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Few Children Great Opportunities

12 stand-alone sessions for mixed-age church-based groups

Few Children Great Opportunities

12 stand-alone sessions for mixed-age church-based groups

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Paperback / softback

£8.99

Publisher: BRF (The Bible Reading Fellowship)
ISBN: 9781841018805
Published: 19/10/2012
Few Children, Great Opportunities contains 12 ready-to-use thematic sessions exploring the character of God through the model we see in Jesus. The programme is ideal for church-based children's work where there are small numbers of children and an age range from 3 to 11 years. Because a small number of children with a mixed age range also defines many families, the material can be adapted for home use by families who want to spend time growing in faith together. The sessions are non-sequential and can be used in any order whilst still building on each other. The material seeks to engage head, heart and hands by giving several ways to tell a Bible story using different learning styles; offering a variety of activities that help children to engage with the story; and including original songs, rhymes and chants as well as non-musical ways to worship God. The format has the flexibility to be used in church-based groups lasting between 20 and 60 minutes or within a midweek club. Each session is structured in the same way and includes a story book activity to provide continuity, cohesion and recall, and a family follow-up sheet with ideas to encourage families to think about each characteristic at home together during the week. The 12 characters of God explored in the programme include: love; faithfulness; patience; power; goodness; self-control; peace; trustworthiness; kindness; truthful; gentleness and joy. deal for small church-based children's groups

Sue Price, Ruth Alliston

Sue Price is the Director of the Children's and Family Ministry Conference. She has written a number of books including Guide to Tailored Teaching for 5-9s (Children Ministry, 2002) and contributed to curriculum programmes for 3-12s. Ruth Alliston has taught Sunday school in Salvation Army house churches and organised holiday clubs and camps. She is author of Children's Ministry Guide to Storytelling (Children Ministry, 2002) and has contributed to curriculum programmes for 3-9s.

This book is a treasure trove for all who struggle to provide meaningful times for small and fluctuating groups. Catherine Kite, Faith Support Officer, Mothers' Union From Country Way - June to September 2013 Many rural churches struggle to run meaningful children's groups, but resources are now becoming available that give real help - with material that is suitable for small numbers, a wide age-range and limited resources (especially in terms of leaders); Few Children, Great Opportunities is one of these. The sessions are designed for church-based groups, but are equally suited to those that meet in homes or even for individual families. Each is based around one facet of God's character (e.g. peace, truth, love) and how this is relevant for a child's daily life. Although there are connections between the different sessions, they can be used in any order. All follow a similar pattern, and have at their core a short passage of Scripture around which the rest of the activities revolve. They include the careful use of stories and linked activities. Very helpful guidelines are provided at the start on how to make the best use of the material, and the material is designed flexibly so that each session can be adapted to cover more than one week. The additional resources required are few and relatively simple, but will require access to the internet. While not rural in content, this is another useful tool for small rural churches in their ministry to children. Reviewed by Simon Martin This book was advertised in the January 2013 newsletter. It contains 12 stand-alone sessions for mixed age children's groups, each exploring a characteristic of God. It is published by Bible Reading Fellowship and costs 8.99. I began reading the opening pages of this book with some apprehension as some books seem to expect more time, or artistic ability, than I can offer. However I was encouraged by the tone and attitude towards children that came from the pages. There is a gentleness and yet an undercurrent of excitement about exploring who is God. I used the first session on a Sunday when I ended up with seven children ranging from a 3-year old with limited English to an articulate girl of 13, including a couple of very shy children and a noisy boy. As preparation I had already read the session and picked out what I would do in the 30 mins available. All of the resources needed I already had either at home or at church. Before the group started I quickly made up an example of the simple craft. It was accessible to all ages, though some needed more support but some of the older children were happy to help. The oldest children were up for joining in the fun and the youngest followed their lead. They all seemed to get a sense of wonder from placing a drop of diluted food colouring onto paper towel and seeing how far it spread, like God's love spreading out. The small numbers enabled us to do this one at a time which allowed anticipation and each child to have their moment of full attention. They enjoy trying to fit under a duvet cover to represent being surrounded by God's love. The cups with hearts on were ideal for our worship time. Overall I found the material interactive and inclusive with some different ways of conveying God's love and our connection to it. I would need to work on ways to ensure the oldest ones have opportunities to learn and stretch themselves. As it stands I would say that 11 is really the upper age limit for this material. However by using a couple of leaders it would be simple to have deeper discussion with older ones as part of it. I was certainly grateful for the material which was ideal for a broad range of children, both in terms of age and temperament. Reviewed by Linda Hallett, Uckfield URC

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