Boring Bible – The Life of Jesus
Andy Robb, Kevin Mayhew, 2003

£10.99 (Approx)
3
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Overview

What does it say on the tin?

Having trouble getting children interested in the Bible? Then grab yourself a copy of a Boring Bible book and things will never be quite the same again. Each book retells 25 familiar (and some not-so familiar) Bible stories in a way that will engage children’s imagination.

Every double page spread has a bit for you which explains the background to the featured Bible story and the passage printed in full for handy reference. On the facing page the kids get a waffle-free, Boring Bible-style retelling of the Bible story plus a cartoon to bring it to life.

And to make your job of presenting the Bible even easier we’ve included some handy hints on how to make the most of this book.

So what are you waiting for? Teaching the Bible will never be boring again!

What do you get?

A4 leader resource book with 25 lessons and instructions on how to use the book.

Who is it for?

The target age is not specified. The content suits all-age service talks or ages 4-11 years as part of a children’s group context.

Review

  • What is the overall quality of material presentation?

    Very good. The resource exterior is a glossy and colourful A4 book, with black and white contents. There are a few simple sub-headings for each session and a good amount of information on each page. Each session includes an image to use as a visual aid. Overall, an extremely easy to use resource.

    How clear are its aims and outcomes?

    Aims are written in the format of ‘What’s it all about?’ at the beginning of each session for the reference of the leader. This summaries the content of the talk and would be best used as an introduction to the Bible talk section.

    How accessible are the leader’s notes?

    Leader’s notes are extremely accessible. There is one double page spread explaining how to use the resource, then each talk is made up of two pages: one to inform the leader of the context, characters and location in the Bible of the story; and the other is a direct script to be read out of the story itself as well as an accompanying image. The script uses modern language to help make the stories accessible for children.

    Who could lead it?

    Any Christian adult confident speaking to groups of children. The talks could be used in all-age services too so leaders need to be confident speaking to large groups. Otherwise, all material for doing the talk and what to say is provided.

    How helpful are the participants’ resources?

    Not applicable. There are no accompanying participant resources.

    How good is any digital material? Not applicable.

    There is no digital material.

    How much prep will I have to do?

    Preparation very much depends on the context these talks are being used in. If used as an all-age talk in a service, the leader just needs to read through all the information first and decide if they want to photocopy the talks or images as handouts or projections. If used as part of a Sunday school session or in a school setting, this resource will either aid you to deliver a full Bible teaching session, or could supplement something else which has been prepared. If a full session needs to be created around this resource, more time would be needed to find activities, games and crafts as these are not provided in this book.

    Is there website support? Links?

    No direct website links for support are listed.

  • How well does it encourage interaction with the group?

    There are a couple of ideas as to how to interact with the group during the talk. Most talks include rhetorical questions to keep the children listening and engaged.

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

    Most delivery is by the leader voicing the story in a fun and engaging modern telling of Bible stories. The resource also suggests the talk and image can be projected, or given as handouts if appropriate.

    How adaptable is it to my situation?

    As this resource is a talks-only resource, it can be used among any teaching context or setting. There are no specific boundaries on how to use the talks, so they can be incorporated in to schools, Sunday school, Bible teaching sessions, holiday clubs and more. The material can be used to deliver the main Bible teaching session, or to supplement a more extensive session. Preparation is easy, quick and material free, and each talk would last between 5-10 minutes. Topics cover the big and little stories which happened in Jesus’ life so can be used alongside lots of syllabuses too. Using this resource as part of any setting though will require other resources and ideas to make a complete workshop, service or gathering. There are no songs, activities, crafts or games suggested. The talks are suitable for use with children ranging from the age of 4 years old to 11 years old.

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

    Children would need to apply material with the use of other resources and techniques not directly mentioned in this book. What the leader chooses will depend on the setting, for example in an all-age service, you may choose to ask questions as you do the talk for children to answer together and apply learning.

  • How much of the material is Bible-based?

    100%. All material is based on the passage relevant for the talk.

    How well is the biblical material presented and used?

    Biblical material is presented in a talk format, but in modern language which is more accessible to children. The leader is encouraged to present in an engaging and dramatic way to keep children engaged. The resource also suggests printing copies of the talk for participants to read if appropriate too, and projecting the visual aid for each talk. Children can colour in the image for the talks.

    How well does it apply biblical material to everyday life?

    Application to everyday life is indirect as children learn about how Jesus and his followers behaved and what they said in each Bible story. Other sections of sessions would need to build on applying the material directly to the children’s lives.

    Is there a particular theological perspective?

    No, open to all denominations with no liturgical practices or references.

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

    Indirectly by teaching participants about the life of Jesus, and what he taught was right and wrong. Children learn how to engage with God through Jesus’ example on earth.

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

    Children grow in faith by learning about the more popular stories about Jesus’ life, as well as the less well known ones. This is key for growing in the Christian faith, as each story reveals more and more attributes of God through his son, Jesus. The talks span from the prophecy of Jesus’ birth, through his life to his resurrection. Throughout the series, children learn the significance of Jesus’ life and death which in itself develops faith as more is learnt about Jesus.

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

    As Jesus’ life is taught, it is revealed why Jesus came and why he died for us. So children learn about the fundamental principle of Christianity, as well as all the extra bits as to how we should act and think, by looking at Jesus’ example.

    How well does it connect with real life issues?

    Indirectly by talking about stories in the Bible and how Jesus played a part in problems and daily life. Some examples of daily struggles included: struggling to have a baby, being anxious about having enough food, being ill and needing to be healed.

  • How well does it encourage personal evangelism?

    Indirectly by some of the talks included. For example, throughout the talks, children hear Jesus giving instruction to the disciples about how they should tell others the truth about him. Leaders can expand on the talks after doing them if they want to specifically focus on evangelism.

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

    Community involvement is inherent to most of the stories in Jesus’ life, so each talk involves quite a few characters. This talk book may be used as part of an evangelistic event, club or context so community involvement and personal evangelism would be the focus of running the session rather than the teaching within the sessions.

    How well does it connect with global issues?

    Not a main focus.

    How well does it encourage global mission?

    Not a main focus.

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