this resource was initially made for parents to do with children, preparation is minimal as it assumes that there is not much time available. Sessions can be extended by inclusion of longer ‘Appetiser' activities and also crafts, but this is down to the parent or leader's discretion. Although this booklet was made for parent - child interactions, it is easily adaptable for short weekly children's group sessions, or Sunday school groups which are small in number and limited in time. Extra materials for crafts and activities are easy to get a hold of, and cheap to buy.

    Is there website support? Links?

    N/A

  • How well does it encourage interaction with the group?

    Not encouraged as designed for parent-child study. However easily incorporated with the questions and activities if needed.

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

    Well. Children learn through crafts, answering questions, prayer, listening to Bible stories and conversations with parents/leader's out of sessions too.

    How adaptable is it to my situation?

    As this resource was designed for parent-child interaction, it is necessary to adapt this resource for any other setting. For example Sunday school, after school clubs or lunch clubs. It is best done with small groups of children with a limited time frame. Resources for crafts etc are easy and cheap to buy. There are three books in total so any of the three can be used, neither the booklets nor the sessions need be delivered in chronological order. These sessions do not go in to too much depth due to the young age they are aimed at. However they are very easy to run and can be done in small areas with minimal preparation or need for extra expenditure.

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

    Not a focus as originally developed for parent-child interaction, however the resource does encourage application of material in that setting. Easy to adapt material for group application as the activities and discussion questions are accessible and can be expanded.

  • How much of the material is Bible-based?

    40%, the rest of the material is about applying the stories learnt.

    How well is the biblical material presented and used?

    Presented in each session by reading the passage to the child/children. This is followed by asking questions about the story, and prayer.

    How well does it apply biblical material to everyday life?

    Appropriately for such a young audience. Children pray each session that the story they have heard may affect their lives.

    Is there a particular theological perspective?

    No, open to all. Emphasis on prayer and a regular Bible-reading habit.

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

    Gently by teaching the basic principles of Christianity and what it means to know and love God. This is achieved by teaching about relevant Biblical characters such as Ruth who made good choices and God looked after her. The approach to whole-life discipleship is appropriate for little people.

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

    Achieves this by teaching children about the different qualities of God's character, for example, how powerful He is, how trustworthy He is and how forgiving He is. Children also learn about God's purpose for them and their future which encourages children to trust their lives are bigger with God, than without Him.

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

    By giving examples from the Bible of when God kept His promises to His people. For example, the story of the twelve spies and the provision of Jericho for the Israelites. Vision of God is covered in the New Testament sessions which make up the second half of the resource (15 sessions).

    How well does it connect with real life issues?

    Cautiously so as not to cover topics which may intimidate or scare children. Specific sessions focus on real life issues, for example, children are confronted with the question of death, sin and ‘Who will live in heaven?

  • How well does it encourage personal evangelism?

    Not a main focus.

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

    Indirectly covered in a session on the Good Samaritan.

    How well does it connect with global issues?

    Touch upon in the session on the Good Samaritan i.e. we need to love all people everywhere.

    How well does it encourage global mission?

    Not a main focus.

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