Every cycle of The Gospel Project for Kids allows us to cover more of the big story of Scripture and also make improvements and changes based on what we have learned and feedback that churches have provided. Below are some of the key changes that you will find in the 2021-2024 cycle of content that are different from what you might be used to in the 2018-2021 cycle.
Clarified Discipleship Philosophy
- Learn, Love, Live: While a discipleship foundation that includes kids understanding who God is, loving God because of who He is and what He has done, and then living on mission in gratitude for God has always been part of The Gospel Project for Kids, it will be emphasized more in this cycle. The leader guides will be framed around this triad of “learn,” “love,” and “live” to make it clearer for teachers what they are seeking to accomplish in each section. Also, while the kids resources will include all three elements, each of the three hours will focus on one a bit more. The main content will focus more on “learn,” while the worship hour add-on will focus on “love,” and finally, the new midweek add-on will focus on “live.”
New Scope and Sequence
- Big Truth Sessions: One distinctive of The Gospel Project is the desire to help kids develop a rich biblical theology of God and salvation history. Up to this point, the Big Picture Questions have carried this load to a large degree. However, many sessions do not allow time for these doctrines to be adequately fleshed out. To further this objective more than ever, every unit of the new cycle will end with a Big Truth Session that helps kids delve deeper into the Big Picture Question of that unit with greater detail. Kids will have the opportunity to see how these big truths were threaded through the sessions they just studied more clearly than before.
- Christmas and Easter Sessions: Because a large number of churches use The Gospel Project off-cycle, Christmas and Easter sessions have always been a problem. This cycle, churches that are using The Gospel Project on-cycle will see that Christmas and Easter sessions are woven into the Big Truth Session of that unit. While these sessions may not feel like “traditional” Christmas and Easter sessions, it should be easy to see how they can help teach kids about the birth and resurrection of Jesus in new, but still powerful ways. For off-cycle churches, these sessions can be taught like any other Big Truth Session. Churches who would like to provide more of a “traditional” Christmas and/or Easter experience can look into The Gospel Project Christmas Edition and/or The Gospel Project Easter Edition.
Product Name Changes
- Ministry Starter Kit: This is the new name for what have been called “Leader Kits” up to this point. Our hope is that this clarifies what this kit is for—that one is needed for an entire ministry, and then leader guides and activity packs can be purchased for each group.
- Worship Hour Add-On Pack: The word “pack” has been added to this product, again to clarify what it is.
- “Extra” Discs: Because of confusion between the Worship Hour Add-On and Add-on Discs, the latter has been changed to “Extra” Discs. Note that these Extra Discs still require the purchase of a Ministry Starter Kit and/or Worship Hour Add-On Pack.
New Bible Story Art
- Every session will include new Bible story art, such as the image at the top of this page. Not only was this done to freshen up the feel of the resource, it also allows us to continue to adjust the art to be more realistic, including the ethnicity of the Bible characters.
Leader Guide Size and Layout
- Trim Size: The dimensions of the Leader Guides have been changed, making them easier to print for churches that use the digital materials and also providing us with extra room within them to adjust the session layout.
- Session Layout: While the DNA of a session remains virtually the same, with the exception being clarifying the Learn, Love, and Live objectives, the layout was changed for several reasons. First, to make it easier for a leader to tell what he or she is supposed to say. Second, to move the supplies needed to a single page for quick reference. Third, to move the Bible story itself from up front of the session to where it is told in the session. Four, to include color for digital customers.
- Younger Preschool: One of the most consistent suggestions from churches was to add another preschool age level. The Preschool Leader Guide has now become the Older Preschool Leader Guide and a brand new Younger Preschool Leader Guide (along with an Activity Page for this age) has been created. This new Younger Preschool resource provides more customized content for that age’s developmental level.
- Kids Midweek: Another common suggestion from churches has been to provide a resource for midweek use. The new Kids Midweek gives churches the opportunity to dive deeper into what it means to Live for Christ, mostly by framing content around the spiritual disciplines.
- Kids Worship: The Kids Worship time has been changed to be more of a worship experience with an eye on helping kids develop a deeper Love for Christ.
- Older Preschool: This leader guide will likely stay much like it has been before, but now, the suggested activities and language can be tailored even more for the older preschoolers without needing to include content at times suited better for younger preschoolers.