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For years, Premier Youthwork provided top-notch (even if we do say so ourselves) session plans for youth groups and we decided it was high time we did the same for children’s groups too. Every month, we’ll be providing you with four sessions for 0-5-year-olds (called First Steps Together), 5-11-year-olds (Growing Together) and 11-18-year-olds (Journeying Together) – choose the best age group for the children in your church community. All three age groups will be exploring the same Bible passages, so you’ll be able to mix and match if you have a mixed age group.
£38.40 per year, free first month trial subscription. Access to Premier Youth and Children’s Work online resources and session plans, as well as their monthly magazine. The online resource is an archive of features, ready-to-use meeting guides, discussion starters, games etc, from the back catalogue of Premier’s youth and children’s work magazines. Each month, they release four new sessions per age group. The Ready-to-use meeting guides are designed to last about an hour. Available from www.youthandchildrens.work/together.
One subscription entitles you to access to all their resources. There are resources for young children, older children and young people, all under Premier’s resource banner, ‘Together’. This review focuses on ‘Journeying Together’, the material specifically aimed at young people, aged 11-18.
£38.40 per year, free first month trial subscription.
The material is well laid out, in an easy-to-read format. Each session is the equivalent to an A4 page in length. The website is easy to navigate. Each month’s sessions are linked by a theme, shared across the different age ranges, but unfortunately it is not always obvious as to what the theme is, unless you refer back to the magazine. There is a wealth of excellent material here but sadly lacks any kind of search facility or comprehensive list of topics covered, making it hard to make good use of the library quickly.
Each session has a brief sentence outline of its aim as well as a brief summary of what the leader will need to prepare to lead the session.
The notes are very simple to follow. Each session guide is divided into shorter activities to help introduce the topic, have fun together, explore what the Bible says on the issue, and to respond and pray.
Anyone used to working with young people.
There are no specific resources to be given to the young people, other than those the leaders may create and provide.
Some sessions have links to video clips on other websites. These are easy to follow.
Each session lasts approximately one hour. A leader should expect to spend at least this amount of time getting to know the material, finding resources needed such as film clips, and being confident to present the material well.
It is an online resource primarily, but there does not seem to be an obvious way to ask for help or support with the site.
Each session has questions to discuss, and activities to explore together.
The material is fast-paced, with a variety of presentations to help the young people grasp what is being taught. It is relevant to youth culture, and will work with most groups.
Very easy to use and adapt as many of the sessions’ preparation require the leader to think of suitable examples and questions. E.g. in the session on The Good Samaritan, the leader needs to provide some newspapers and a map of the local area. This will ensure that what you provide is relevant to your group and area.
All the sessions are designed to encourage group interaction, discussion and encouraging the group to help each other respond.
Each session includes some Bible content. The amount depends on whether the topic is based on a specific passage or character (e.g. ‘David – a leader who defended’) or focus on a contemporary issue such as self-harm.
Regardless of how much content is explicitly focused on the Bible, every session is very good at using the Bible to understand how to make godly decisions and to be a disciple. The teaching is done creatively and not as a leader’s monologue. There are discussion questions, activities and role plays, to help the participants grapple with the teaching.
This is done really well. Each session has some kind of response activity to help the individual root the teaching in their own life.
No, it seems to be open to all denominations and churchmanship.
The monthly material ranges from focusing on Bible characters and stories one month, to looking at specific youth issues the next (e.g. mental health, sex & relationships). This is great as it helps young people to realise that being a disciple involves their whole life.
Every session helps them think through how their faith is affected by what they are learning.
Different months focus on different aspects. The sessions on anxiety, for example, shows how God is always alongside them no matter what they are going through.
The material is culturally relevant and easy to connect to the lives of the young people. Some of the sessions look at specific issues relevant to them such as self-harm, depression, sexting and pornography.
There are specific sessions around sharing your faith, although I struggled to access them. If it is appropriate, different sessions will discuss the impact of the session on their friends and family.
Not a main focus, but sometimes encourages the group to think about their school situations.
Not a focus in the sessions reviewed.
Not a focus.