Outside the Lines
the Latest Addition to Mission Resources for Children
“Excitement” is an understatement! For more than a decade momentum has been building. A growing number of men and women around the world have been championing mission education for children. Now, in just a three-year span, reality has replaced wishful thinking, and a remarkable new set of tools is on the market.
Last year two children’s Bibles with a mission theme were published. The first, The Global Bible, serves younger kids, while Planet Word is intended for junior and middle schoolers. Both are available from William Carey Library (www.missionbooks.org).
Next year Through the Bible Publishers promises a revision of their excellent DiscipleLand Sunday school curriculum (www.discipleland.com), with an even stronger mission component built into every lesson.
This summer Caleb Project (now Initiative360) published two outstanding products. The first is a revision of a previous curriculum, Kids Around the World – THUMB peoples (Tribal, Hindu, Unreligious, Muslim, Buddhist). New material has been added to the original collection of six kid-friendly video presentations, this time presented succinctly in CD and DVD formats.
Equally strategic is a new curriculum, Outside the Lines – Connecting Kids to God’s Global Purpose. Weaving the Perspectives on the World Christian Movement’s main themes into lively lessons for kids from kindergarten through grade eight, a group of volunteer writers from around the country provided the raw material. Caleb Project staff then shaped this material into a valuable addition to their burgeoning list of children’s mission curricula. Presented in CD and DVD formats, the material (lesson plans and student materials, music, video clips, activity patterns and directions) can be used concurrently with adult Perspectives courses, or adapted to Sunday School or weekly club offerings. Outside the Lines is available from Caleb Project at www.calebproject.org.
A variety of children’s ministry leaders have field-tested Outside the Lines and offer their enthusiastic endorsements. Barb Haron of Centennial Covenant Church in Littleton, Colorado has this to say: “When I asked my 6th-grade Sunday School class what they thought of Outside the Lines, they responded, ‘It was different from anything we’ve ever done at church.’ Ithas been exciting to be able to present this material at the verge of those important teenage years, knowing that learning about God’s worldview can influence decisions that will impact their lives. ”
Kathy Noel of Calvary Church in Lancaster, Pennsylvania comments, “We were so thrilled to be able to help with the field testing of Outside the Lines. Now that we’ve taught a ‘chunk’ of the lessons, we’re even more excited to use it full-time next year. It is so important to teach our kids to see the Bible as one story with one theme, and this curriculum will be a wonderful tool to help us do that. The lessons were clearly written and age-appropriate, and the learning activities helped the children to be actively engaged in the learning process. We have recommended Outside the Lines to several other churches already, and we know that it will have a great impact as the word gets out!”