In the Beginning
Ros Johnson, Marjorie Rogers et al, Go Teach Publications LTD, 2012

£10.00 (Approx)
3.6
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Overview

What does it say on the tin?

Holiday Bible Club. Exploring the first chapters of Genesis. What a great God we have! Genesis provides some of the basic building blocks for understanding God’s great plan for salvation.

  • A good start By his word, God made everything perfect, out of nothing.
  • Mankind is best God gave people a special place in creation, to be like him.
  • Everything is spoiled God’s world was spoiled by sin and so we are separated from God.
  • Saved from the flood God punishes sin but will save those who trust him.
  • A new start God has promised he will always provide everything the world needs.

What do you get?

Leaders’ book with five sessions and a family event, photocopiable resources, visual aids pack, CD-ROM and Creations Resources Trust (CRT) resource CD.

Follow the leader (based on the life of Peter) and Run the Race (sports theme based on Acts) also available.

ho is it for?

Children’s groups, aged 5-11 years old.

Review

  • What is the overall quality of material presentation?

    Good. A4 leaders’ book has a clear contents page and headings throughout. There is a lot of information on each double page spread with various formats. Visual aids book is brilliantly done with clear, relevant and colourful pictures.

    How clear are its aims and outcomes?

    Each session includes a teaching aim for the leaders and a response aim for the children. As the title of this resource suggests, the passages are from the book of Genesis for each session, and the resource explicitly states that the outcomes are foundational for the Christian faith.

    How accessible are the leader’s notes?

    Leader’s notes have guidance about how to run a holiday club and which includes explaining the purpose of each sub-section in a full session. The resource includes helpful hints and tips and general information which can be applied to each of the five session plans. There are leaders’ preparation notes and context on each passage to aid understanding. There are clear instructions for how to run each building block, what to ask, what to say and what materials are needed. The layout is not chronological so leaders may find themselves jumping about a bit to get all the information and ideas for one session.

    Who could lead it?

    Due to the background context and information given, any adult passionate about bringing children closer to God could lead these sessions with the support of their church and small group leaders if there are lots of participants. The resource clearly directs the leader on what to do and say.

    How helpful are the participants’ resources?

    Resources consist of activity pages to complete and crafts or memory verse ideas that children may take home. The activity sheets are separated in to different levels of difficulty for different age groups, so children may split up at this point in the session.

    How good is any digital material?

    CD-ROM which contains pictures, interactive memory verses and printable activity pages and resources. All good and relevant to the theme of creation.

    How much prep will I have to do?

    As this resource is intended for holiday Bible club use, there is quite a bit of preparation involved. Leaders will need to ensure the church is on board with the idea and advertise the club to relevant places. There needs to be assurance of space and helpers for sessions as well as materials gathered for crafts and games which are being incorporated. There isn’t much need for the space to be decorated in a specific theme as each session runs for approximately two hours, although this can be extended if leaders choose to include more games, activities and songs. Leaders will need to ensure they have read all the introductory and preparation material so they are familiar with the layout and have shared this with any helpers. The family event at the end of the 5 sessions will also need some input from leaders familiar with adult teaching and engagement.

    Is there website support? Links?

    Yes, but mostly to external sites.

  • How well does it encourage interaction with the group?

    Very well from start to finish. Children interact with leaders and peers throughout via crafts, activities and games. There is good interaction during the Bible time too where children learn by being a part of the story themselves.

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

    Very well. Children learn by hearing about the story, answering questions both verbally and on activity sheets and by doing crafts and games relevant to the theme. There are a range of suggestions about learning memory verses so leaders can use the most appropriate ones to their group and ages.

    How adaptable is it to my situation?

    The resource is intended to be run as a holiday Bible club with each session running for about two hours. Some instructions are clearly defined for the leader, for example the Bible teaching time clearly guides the leader on what to say, do and ask. Other instructions allow flexibility and adaptability, for example which games, crafts or songs are picked. Leaders can feel confident that the Bible content is well supported while also having room to figure out what supporting activities suit their context best. There are five sessions plus one family event and these could be run over the course of one week or longer. There is not much instruction on decorating space a certain way so leaders can choose whether to spend time and resources on this or not. The resource is for ages 5-11 year olds with mostly all-age interaction but some sections where children split off into their own age groups for learning appropriate to their level.

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

    Children apply the material via activity sheets, learning memory verses and answering questions in the talks. There are a variety of options for this depending on age and ability and it is up to leaders to choose the method they want to use each time; however lots of ideas are given.

  • How much of the material is Bible-based?

    The main Bible time building block takes 20 minutes and is solely focused on the session passage and the learning from it. The rest of the session complements the Bible time and the response aim.

    How well is the biblical material presented and used?

    Biblical material is presented in the Bible time by interactive story time. Children participate in the passage and answer questions as the theme progresses. They may be asked to come and be a helper on stage or to shout the answers to questions to the leader. They might sing songs or rhymes or reflect on what they think is the significance of the teaching. Children then complete activity sheets and games relevant to creation and are encouraged as part of Bible time to learn a verse.

    How well does it apply biblical material to everyday life?

    Each session includes a ‘response aim’ which links the teaching aim to how it is hoped children will apply this to their lives. For example, one teaching aim is ‘God gave people a special place in creation, to be like him’ and the corresponding response aim is, ‘The children will know that God made them special so they can love and serve him.’

    Is there a particular theological perspective?

    N/A

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

    Whole-life discipleship is most directly addressed in session 2 where children learn that God made Adam and Eve in his image and that this separated them out from the rest of creation. They learn that they are loved by God, and so in response to that, they can love and serve him in how they live their lives. This is gently done as the assumption is that there will be children present who are already Christians, as well as children who don’t know who God is yet.

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

    Appropriately for the age group. Children learn the complexity of the problem of sin and how bad it is, but also learn that although God punishes sin, he saves those who trust in him.

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

    By looking at key stories in the book of Genesis, children learn the context of how people were separated from God but how God has been faithful in that too. They are encouraged to think about what else God has done and how we can learn what he is like from the actions he has taken and guidance he has given.

    How well does it connect with real life issues?

    There is application guidance in each Bible time section where children learn how the teaching can be applied to their thinking and understanding of God. Most of the time this is to do with understanding how the Bible relates to where we are at as a human race now, rather than specific issues children may face at home or in school.

  • How well does it encourage personal evangelism?

    Not a focus.

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

    Community involvement is inherent to the setup of the holiday club as any child can come along to the five sessions and all family members can come to the family event. The resource explicitly explains the importance of bringing together a community.

    How well does it connect with global issues?

    Lightly throughout as children consider creation as perfect initially but that now it has fallen and there is sin.

    How well does it encourage global mission?

    Not a focus.

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