Light of the World
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What does it mean that Jesus is ‘the light of the world’? This 6-session pack looks how God sends light into a world in darkness. Contains leader’s notes, photocopiable masters, and a bonus CD-Rom of songs, coloured visual aids, and PowerPoint presentations.
Leader notes with 6 sessions and associated songs, crafts and a CD-ROM with songs and visual aids. Session titles are:
Children aged 5 – 11 years old. Small groups. Children. All age. Enquiring, Beginning, Growing.
Very good. This resource does a brilliant job of presenting material in an accessible way and using the space to lay out the necessary content. Leaders can easily see a session overview, what they will need and what the day includes: the ‘building blocks’ for the day. Colourful and clear associated resources are available on the CD-ROM and all other resources you will find in a craft or kitchen cupboard.
Aims and Outcomes are listed explicitly at the beginning of each session outline.
Leader notes are very accessible, easy to follow and include handy tips on working with children, how to set the scene (if being run as a holiday club) and some context on the focus of the series and Biblical basis for it. There are also introductory leader’s notes for each session outlining aims and core teaching for the session.
Children’s leaders should lead these sessions along with helpers due to the planning involved and age group of children. Older children may have questions or ideas which are best responded to by someone who is more trained.
Participants receive printed resources from the CD-ROMs or take home crafts. All are relevant to the session focus and there are no extra optional resources available to buy.
CD-ROM contains colourful images and presentations which are simple and easy to use.
Preparation depends on context as a holiday club will take more time to promote and prepare, but a weekly Sunday school just requires weekly preparation. Preparation is straight forward and not time consuming. Most resources are on the CD-ROM and other resources needed for crafts, games or dramas would be easily sourced from a craft or kitchen cupboard. Leaders need to read through the sessions and give helpers the context, pray, and ensure that the outcomes and aims are known by all helping. The first session takes the longest to prepare as there is extra information about how to work with children well. Printing and supporter role allocation is the main preparation, as well as ensuring the necessary equipment is available too: CD player, audio and option of PowerPoint display too. Depending on age group and time allocation, sessions may need to be adapted slightly but the layouts are flexible enough to allow adaptation easily, with some ideas for how to make sessions longer included too.
Children interact with one another during games, crafts, group activities and Bible time. These can all be adapted depending on the age group but all include an element of interaction with leaders and each other.
Delivery is varied and creative to accommodate children who learn in different ways. There are question and answer formats to solidify learning, visual aids and dramas, spaces where the children listen and chances for them to learn through crafts and games too.
This six-session series has been created for use in weekly kids clubs, holiday clubs and camping ministries. There are six sessions focusing on why God sent Jesus looking at the Old Testament prophecies and New Testament fulfillments through Jesus. Each session runs for approximately two hours although this is not outlined in the resource so leaders should read through to better estimate how long the session will take in their context, especially as some ideas appropriate for older ages will be more time consuming. Preparation is easy and straight forward with the most time-consuming task being printing from the CD-ROM and ensuring all extra resources have been gathered. You will need a CD player, audio access and way to display powerpoint presentations. All other extra resources are provided on the CD, or easily acquired from a church craft cupboard or home kitchen. Note there may be some unusual resources so a bit of a budget to facilitate sessions is needed. There is flexibility for extending sessions with the section on ‘extending your program’ and some alternative craft ideas to consider. This resource can be used for outreach to non-churched children and children familiar with church. Otherwise not too much room is needed and the resource cuts out unnecessary waffle to leave the reader with concise and helpful teaching insights and well-crafted session outlines.
Children primarily apply the material during the Bible time where they are prompted to answer questions which show they were listening, and then consider what that teaching means now. For example, when learning about Philip meeting an Ethiopian official, children learn the story and are then encouraged to apply it by considering what it means to walk in the light of Jesus. They do this by question and answer formats, as well as completing a craft or games relevant to the main teaching aim.
Approximately 20-25 minutes per session is spent on Bible time.
Biblical material is presented by a mixture of visual aids, discussion, skits, animations and sketches. Children answer questions, interact throughout and learn a final lesson from the teacher before a memory verse and prayer.
Practical application is not a main focus, but children are encouraged to apply what they learn about who Jesus is to their own character and to love and accept him in their lives.
No specific liturgical references.
Children are encouraged to be disciples by learning about Jesus and who he was. It is light on challenging behaviours or application of Jesus’ character to the children’s own lives as it does not make assumptions about where children are at with their faith. This resource can teach unchurched children, and grow children who are more familiar with church.
Children are encouraged to grow in faith by learning about how Jesus fulfilled Old Testament prophecies and why God had to send him. They learn about the effect Jesus had on real characters’ lives, such as Philip, Zacchaeus and Paul and are encouraged to grow in faith by learning about the good news which transformed their lives.
The sessions focus on why God sent Jesus and emphasise that he is for everyone. This is done by looking at stories of people who accept Jesus, but may seem the most unlikely candidates: a committed persecutor of early Christians, a tax collector and an Ethiopian official. Children learn about darkness in the world and how Jesus contrasts that with light.
There is not a huge focus on applying the stories to real life issues, but children are encouraged to consider the difference having Jesus in their lives makes. They look at biblical figures whose lives were transformed by learning about Jesus and are given an opportunity to accept him for themselves too.
By using the image of ‘light’, children are encouraged to be a light in the world for God, as Jesus was. This includes talking to people about Jesus and adapting how they act and think about things to reflect him. Personal evangelism finds its biggest focus in session 6.
The imagery of children being a light to the world encourages them to get involved with their communities and to shine as lights in darkness. This is explained and encouraged as a concept with not much suggestion for practical application.
Global problem of darkness and sin is addressed.
Not focus for this resource.