If you purchase any of the preschool or kids Winter 2015-16 (Volume 2: God Delivers) printed kits, you might notice something new on the presentation disc—bonus session content. These sessions are being provided at no added cost primarily for churches who are not following the suggested use dates and who teach this volume at another time of the year other than around Christmas. During the first cycle of The Gospel Project for Kids, we heard from churches who had Christmas sessions in the middle of the summer or Easter sessions in the fall and they didn’t know quite what to do. Well, we heard you and these bonus sessions are our way of helping you out. These sessions also might be of interest to churches who are following the suggested use dates, but who do not want to spend 2-3 weeks on Christmas. These bonus sessions are only available in the printed kits and are not part of the digital bundles.
The free bonus material are sessions from the first cycle of The Gospel Project for Kids that we didn’t cover in the second cycle. They will be available in each Winter (Christmas) and Spring (Easter) kit during the three-year cycle. We will continue to post Christmas and Easter sessions online for churches who are in the middle of a volume that does not have Christmas or Easter content in them.
Here is what you will find on the presentation disc:
- Leader Guide PDFs: These PDFs include the activity pages and any printables referenced in the activities.
- Bible Story Videos: The unhosted videos are provided in .mov and .mp4 formats
- Kids Discussion Starter Videos: Provided in .mov and .mp4 formats.
There are three things that you will not find on that disc that I want to address:
- No music content: We recommend that you continue using the music from the unit in which you insert these bonus sessions. I’ll explain what I mean by that in a moment. This will prevent the kids from getting confused by two different songs being introduced one week and it will give extra time for working on the key passage of the main unit.
- No worship content: The kids worship sessions build on one another, making it impractical to step out of the current unit’s characters and theme and insert two different characters and a different theme in the middle.
- No Babies and Toddlers Leader Guide: Because we did not have a babies and toddlers resource in the first cycle, we could not pull one to provide as part of the bonus sessions.
Now, what did I mean by inserting these sessions in the middle of a unit? We do not recommend that you simply swap out the Christmas unit sessions for the bonus sessions and make a new “unit” out of them. Instead, we are providing a suggested order of sessions that preserves the chronology to minimize confusion for your kids. Here is how we suggest you adjust Unit 4: God the Redeemer to include the bonus sessions:
Unit 4: God the Redeemer
Session 1: Moses Was Born and Called
Session 1A: Moses Confronted Pharaoh (BONUS)
Session 2: The Plagues, the Passover, and the Crossing of the Red Sea
Session 2A: The Passover (BONUS)
Session 2B: The Israelites Crossed the Red Sea (BONUS)
Session 3: The Wilderness Test
Session 4: The Golden Calf
Session 5: The Ten Commandments
As you can see, that 5-session unit now becomes an 8-session unit and replaces the 3-session Christmas unit. Once you complete this hybrid unit, you can move right into Unit 6: God Is Holy. Hopefully you can see why it would be confusing for kids to have different music during the bonus sessions. Also, notice that with this first volume, the bonus sessions may be a little redundant with Session 2: The Plagues, the Passover, and the Crossing of the Red Sea. Future volumes should see less of this as we were able to pull more unique sessions from the first cycle of materials.
That was quite a bit to get your arms around! Leave any questions you might have or ideas to share with others about how you handle Christmas and Easter sessions at other times during the year.
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.