A few years ago, I reviewed “What in the Bible?” curriculum for Wesleyan Kids:
I have thoroughly enjoyed watching the unfolding process of the What’s in the Bible? videos over the last few years. Each time a new video was released I would buy it and think through how I could use it.
I was always intrigued to find out how creator Phil Vicsher would weave theology, application, and Bible stories together in a creative way that children could understand the unfolding of God’s story in Scripture.
I have been waiting for the completed set to see how I could use this material in my children’s ministry environment at Hayward Wesleyan. Well, the set has been completed and not only are all the videos available, but there is an edition that has been put together for churches to use called: What’s in the Bible? Church Edition.
In this 13-volume set, it looks like there are 4 weeks of guided curriculum for each volume. If my math is correct, that is 52 weeks worth of curriculum. Of course, one could feasibly buy the videos and make lessons out of them yourself (you must obtain a group viewing license), but it seems like the videos and print material provided in the Church Edition take the regular videos to a deeper level (designed with classroom/teaching environment in mind). There are 8 additional weeks of curriculum in a Christmas Edition as well as an Old Testament Review. The total weeks of curriculum here is 60-weeks!
In each week there is a sort of video-based, small group-driven flow:
- Video 1, small group 1: The purpose of this time is to build relationships with the children. It’s important for children to feel welcomed and connected before engaging in active learning. Usually this activity is a simple game that encourages interaction. Take time to say each child’s name and how glad you are to see each person! (Use the Shepherding Guide to make notes of what the children say during this time. Ask follow up questions next time you see the child at church.)
- Video 2, small group 2: The purpose of this time is to introduce the day’s lesson and review the previous lesson.Because this is a Biblical literacy curriculum, this segment is important for helping children build a cohesive understanding of the entire Bible. The questions and games are designed to provide repetition and reinforcement for helping children understand the Bible.
- Video 3, small group 3: The purpose of this time is to teach the main content of the day’s lesson. New information and the key lesson can be found during these activities. Provide children adequate time to process the new information. Feel free to skip questions, add questions or tweak the activities so that children are able to fully grasp the new stories and concepts.
- Video 4, small group 4: The purpose of this time is to review the day’s lesson. A “Bible What’s It? Game” is always provided which includes review questions. Following the review questions, take time to encourage reflection. Ask open-ended questions that encourage children to apply the lesson specifically to their context. Consider making this a quiet time, followed by quiet prayer.
It’s almost as if a group of students with their leader are interactively engaging with theology, application, and chronological Bible storytelling together. They watch a video, then interact. Watch another video, then interact. Watch another video, then interact, Watch a final video, then interact.
While a video is not a substitute for a live teacher, these well crafted videos combine solid teaching through Scripture and an introduction to theological terms as they are encountered in the narrative. It’s hard to argue that for a season it would be incredibly worthwhile to use this video-based, small group-driven resource with your children’s ministry. You get a great teaching tool and interactive elements and the curriculum assists the small group leaders to walk and interact with their small groups of students through this learning journey together.
I can’t highly recommend this material enough!
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Full disclosure, Wesleyan Kids was asked to participate in this review process and was provided with some benefits for our readers (discounts and samples). These benefits in no way affected the impartialness of this review. I highly recommend this material because of its quality and relevance.