Light

Light – Bubbles, Splash, Xstream
A selection of Bible scholars, education experts, and children's and youth leaders contributed to the Lightwave, Scripture Union, 2013-2015

£8.99 (Approx)
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Overview

What does it say on the tin?

The No1 ministry resource for children and young people.

Children aged 5 and under are bubbling with life – everything is new, exciting and just waiting to be discovered. Bubbles uses play and story telling to help children develop a personal relationship with God

Children aged 5-8 love to play together, be creative, use their energy, explore new ideas and enjoy old favourites.
Splash! includes fun, age-appropriate activities for a variety of learning styles, to encourage children to draw closer to God day by day.

Children aged 8 to 11 like to have fun! They like to be with their friends and are growing increasingly independent.
Xstream’s pick ‘n’ mix approach and variety of activities help 8 to 11s apply what they learn to their daily lives.

What do you get and how?

Leader’s book annually with all ideas, session layouts and some photocopiable resources, Children’s books with exercises and worksheets. Order online at: https://content.scriptureunion.org.uk/light-compendium or call Scripture Union on: 01908 856006. Also available for subscription outside of the UK.

Who is it for?

Children aged 5-11 years (Bubbles: <5 years, Splash 5-8 years, Xstream 8-11 years)

Cost?

Leaders guide: £8.99 quarterly or £32.00 annually. Children’s resources: £1.99 quarterly or £7.20 annually.

As of September 2018, the Light series will change to being available by annual compendium for each age group. The whole set can be purchased for £99.99 or each age group can be purchased separately for £29.99 each (includes 52 Bible based sessions).

Review

  • What is the overall quality of material presentation?

    Brilliant! Glossy, colourful covers and layouts. Content layouts are appealing and creative.

    How clear are its aims and outcomes?

    Explicitly stated both at the beginning of each session and at the beginning of each individual section. Very clearly states what the children are meant to learn in every part.

    How accessible are the leader's notes?

    Accessible to all. Language used is easy and creative. Leader's notes give clear instruction so that intent of each section is interpreted right.

    Who could lead it?

    Anyone passionate about leading children to Jesus. Whether you are a first time leader or experienced children's worker, these resources give enough information to lead a session well and be creative with it to suit your specific audience.

    How helpful are the participants' resources?

    Very good. Fun separate children's books (e.g. ‘Bubbles for children') keep children engaged, facilitate sessions and learning well and are presented in a fun and dynamic way.

    How good is any digital material?

    Vast amount of digital material available to accompany the sessions such as CD's with worship songs and online resources. All available from the Light website or Scripture Union website.

    How much prep will I have to do?

    Preparation can be varied. For those with more time, options are given for different sections where leaders can pick and choose what they want to do, for example, they can choose from 3 or more ‘Activity Choice' sections. For those with less time to prepare, there is a ‘Ready to use' selection. Each session also clearly defines what resources will need to be collected prior to the session. Enough information is given to make planning sessions quick and easy, without lots of unnecessary detail.

    Is there website support? Links?

    Lots, depending on the session. Most website support is via the Scripture Union website. Relevant links and website support is given in each leader's book around pages 76-77.

    Is it dated?

    No, these resources are relevant to children’s lives both today and in the future. As they are produced annually, leaders are advised to stick to the syllabus to ensure they are always following the most recent publications.

  • How well does it encourage interaction with the group?

    Very well. Interaction is encouraged all the way through from beginning activities to ‘Bible Time', crafts and ‘Extra activities'. Children are consistently encouraged to interact with both their peers and the leader in fun and dynamic ways.

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

    Very well. This resource has taken in to account the fact that children learn and enjoy the Bible in different ways from hands on making crafts to listening and talking. Each session provides a variety of ways to keep children of all backgrounds and levels engaged and excited about the Bible.

    How adaptable is it to my situation?

