Pearls, Pigs and Parties
Christian Education Publications, 2005, revised 2013

£17.32 (Approx)
4.2
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Overview

What does it say on the tin?

Through the parables, Jesus taught about spiritual truths and what it means to be a part of God’s kingdom. These stories teach us to listen carefully to his word, and to love and forgive others just as God lovingly forgives all who come to him in repentance.

Pearls, pigs and parties aims to teach children aged 5 to 11 that being a follower of Jesus and part of God’s kingdom is more valuable than anything else. This six-part series culminates in a fun party, where family and friends are also encouraged to accept Jesus’ invitation to the ultimate celebration in heaven with God’s people.

What do you get?

Leader manual which includes information on how the sessions are run and why, tips on how to manage and teach a group and outlines of all 6 sessions. There are also visual aids, suggestions for music, craft and games, teaching songs and ideas on how to extend the program for an extra 1 or 2 sessions.

The sessions can be used for weekly sessions, holiday clubs or camps and are designed for children aged 5-11 years old with one option for each section of the sessions.

Sessions included are:

  • The Parable of the Farmer and the Four Soils: introduces the concept of Jesus’ parables and encourages the children to listen carefully to his words.
  • The Parable of the Loving Father: assures the children that God lovingly welcomes and forgives all who come to him in repentance.
  • The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant: helps the children to understand that followers of Jesus are to forgive one another, because God has forgiven them.
  • The Parable of the Good Samaritan: highlights that being a follower of Jesus is about loving others, even people we don’t like.
  • The Parables of the Pearl and the Hidden Treasure: shows the children that belonging to the kingdom of God is more valuable than anything else.
  • The Parable of the Great Party: helps children to understand that God invites everyone to share in this wonderful family they’ve been hearing about. It gives them an opportunity to accept his invitation.

The series can be purchased digitally from www. https://www.cepstore.com.au/pearls-pigs-and-parties-2; or as a hard copy from https://www.10ofthose.com/products/17030/pearls-pigs-and-parties.

Who is it for?

Children aged 5 – 11 years old. Small groups. Children. All age. Beginning, Growing.

Review

  • What is the overall quality of material presentation?

    Very good and easy to follow. The notes are to the point without irrelevant detail and content. Instructions are clear and resources are colourful, with easy headings and an appealing layout. How clear are its aims and outcomes? The aim of the series is to bring ‘the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ to primary school children and to make the word of God relevant to their daily lives’. Each session then lists its own individual aim and the learning outcomes at the beginning of the guidance.

    How accessible are the leader’s notes?

    Leader notes include guidance on how to give a Bible talk and provide notes on communication, discipline, context, positive reinforcement and how to set the scene. Session outlines are clear and concise with all that is needed for the leader to run a full session. Overall, the notes are easy to follow and in depth without being fluffed out with too much irrelevant detail.

    Who could lead it?

    Children’s workers and trainee children’s workers should be the main leaders.

    How helpful are the participants’ resources?

    Mostly in the form of take-home crafts, they are relevant to the parable, fun and easy with a bit of mess too.

    How good is any digital material?

    CD-ROM support is relevant, easy and fun.

    How much prep will I have to do?

    Preparation depends on context as a holiday club or weekend away may require more time to set the scene. The leader needs to be familiar with the content and any other facilitators. Resources for the craft, game and talk need to be collected but are generally quite standard and cheap. If run as a weekly session, a couple of hours to run through the content is enough as all instructions are clear and to the point. If run as a holiday club or camp group, more time will be needed to organise the logistics of the session and promote accordingly. All paper resources and music is included in initial purchase, but a CD player is needed. These sessions are a brilliant way to talk to children about Jesus with a generally less widely used Biblical approach with children; studying the parables.

    Is there website support? Links?

    N/A

  • How well does it encourage interaction with the group?

    Children are interacting with one another and the leader throughout the sessions through craft, singing, a game, discussion and prayer.

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

    Delivery of material is varied so that it is accessible for anyone. For example, children may learn the parable by hearing the story while doing a mime, looking at visual cards and answering questions. The resource also takes in to account that children need a variety of stimuli to keep their attention, so works on the basis of building blocks to make a session.

    How adaptable is it to my situation?

    The series is aimed at children in Australia, New Zealand and the UK. There are 6 sessions designed for use in weekly, holiday or camping ministry, which aim to help leaders teach the Bible and build trusting relationships with the participants. Depending on context, preparation will vary, for example if running a holiday club, more time will be needed to set the scene. There is not a recommended running time, but each session lasts approximately 90 minutes depending on how long leader spend on each section. The resources are all in the pack, other than those needed for crafts and games, which makes preparation easy. CD player is needed. The sessions can be used for weekly sessions, holiday clubs or camps and are designed for children aged 5-11 years old with one option for each section of the sessions.

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

    Children primarily apply the material during discussion with the leader in the Bible teaching time.

  • How much of the material is Bible-based?

    Around 30 minutes are spent on the Bible section time but this may increase or decrease depending on number of participants and how many answers to questions are accepted. There is a lot of opportunity to ask children questions and field answers.

    How well is the biblical material presented and used?

    This series has an interactive approach to Bible teaching with children physically having a role as well as answering questions and looking at visual aids. Brilliant combination of approaches without being too confusing to implement logistically. Children learn through answering questions as they go along in the story as the leader is encouraged to stop and ask questions all the way through. This is followed by song and prayers well as a craft relevant to the theme.

    How well does it apply biblical material to everyday life?

    Children are challenged in the Bible study time to think about how the parable and its teachings apply to their lives. For example, when learning about the Good Samaritan, they are then challenged to think of practical examples where they can be a good neighbour.

    Is there a particular theological perspective?

    No explicit liturgy to note.

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

    Children learn that being a disciple is more than just hearing God’s word and saying yes, it is also about learning more about God and how to live in a way which honours him. This is introduced as a concept in the first session on the parable of the four soils where children learn about the four different types of people and their responses to God. They are also taught the concept of thank you, sorry, please prayers.

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

    Children are cautiously taught about Jesus’ parables under the assumption that they are at an age where they are concrete in thinking but may find the metaphors difficult to interpret. The resource recognises that it is still important to teach children these stories to allow the Holy Spirit to help children interpret their deeper meaning. Children learn from the parables how important it is to listen to Jesus and that this helps them understand more about God, for example, by learning about the parable of the loving father.

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

    Children are encouraged to see that being a follower of Jesus and a part of God’s kingdom is an amazing thing because they are forgiven (parable of the Unforgiving Servant) and so they can love others because God loved them (parable of the Good Samaritan). Children learn more about the fact that God is for everyone, and that includes people they may not like.

    How well does it connect with real life issues?

    Gently approaches real life issues relevant for children, for example playground problems or feeling sad if someone has mistreated them. The emphasis is on accepting Jesus and what he taught so another series could then be used to practically apply Jesus’ teaching to their lives.

  • How well does it encourage personal evangelism?

    In the sixth session, children themselves are invited to accept God’s invitation to the parade of the great party. They are also gently encouraged to talk to other people about Jesus, where they learn that he is for everyone.

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

    Children are encouraged through the parable of the Good Samaritan to include others even if they may not want to. This is then applied to the contexts they live in, for example in the school playground.

    How well does it connect with global issues?

    Not a primary focus.

    How well does it encourage global mission?

    Not a primary focus.

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