The Sanctity of Life
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All human life is precious to the LORD, because people are made in HIS image. This is true for all stages of life and Jesus followers have always been a voice for the value of life. In this 3 part series, children will learn that even though all people are made in God’s image, he deliberately made them individually unique as wonderful and beautiful displays of his power and glory.
Access to three sessions to run with children plus a pdf of activities for children to turn what they have learnt in to action. Downloadable.
Children aged 9-11 years, however easily adaptable to older and younger groups. Small groups.
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The sessions are well presented and easy to follow. Leaders can access them online, convert them to pdf format or print a hard copy if preferred. There is one series image per session, followed by the session outline which includes relevant sub-headings and links to external and internal resources. The content of this series is based around the importance of people and why we are set apart from the rest of creation. Children learn what the significance is of being born in the image of God.
Each session has an ‘objective’ and a ‘main idea’ to help the leader know what children should learn and what their teaching aim is.
The leader notes are very accessible and walk the leader through the motions of the session well. There are some instructions which indicate the leader can be flexible in adding in their own explanations too.
These sessions can be run by adults motivated in telling children about Jesus. More experienced Christians may find this easier as the age range of the children makes them more likely to ask complex questions.
Participant resources are minimal and include word searches, crafts and projects to do both in the session and at home.
Preparation for these sessions need not take too long. The outlines are easy to follow with concise instructions. There is a section for ‘materials’ at the beginning which is the biggest preparation, particularly for the third session. Preparation requires the leader to be familiar with the content and the background, and to have crafted ideas for ‘outlining’ a particular concept from their own experiences. The sessions take up minimal room unless including craft, and require the leader to print out resources prior to the session too.
The resources are available online to download, with other resources available on the website. These are not explicitly linked to this series, but could be if the leader chooses to find out what else may be available on the site. There is a link to craft ideas.
Interaction is encouraged through ‘ice breaker’ activities at the beginning of the sessions and throughout the teaching time. Interaction mostly consists in this time of a question and answer format with the leader.
Learning is primarily through reading the Bible, talking about it, answering and asking questions. Each session then has a simple activity that puts into practice the concepts, and the conclusion at the end helps solidify knowledge, along with recaps in each session.
This three week mini-series followed by ‘Sanctity of Life Sunday’ was designed to be completed in January but can be done at other times of the year. It is written with children aged 8-12 years old in mind, but is appropriate for children a couple of years either side of this age range. The material does not require much preparation, space or in depth knowledge of the Bible. The recommended running time is approximately 45 minutes, meaning it suits Sunday School, lunch clubs or small group settings. The instructions are easy to follow, concise and comprehensive. The activities are non-messy and adaptable too. This resource focuses on the importance of people, and it then encourages children to go out and take action on what they hear, so it is great for inspiring kids to care about children in worse positions than them, and empowering them to do something to help.
Children apply the material in the main craft time, and during discussion with the leader throughout the lesson time. There is a question and answer format primarily during the lesson time.
The explicit Bible teaching time takes up 15 minutes of the session.
Biblical material is presented by the leader giving a concept or idea, and then reinforcing it by reading directly from a Bible passage. Bible passages used in each session are outlined for the leader at the beginning of the sessions.
As this series is based around understanding the significance of people and their identity, this resource primarily encourages children to apply what they learn by how they treat and respond to others. There is an emphasis on the importance of life, so children learn actions and service which honour life, both on a day to day basis, and in the long term. Children apply what they learn through a ‘service project’ in session three too.
There isn’t any specific liturgy or denominational slant, however as this resource is about honouring all life, there is a brief anti-abortion reference which churches can easily omit if they are more liberal in approach to this topic.
Children are encouraged towards whole life discipleship from the perspective of how they treat one another and value one another. This resources emphasises the idea that how we respond to others reflects our love for God, and that by doing good things for others can show that we are Christians.
Children grow in faith by being asked questions about how what they’ve learnt applies to their views and actions. Children are encouraged to put faith in to action, and by doing so will rely more and more on God for help.
The vision presented is about the importance of mankind and God’s relationship with each and every person. Children learn they have a role to play in God’s vision of reaching out to others and by acts of service.
As this series is specific in its focus, there isn’t a great deal on teaching to do with issues children might have; the focus is bigger than that. This resource encourages children to look at the issues others have, and to think about how they can actively help others. There are real life issues, but the issues discussed are big and worldwide in some cases.
The ‘Sanctity of Life Sunday’ gives some great ideas for inspiring children to take action for other children God loves. These all provide gateways of opportunities for children to speak and live out their faith to others around them.
Community involvement is a big focus in this series as once the children learn about why we are special in the eyes of God, they are then encouraged to go out and live it with the importance of others in their minds too. Some activity suggestions include: completing a ‘service project’ in the third session to help someone in the community or a charity, hosting a clothing drive to raise money for foster children or praying for those around them.
Children are empowered in this mini series to take action against global issues. For example, there are suggestions for becoming a pen pal with an orphan, sparing change for local baby centres or finding charities to help persecuted Christian children.
Through the encouragement in this resource of reaching out to others, global mission is indirectly encouraged in this series.
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