Curriculum Review: What’s in the Bible?

Curriculum Review: What’s in the Bible?

Over the years in children’s ministry, working in several different churches, my strong preference has been (and still is) to write context specific curriculum for the church and kids in that place (I’ll write more on the reasons for this in the future). This summer however I decided to give something new a try. At Trinity, July and August are much more relaxed months, a chance to take a breath in the middle of the year so for me curriculum writing went on pause and we spent nine weeks using What’s in the Bible from VeggieTales creator Phil Vischer.

I had reviewed some of the WITB curriculum earlier in the year so I knew pretty much what to expect, but this was the first time actually giving the content to our kids.

How did it go?

In short it was a big hit! The videos were engaging for almost all of our kids in Kindergarten – 4th Grade. After a few weeks I would invariably have kids coming to ask me what Buck Denver and his friends would be up to this week. The curriculum also lives up to its name – the Bible is extensively and well taught through the videos and activities. I especially liked the way that right from the start (DVD 1) WITB locates each part of the Bible in the context of the scriptural meta-narrative.

The Highlight

For me, a big value in Children’s Ministry is giving kids a faith that doesn’t have to be deconstructed later (i.e. sugar coating the nasty parts or over-simplifying things that don’t have a definite answer). On the whole, I was incredibly impressed at how well WITB handled some of the trickier parts of the Bible, the content was both true to the tensions found in scripture while remaining accessible to the age and awareness of the kids. The only “tricky” thing I would have liked to have seen done differently was the authorship of some of the Old Testament books in the first DVD.

Information vs Transformation

WITB does a great job of presenting the Bible in a fun and accessible way. Kids really can’t leave without picking something up. In short, WITB is an “information” home run! For me though, information is only one side of the discipleship coin. We want our kids to be transformed as well as informed. While the small group activities in WITB make a move towards this, given the product’s wide audience, they understandably don’t go as far as I would like if I was to use WITB “off the shelf”. As with any pre-pack curriculum it requires contextualization, which for us meant adding opportunities for kids to respond to God’s transformation.

Overall

What’s in the Bible is fun, engaging and impressively faithful to the meta-narrative and big questions in scripture. While it hasn’t persuaded me to stop writing custom curriculum for our church, I’m pretty sure we’ll be seeing more of Buck Denver next summer! Check it out!

*Disclaimer: I review WITB for which I receive complementary curriculum and I’m friends with the awesome Amy Dolan (one of the writers).

Original post at: http://transatlantickidmin.com