We’ve all been there. A kids leader calls in sick and we need to jump in and teach a session at the last minute, or we hand a leader guide to someone and say, “Go get ‘em!”
Teaching kids the gospel is a weighty responsibility that deserves as much prep time as possible; however, life doesn’t always work that way. Sometimes we simply don’t have time to prepare for a session.
The good news is that even if we walk into a classroom completely unprepared, our sovereign God can still use that time in amazing ways. But even in emergency situations, we usually have 10-15 minutes to prep for a session.
The following is a quick prep guide for teaching a younger kids or older kids session of The Gospel Project for Kids. In about 15 minutes, you can get the big ideas and major points of a session and know it enough to maneuver through the session with confidence and clarity.
1. Get your bearings
Start with the session’s title page and read the story’s Main Point, the Key Passage, and the Big Picture Question and Answer. You will reference these items during the session, and they also help you understand the general direction of the session. Take a few seconds and turn to the table of contents at the front of the leader guide and notice the sessions from the last few weeks to help you get a feel for the bigger story.
2. Read the Bible story
If time is really tight, just read the bold parts of the story. It will make sense but cut your reading time in about half.
3. Digest the Christ Connection
Take an extra minute and make sure you understand how the Christ Connection relates to the story. This is the main take-away of the session, so you will want to make sure it is clear to you.
4. Skim the activities chosen
Skim the activities that you will do that morning to get a basic understanding of what you will be doing. If the activities have not been chosen, focus on the Low Prep ones which require few supplies, if any.
5. Skim the Bible story monologue
Read through the leader script coming out of the Bible story to get a feel for how you want to summarize the story and direct the kids toward the Christ Connection. Highlight the big ideas you want to share.
6. Skim the Christ Connection monologue
Read through the leader script of the Christ Connection and again highlight any ideas you want to share. If time is really tight, do steps 5 and 6 while the kids watch the Bible story.
7. Understand the discussion starter video’s purpose
The Discussion Starter videos can be a little challenging to understand out of context, so take a few seconds and read and highlight the purpose of the video—what you will want to talk about with the kids after they watch it.
8. Skim the review questions
Skim the review questions and make sure they make sense to you to avoid getting tripped up when you read them. If one doesn’t make sense to you, either look up the reference, or consider skipping that question.
9. Highlight the point of the journal
Take a few seconds to highlight what the kids should draw or write on their journal page and how you will encourage them to apply what they learned.
Next week: How to Prepare a Gospel Project for Preschool Session in 15 Minutes.