I’m always being asked for my “Top Ten List” on a variety of topics. Since Lent is just two short weeks away, hopefully you’ve already made your plans and spread the word to those in your congregation. But just in case, these are my top picks (a mix of perennial favorites alongside some new offerings) for a variety of ages and stages to take along on the Lenten journey. Download Church Publishing’s Lent 2015 catalog for more ideas.
What We Do in Lent: A Child’s Activity Book. Designed for children four to seven years old, Anne Kitch’s gentle text explains the seasons of Lent and Easter through 41 pages of coloring and solving puzzles as the reader builds their vocabulary and walks with Jesus to Jerusalem. Perfect for home use (it has a parent guide) or to place in children’s worship bags with a box of crayons. Continue reading Resources for Lent in 2015
It’s that time . . . evaluating the past program year and planning for what is to come.
This often includes deciding what curriculum will be used with children, youth and even the adults. There is a vast array of materials out there, and it is often tough to choose what might be the best one suited for your congregation, your young people, your volunteer teachers.
Take time in making your choices. Don’t do it alone – assemble a team to research, study, and hopefully try a test run with a sample or two. When looking at each resource, look at several lessons at possible, as well as different age levels. A good run of thumb is to ask yourself these questions:
- Purpose: Why was it written? Does it match our needs?
- Theology: How is God depicted? Who is Jesus? The Holy Spirit? The People of God? Is it in keeping with my church’s / denomination’s theology? How is creation, sin, judgement and redemption explored?
- Type: Is it lectionary-based, Montessori-approach, Rotational/Learning Center, Thematic? What type will support our goals?
- Lessons: Is there supportive material for teachers? Engaging and a variety of activities for learners? Special supplies or typical on-hand materials needed?
- Bible: How is the Bible used? What version? Are Old Testament stories told? New Testament? Gospels?
- Worship: How is prayer included? Is it important to have lessons on the sacramental traditions? Creedal statements? How is Baptism and Communion explained?
- Publisher: Is it affiliated with any particular denomination that may impact the lessons and theology?
- Cost: Does it fit in my budget? Is it reusable? Dated? Extra pieces that need to be purchased for the program to work?