This is a guest post by Sarah Carver. Sarah is the Preschool Director at The Summit Church in Durham, North Carolina. She has been serving kids and their families for 10 years and loves to see little minds begin to grasp gospel truths. To download and use a full month of The Gospel Project for free click here.
Teaching kids about Jesus sounds like something every Bible-believing Christian curriculum should have down pat, right? I have been in full-time preschool ministry for the last five years, and over and over I have been shocked at how many curricula teach Bible knowledge but forget about the Person of Jesus. The point of Bible study is not just to fill our 3-, 4- and, 5-year-olds with Bible knowledge but to show them what it looks like to fall in love with Jesus.
My church made the switch to The Gospel Project® for Kids about a year and a half ago. We switched for the chronological walk through the Bible, gospel-centered teaching, and the fact that the preschool and elementary teaching plans were aligned so kids of all ages were talking about the same topic—making it easier for parents to have discussion at home.
Let me guess what you’re thinking. Philosophy and intention are one thing, but I want to know how switching to The Gospel Project has practically worked out for your preschool ministry. It has been quite the challenge, but I am thankful. When we only focus on the same traditional lessons each year, teachers and kids aren’t challenged to learn the actual Bible. However, with The Gospel Project, we are taking it to a whole new level, wanting kids to not just hear the Bible stories that are easy and fun to tell, but also teaching them the stories that are hard—because the WHOLE BIBLE is God’s Word, not just the easy-to-digest parts.
The awesome part about this is that both my preschool leaders and the kids they teach are being discipled! We’ve adapted a few standard practices to help us along in this journey.
- Find one point for the session or even the whole unit that you can drive home 5 to 10 times during the session.
- Preschoolers thrive on repetition and interactive teaching, which also helps preschoolers tell Mom and Dad what they learned that week, so add movements to help drive Bible stories along. For example, our church just finished Unit 18: The Exile Began, which talks about the exile of God’s people because they refused to obey God—even after He sent prophet after prophet to warn them to change their ways. One line that I added into each session was “STOP doing evil” (put one hand out like a stop sign) “and RUN to God” (pat hands on knees to make the sound of running).
- Remember that the session is a guide and not a rule. Teach to your kids—the ones in front of you. Learn to gauge what they can understand and teach to that level. Free your leaders to be creative and teach the Bible stories in a way that matches their teaching style.
My prayer for God’s Church is that we would be a part of teaching the next generation to be passionate Christ-worshipers, and that we would be a people who challenge our little ones to take on hard truths of God’s Word rather than shying away from them. Thank you to The Gospel Project for making it challenging, for reminding me that the gospel is worth it, and for helping me challenge and push our church.