MAKING IT CONNECT God’s Story: Genesis to Revelation
Willow Creek Association, Promised Land, Zonderkidz, 2000

£59.00 (Approx)
3.6
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Overview

What does it say on the tin?

IMAGINE!…a child-targeted children’s ministry where the Bible is creatively taught and expressed, where its truths are presented in relevant ways, where shepherding children is intentional, where children are safe to be who they are and ask questions, and where discovering God’s truth is fun!

FALL from the stories of Creation through the Exile and Restoration of the Israelites, God was at work moving His story through history. This Fall Quarter, children will see God’s plan unfold through stories of Adam and Eve, The Tower of Babel, Abraham, Isaac, the 10 Commandments, Crossing the Jordan, Samuel and Eli, Saul and David, Elijah, Jonah and the Whale and Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego while having great fun learning and MAKING IT CONNECT!

What do you get?

5 identical Curriculum CD-ROMS to distribute to your team, 13 weeks of material including Directors’ Notebook, Activity Ideas, Guidebooks and DVD Bible Dramas. All available from the Willow Creek website.

Who is it for?

Children in grades 2-3, Ages 7-8 years

Cost?

£59.00

Review

  • What is the overall quality of material presentation?

    Very good, all guidebooks have a clear layout with helpful sub-headings to signpost the reader to different areas. Front covers are appealing, with relevant cartoon drawings running throughout the different guidebooks.

    How clear are its aims and outcomes?

    Objectives are labelled as “KNOW WHAT”, “SO WHAT” and “NOW WHAT” in each session. In the small group guidebook and large group guidebook, these titles state what the main concept for the session is, what it means for us today and what we can do to respond/react.

    How accessible are the leader's notes?

    Very accessible. There are many roles to be played by the team in these sessions including small group leaders, large group leaders, administration, and directors. Each guidebook includes relevant information for each so that each part of the team gets the information and detail necessary for their role.

    Who could lead it?

    These sessions aren't just lead by one person but by a team of people. Given the detail, planning and fact that this resource is more meant for large groups, a skilled children's worker would be best suited to lead the MAKING IT CONNECT sessions.

    How helpful are the participants' resources?

    Very clear and easy. Photocopiable resources for activities and crafts suitable for 7-8year olds. Some crafts may be a little easy for some children, so prior choosing of crafts is essential.

    How good is any digital material?

    All sessions and guidebooks are on a CD-ROM which can be printed if necessary to form a book. A DVD is included with dramas for sessions 11,12 and 13 with the script also accessible on the CD-ROM if churches decide to act the dramas out themselves. The DVD dramas are a little outdated since production, so churches may opt for re-acting the dramas.

    How much prep will I have to do?

    The resource suggests that proactive planning and prayer should begin 4-6 months prior to running the sessions. This is necessary as there are a lot of parts to each session which require all leaders to be well-informed and prepared. Cooperation between different roles is essential for sessions to run smoothly as the children transition between different environments and activities. The small group guidebook, large group guidebook and administration guidebook outline supply needs and actions to complete in advance explicitly. If these sessions are run in a holiday club format, then room setup and layout will take longer to plan and construct.

    Is there website support? Links?

    Support on the website: www.promiselandonline.com

  • How well does it encourage interaction with the group?

    Interaction with the group is particularly emphasised in the ‘Small Group' section of each session. Small group leaders are encouraged to invest in their young people and gain their trust so that honest discussion can take place. Interaction is also encouraged during activities and the large group sections via questions and answers.

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

    This resource recognises that children may learn in different ways. It includes visual learning by dramas, kinetic learning by activities and crafts, and audible learning by listening to the Bible stories and answering questions about the main concepts. There are also many games and activities to aid learning.

    How adaptable is it to my situation?

    MAKING IT CONNECT - FALL, is one of three series in the MAKING IT CONNECT trilogy. It includes 13 sessions aimed to be run during the fall season while WINTER and SPRING quarters cover other parts of the year. These sessions require a lot of planning and are aimed at large groups. They can be done on a weekly basis, or adapted for holiday camps/clubs. For the most successful delivery, a large team will be needed for a large group of kids. Access to DVD players, CD players and a large space is helpful too. Teams can choose how much they invest in dramas and setup, but several characters are needed to act out the Bible stories.

    Church leaders should also be on board with these sessions so that parents can follow up with what the children are learning, and so that the church can support the series as a group. Session length lasts about 60-80 minutes. Also, as this material was produced in the USA, some contents may need to be adapted for context e.g. references to Thanksgiving.

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

    Achieved during the “SO WHAT” section of the large group teaching. Children think about what the concepts taught mean to their lives. In small groups, they are given space to discuss and apply with their leaders and each other.

  • How much of the material is Bible-based?

    50%. Half of each session is spent teaching the children in large groups a story in the Bible and getting them to understand what it means.

    How well is the biblical material presented and used?

    Presented as dramas and plays in front of a large group mostly, with memory verses to cut out and take home. In large groups, leaders present the children with a pre-teach section, teaching section and post-teach section. These summarise the main message, reinforce it and allow children to apply it verbally. There is also a prayer to follow before they go in to small groups to respond and discuss with small group leaders.

    How well does it apply biblical material to everyday life?

    Biblical material is applied to everyday life during the small group sessions after the main teaching. Children are asked relevant questions about what the story means, as well as questions about how it can apply to how they live. The questions are both age and stage appropriate for 7-8 year old boys and girls.

    Is there a particular theological perspective?

    The resource states clearly its motivations behind producing MAKING IT CONNECT and the Director's notebook outlines the vision for these sessions. It is important that if churches use this resource, they are in agreement with the Willow Creek Community Church values, for example, the resource is based on their 5 G values; Grace, Growth, Groups, Gifts and Good Stewardship. Churches should review the values and vision before choosing to embark on running this series. Prayer is encouraged but from no specific liturgical view.

     

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

    Gently introduces discipleship to children. Children are taught about God's love for us and sacrifice so that we can receive salvation. They are taught that we can love God too, and respond in thankfulness for all He has done by our actions and in our relationship with Him. The resource lays the foundation for what God has done, so that children can respond by living as disciples.

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

    Growth in faith is specific to the topics covered in the sessions, most notably, growth in love, communication with God and trust that He will keep His promises.

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

    By covering the journeys of key characters in the old testament, MAKING IT CONNECT - FALL, teaches about God's vision and promise keeping by teaching about people such as Abraham and Sarah, Elijah and Joshua crossing the river Jordan. Children learn of the miracles and deliverance of God in the old testament.

    How well does it connect with real life issues?

    Discussions during small group sessions allow children to relate what they have heard to how they live. They have time and space to think about the teaching and ask any questions to their leader and peers.

  • How well does it encourage personal evangelism?

    Not a huge focus in this FALL series.

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

    Children are taught that God loves everyone and that He made all things. Therefore we should steward the world and love all our neighbours.

    How well does it connect with global issues?

    Not a direct focus.

    How well does it encourage global mission?

    Not a direct focus, although does teach about people who chose to not follow God, Jonah, as well as those who chose to follow God Abraham.

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