The Walk – Following Jesus
Leah Pittsinger, Ministry-To-Children, 2016

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Overview

What does it say on the tin?

We are excited to share this four lesson unit from Leah Pittsinger. It’s filled with practical help for kids as they learn to follow after Jesus. All the lessons are available 100% free using the links below. If you’re in a hurry, we compiled all the lessons in one printable PDF file download.

What do you get?

Access Ministry-To-Children’s resources including to the leader notes for these four sessions, plus links to some downloadable activities. Sessions include:

  1. Walk in Wisdom
  2. Walk in Truth
  3. Walk in Love
  4. Walk in Faith

Who is it for?

Children aged 10 – 12 years. Small groups. Enquiring, beginning.

Cost?

Free using this link.

Review

  • What is the overall quality of material presentation?

    Good – very easy to follow and written with helpful subheadings. The language is easy to understand and the instructions for each session only consist of one page of A4.

    How clear are its aims and outcomes?

    Aims and objectives are listed in two different formats; ‘Objective’ and ‘Main Idea’. The ‘Objective’ summarises succinctly the session’s focus, while the ‘Main Idea’ puts that focus in to the context of the passages covered.

    How accessible are the leader’s notes?

    The leader notes are very accessible and can be easily understood. There are some options for leaders to improvise, and these can be incorporated or ignored depending on how confident the leader is in leading both the session and any discussion which may arise.

    Who could lead it?

    The Walk sessions can be led by children’s leaders and supported by other adults passionate about teaching children about Jesus. There are prompts for discussion, and children in the suggested age range will have their own questions on topics, so while leaders cannot know all the answers, some background theological knowledge would be beneficial to help the children get the most out of these sessions.

    How helpful are the participants’ resources?

    Participant resources are minimal and consist of some printable activity cards as well as cheap and readily available resources for visual aids and activities (for example, paper, pens, scissors etc). There are also some more abstract but cheap resources which will need to be bought.

    How good is any digital material?

    N/A

    How much prep will I have to do?

    Preparation is minimal for these sessions as resources are cheap and readily available in most craft cupboards (some obscure purchases will be needed like mustard seeds). Each session’s instructions only take up one page of A4 which means that the leader can go through them quickly to familiarise themselves with the material, and each section only has one option so the leader does not need to make their own decisions about what will be included. Leaders are welcome to go off script and use their own teaching and learning methods which may take more time to prepare, but otherwise the material can be followed as it is without much improvisation. As this material is available online, the leader may want to print it off and give copies to any facilitators too. For Health & Safety reasons, the ratio of children to adults must be considered too before running the sessions.

    Is there website support? Links?

    The resource is a free online one so by default the key site needed is: ministry-to-children.com/the-walk-series-index . There are other free resources available on the site which are not directly for this series but some may be applicable if leaders want to explore them.

  • How well does it encourage interaction with the group?

    Initial interaction with the group is with ice breaker activities, simple voting quizzes and a starter activity. These are all simple to do, and are mess free too. This sets up the children’s interaction with the leader and introduces the topic for the session. Children then interact mostly with the leader throughout the Bible teaching time, where they listen, read, answer and ask questions. Interaction continues after the teaching with a games, memory verse or other activity.

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

    Bible learning is primarily through reading passages and answering question prompts from the leader. Leaders can incorporate their own methods of teaching depending on what is most appropriate for their group and learning style. Memory verses, reviews and activities help solidify learning.

    How adaptable is it to my situation?

    These sessions are designed to take 45 minutes each from start to finish. They are very well suited to children aged 10-12 but can be used for years slightly below or above depending on the context of the group. There is relatively low mess involved, easy and quick planning, and readily available internal and external resources. The sessions require the leader to do very little improvisation and do not offer multiple options for each section, meaning prep time is minimal and straight forward. These sessions can be used as part of Sunday School, lunch clubs, small groups or after school clubs. They can be run in chronological order or as one-offs.

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

    Children apply material in different ways depending on the session. There are a range of approaches, such as: a true or false quiz, craft, game or activity sheet. Most of the application however is by thinking about the answers to the questions the leader asks.

  • How much of the material is Bible-based?

    20 minutes of each session is focused on reading and applying the Bible together.

    How well is the biblical material presented and used?

    Biblical material is presented by children reading the passages one by one (as specified and summarised at the beginning of the sessions) from Bibles, themselves. The leader then asks them questions to help them understand the passages and apply them to their lives. The follow-up activity, game or craft will solidify learning.

    How well does it apply biblical material to everyday life?

    This series is all about learning to live and act as Jesus did, so has a lot to say about how children act and behave in everyday life. For example, the sessions teach children how to walk in: wisdom, truth, love and faith. They learn what each of these abstract nouns means, and then are asked questions to challenge how they live now, and consider how Jesus lived. These concepts can then be applied to their own lives, in the form of their ultimate meaning, as demonstrated by Jesus on earth.

    Is there a particular theological perspective?

    No, this series is open to all denominations.

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

    This series makes practical suggestions on whole-life discipleship based on how Jesus lived. For example, children learn the importance of prayer and the importance of loving God before ourselves in order to then live lives which point to him. They learn that the ultimate truth comes from the Bible, not from human intelligence, so if they are ever confused about how to live or be a disciple, they can always go to the Bible.

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

    Children grow in faith primarily during the Bible teaching and discussion time. This is a time where children can ask questions about the passages, bounce ideas off of one another and the leader. By being encouraged to answer questions and ask more questions, children are given permission to investigate Jesus for themselves, and not just learn what is set out in front of them.

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

    One of the biggest things this resource covers well is the importance of relying on God even when we don’t understand what is happening and why. Children learn about characters who struggled in this life but persevered with God; characters like Paul, Moses, Noah, Abraham and Jesus himself all had times when they did not like what was happening, but relied and trusted God’s bigger plan.

    How well does it connect with real life issues?

    The series connects with real life issues by asking children about experiences in their lives, and then drawing comparisons of how Jesus might have acted, or how he did act in similar situations in the Bible.

  • How well does it encourage personal evangelism?

    Evangelism is not hugely discussed in this resource but is indirectly encouraged by learning about Jesus’ life on earth and his purpose. Children learn that by knowing the truth, they are set free and that evidences of their faith should be present in their lives for others to see.

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

    Community involvement is encouraged by children learning that the way they live reflects to others their love for God. Crafts also aim to practically have a positive influence on their communities.

    How well does it connect with global issues?

    Not a focus for this series.

    How well does it encourage global mission?

    Not a focus for this series.

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