    The Light series are extremely flexible to many small group situations. Each section provides a suggested time frame so leaders can make the session suit the time they have available. In each series, there are booklets to be handed out for children for a small cost, so this may need to be considered if you have a larger group to work with. The variety of choices mean that the series can be used in small or large spaces and with small or large groups. The staple resources needed are simple ones e.g. glue, pens, scissors so costs are kept low. There are loud and quieter options for each section too which allow for engagement with both extrovert and introvert children. Can be used with one or more leaders/facilitators. Sessions can be run as a one off or out of chronological order, there is also a session for family/all age services in the series. Each topic runs over 4-5 weeks.

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

    Each session includes an opportunity for children to apply what they have learnt. For Bubbles, this comes in the form of the ‘God and me' section, in both Splash and Xstream, this is done in the ‘Living the life' section. Children are encouraged to apply what they have learnt in a fun and safe environment.

  • How much of the material is Bible-based?

    Explicitly around a quarter is Bible based, session depending. Having said this, the rest of the session is about applying the Bible passage and responding to it, so sessions are almost entirely passage based.

    How well is the biblical material presented and used?

    Biblical material is presented via a range of mediums such as story telling, role playing, singing, puppet presentations and aerobics! Leader's are then given a chance to explain the story and ask children to think what it means to them. They are then encouraged to respond in a variety of ways from filling in their work sheets and answering questions to praying and listening to God. Response time is more focussed on in the older children's series.

    How well does it apply biblical material to everyday life?

    Very well. Throughout the series, children are challenged to think about how the Bible is relevant to contemporary issues so that they can examine the relevance of the Bible in today's world. This is done very well in the ‘Living the life' sections of older children's series as they are challenged to consider what the passages mean to them and whether they want to live out the messages. For example, they may be asked ‘How can Jesus help me?'

    Is there a particular theological perspective?

    No, open to all denominations with an online option too of Lectionary services. These resources have been made to accommodate all churches so that they can be adapted to include/exclude any denomination practices. Having said this, it is suggested that these series are used alongside ‘The Big Bible Storybook' available from Scripture Union.

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

    This is done well by encouraging children to think and pray about what they have heard. The series starts with Genesis and progresses throughout the Old Testament with the New Testament running alongside. This allows children to consider how significant people in the Bible acted and decide whether they want to live like that too. They are given lots of time to respond to what they hear and feedback. As the course runs over a few years, all key topics related to living the life of a disciple of Jesus are covered, for example, the resources ask, how should the kingdom of heaven affect our lives?

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

    Bubbles, Splash and Xstream all have a huge focus on allowing children the opportunity to develop a personal relationship with God. This is done through prayer and response. Particularly with Splash and Xstream, children are given the chance to respond to the teachings. The sessions give all children the chance to understand the Bible, who God is, and why he is for us. For example, they may be asked to ‘Think about the character of Jesus, and thank him'. Children are also confronted with the Parables Jesus taught, and encouraged to think about what they mean.

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

    Clear sessions on purposes and promises of God. For example, His promise to Abraham, and plan for Joseph. His protection and promises to David and implications of Jesus' resurrection from the cross. Promises of God to us today mostly use the Gospel of John.

    How well does it connect with real life issues?

    Helps children to see how God is relevant in their struggles. For example, sessions include topics such as: fearfulness, God as a healer and how the Bible can shape the relationships the children have.

  • How well does it encourage personal evangelism?

    Done well within the series. Sections on ‘Living for God' in Splash and Xstream consistently ask the question of how they can reflect Jesus in their lives. There is a positive slant on the Holy Spirit and how it can work within us. Take away books mean that children can actively talk to family and friend once how about what they have learnt. Also teaches children to pray, worship and pray for on another. Personal evangelism is gently encouraged through teaching about the lives of prophets too, such as Elijah and Elisha.

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

    Encourages children to consider the world God made and look after it. Local involvement is covered by topics such as looking at the impact good and bad relationships with people can have. Also a good approach to this is taken in sessions on understanding what Jesus expects from us.

    How well does it connect with global issues?

    Covered lightly throughout the series. E.g. Jesus sat and ate with all people, but especially those who were counter cultural. They then have to figure out how Jesus would respond to them.

    How well does it encourage global mission?

    Covered lightly throughout the series.

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