B. A. Snider
Almost overnight in mid-March, many of our churches had to make the tough decision not to meet in person. Immediately my heart went out to all the children who love to come to church on Sunday morning, where they have a special Sunday school teacher who shares God’s Word in a way that they can understand. Having been a children’s director for more than twenty years, I also thought of all those in charge of children’s ministry who love their covenant children and want to continue ministry in their lives. After some quick consultation with our staff at Great Commission Publications (GCP), we set out on a path to provide free video Bible story lessons that could be used at home. We chose one of our Show Me Jesus spring quarters, “Jesus Is God,” and we have been providing free weekly lessons since March 22.
The free lesson includes:
Parents and their children can watch the Bible story together, read the Scriptures, and use the materials to launch into great family discussions that are so relevant to where we are right now. The thirteen lessons, designed for preschool and young elementary kids, focus on events from the New Testament that tell us who Jesus is and show us that:
These wonderful truths of God’s Word encourage not only our children but adults as well, reminding us that Jesus is God even in the midst of a pandemic.
As we spread the word about the availability of these lessons, we had 341 churches immediately sign up. Now as I write this article, we have over 600 churches using the lessons, and each week the email is being opened in about 3,200 homes. GCP has received many emails, Facebook posts, and phone calls from families about how much they are enjoying GCP’s help in teaching their children. This brings great joy to my heart as I see God’s Word being lived out from Psalm 78:4–6:
We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done. He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children, that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children.
As our churches transition back to in-person worship and ministry, GCP felt the need to continue crafting free lessons into the summer. We are offering thirteen more lessons from the Show Me Jesus curriculum called “God Keeps His Promises.”
In these scary and changing times, isn’t it good to remind ourselves and to teach our children that God always keeps his promises? In these thirteen lessons, families will follow God’s amazing unfolding promises to Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, Jacob, and David, all the way to their fulfillment in Jesus the Savior. Even families who know the Bible well will be encouraged by God’s love and faithfulness shown in these lessons.
With both these Bible video series, GCP will have twenty-six lessons and downloadable materials that can be used for virtual teaching at home but also can support the teaching done together as we gather on Sundays. Learn more and sign up for the free lessons on our website, www.gcp.org.
Another great way to teach multiple ages together is to use our Pilgrim’s Progress curriculum. Pilgrim’s Progress is the classic allegory written by John Bunyan in 1678. GCP rewrote a true-to-the-original version for six-to-twelve-year-olds. An allegory is a story with two meanings. First, this is an exciting adventure story of a man and his friends on a dangerous journey to a wonderful place. But it’s also a story that teaches important truths about Jesus and every Christian’s journey through life.
The adventure begins with a man named Christian who reads a book and discovers that the City of Destruction, where he lives, is going to be destroyed. He also learns that he has a huge burden on his back. What must he do? A man named Evangelist tells him to head toward the Shining Light. We follow Christian as he comes to the Place of Deliverance, where the burden falls off his back and he cries tears of joy as he says, “Jesus has given me rest from my sadness and life through his death.”
That sounds like the end to the story, but our children will find out that this is only the beginning. Christian still has a long journey to the Celestial City. One of my favorite sections is when he meets a friend named Hopeful, who recounts how he himself met Jesus on his journey: “I told Jesus, ‘I am a very great sinner.’ And Jesus replied, ‘My grace is enough for you.’ Then I asked, ‘Can I truly be accepted by you?’ Jesus said, ‘Whoever comes to me I will never drive away.’”
I remember this section well because I was driving and listening to the dramatic reading, which is a word-for-word audiobook of the story with different character voices and sound effects. I had to pull over because streams of tears were coming down my face as I heard Hopeful’s testimony and thought about Jesus’s great grace for such a sinner as me.
The curriculum teaches these truths in thirteen lessons, following the thirteen-chapter storybook. A student pack for each child includes the storybook (112 pages) and activity papers to reinforce the lesson truths. What’s the special offer? With each student pack, we will include a free download of the dramatic reading (1 hour, 43 minutes) and seven songs! This offer is only good by phone at 800-695-3387 until August 31, 2020. Learn more and download a sample lesson at www.gcp.org.
GCP is here for you in the ministry of discipling our covenant children and equipping families and churches with Christ-centered resources.
The author is marketing coordinator for GCP.
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