As we turn over the calendar pages (does anyone really use paper calendars these days?), we are getting more and more excited about the new cycle of The Gospel Project for Kids starting! We are just days away from the suggested first use Sunday in September. With that said, we also know of churches who have already begun using the materials, so we are so glad to know that the new material we have worked so hard on is finally being used to point kids to Christ.
This seems like the perfect time then to share a few quick tips to start well for those who are using this material for the first time and for those who are continuing from the first cycle.
Tips for Everyone
- Keep the vision of The Gospel Project at the forefront of your thinking. Remember that part of this material is to show how all of the Bible points to Jesus and for the gospel to saturate each kid’s heart resulting in lasting and meaningful change. This takes time.
- The Family App (paid) and the Lite App (free) is released just before the suggested first use Sunday each quarter. These apps are designed late in the process, which is why they are released so close to the beginning of a volume. The apps are available through iTunes and the Google Play store.
- We have a Facebook page just for The Gospel Project for Kids that is administered by our team. It’s a great place to ask questions, share ideas, and keep up with news.
For Those New to the Journey
- We leave the age groups undefined on purpose, but basically Babies and Toddlers is for birth through 2, Preschool is for 3 through K, Younger Kids is 1-3 grade, and Older Kids is 4-6 grade. Again, those are just general guidelines.
- The printable items referenced in the leader guides are found on the Enhanced CD that comes with the kit, or at the end of the leader guide PDFs that come with the purchase of a digital bundle.
- If you purchased a digital bundle, the leader guide includes the activity pages, pertinent posters, and printables at the end of the file. This is done to make it easy for ministry leaders to provide class teachers everything they need in one place.
- The PDF versions of the leader guides that you can purchase at lifeway.com and which you do not receive as part of a digital bundle do not contain printables, posters, activity pages, and so forth. You can think of these as simply digital alternatives to purchasing printed leader guides for those who prefer to teach using a tablet.
- If you are digital, the jpgs are found in the portfolio PDF. This will be the button at the top of each session. Below is a screen capture of a session. The portfolio PDF is the green “Download All Session 1: Kid Bible Study” button. Once you download that portfolio, open it in Adobe Reader (do not preview it) and the jpgs are in a folder within it. Ministry leaders may want to focus on downloading the portfolio so they have all they need to prepare for each week’s session.
For Those Continuing the Journey
- Want to celebrate what you learned in the first cycle? We have provided a free review session for you to help your kids recall the big story of the Bible. Scroll down on the kids resources page and look under the 2012-2015 Resources heading.
- The basic skeleton of the material is the same, so your leaders should not need to make any big adjustments.
- Each session is brand new, even the sessions that cover the same or similar passages from the first cycle. This means new activities, new videos, new music, and new activity pages.
- The materials from the first cycle are not compatible with the new material.
- While each session in the first cycle had a Big Picture Question, we now are providing only one per unit instead (except Unit 1 where the kids have 2).
- Each session now has a Main Point. This should make it easier for leaders to prepare and teach and reduce confusion about what to focus on in light of the Big Picture Questions, Christ Connections, etc.
- There are no longer three digital offerings (Essentials, Essentials Plus, and Essentials Pro). Instead, we have simplified it to two. The basic offering is equivalent to the former Essentials Plus and includes the Key Passage songs and Unit Theme songs. The “with Worship” offering is equivalent to the former Essentials Pro and includes the additional worship and missions elements. Basically, the former Essentials that had no music at all is now gone.
- There are no hosted videos for kids.
- The jpg files are now available on the Presentation Disc.
- Allergy Alert posters, Parent Resources, and some other content is now available at www.gospelproject.com/resources to make it easier for individual leaders to print and use.
- Adult-Kid Connections are no longer available. Family content is now included on the activity pages.
For Those Who Are Having Issues Printing Digital Materials
We have heard from a handful of churches who are having trouble with some random letters not printing when printing digital items. This seems to be an issue with some printers not being able to handle one of the fonts used on the materials. Here is a solution for you:
1. Open a PDF and go to PRINT.
2. Click on the ADVANCED button. (The image below is in Acrobat XI. The ADVANCED button could be in another location in another version of Acrobat.)
3. On the ADVANCED screen, choose to print the PDF as an image. (See screen below)
What other tips would you share about how to get the maximum out of The Gospel Project for Kids?
Brian Dembowczyk is the team leader for The Gospel Project for Kids. He served in local church ministry for over 16 years before coming to LifeWay in 2014. Brian earned an M.Div. from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a D.Min. from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Brian and his wife, Tara, and their three children – Joshua, Hannah, and Caleb – live in Murfreesboro, TN, where Brian enjoys drinking coffee and teaching 1-3 graders at City Church.