About MeMy name is Dawn Detweiler. I am a follower of Jesus Christ. I try every day to make Him number one in my life. I am married to my wonderful husband, Nathan, and have two young kids. We are currently living and ministering in Slovenia. These are the things that pretty much consume my life. I have a degree in Christian Education and over 10 years experience working in children's ministries of various different capacities. We consider it a great joy to be able to teach children about the love of Jesus and are so glad that we can share this resource with you!
Why a new curriculum?I have had the opportunity to be part of several churches throughout my life (thanks to frequent moves). I think a lot can be said about a church based on the quality of its children's ministry. The kids should be one of the biggest internal priorities for the church, but sadly, this is often not the case. While the larger churches have the finances for curriculum and resources, the small churches are often not afforded this luxury. I am not the only one who has noticed this trend. After visiting with several small churches, one common thought that was shared with me is that people wish they could do more with their kids at church, but there is just not the finances to do so.
We have been living in Slovenia for three years now. One of our major focuses has been children's ministry. Unfortunately it is difficult to find any kind of curriculum here. We even tried looking online for some resources, but it was so hard to find anything that we were looking for (sometime we were looking for specific things) and to sift through the mounds of information that is out there was so time consuming. If I ever did find something I liked, chances were I was not able to find it again! I began to get the feeling that God was asking my husband and I to develop our own curriculum, and not just for our own use, but for the use of small churches as well. My initial thought was that this would be a bound book, but since we are wanting to be cost effective, this did not make much sense. Eventually we decided to try posting our curriculum in a blog, and that is why we now have this page!
So, what makes our curriculum better suited for the small church? Well, there are several reasons we feel this is a good resource for the small church. The first is that this is a free resource! Our desire is that every child will have the opportunity know and love Jesus the way that He knows and loves them. We will never charge for any of our resources! Another reason this is a good resource for the small church is that in the preparation of the lessons, we try to keep the costs to a minimum. We do not have a very big budget to work with, and we know that you may not either. That is why we strive to keep costs down. One other reason this is a good resource for the small church is because the lessons that we are developing are targeted toward a smaller group of kids (and often for a wider age range). We know that sometimes you may not have many kids in attendance, and this can effect what you are/are not able to do in the classroom. We try to keep in mind a smaller number of kids when making these lessons. In saying these things, just because you may not come from a small church does not mean that you are not allowed to use this curriculum. We hope that anybody who comes across this material will be able to use it to the glory of God!
We hope that you will find the content of this page useful. Keep your eye out on this page as we hope to frequently post new/updated lesson. If you have any questions or suggestions please let me know!
Thanks for using our page,
About the Lesson PlansI wanted to take a moment to help you become familiar with the content of my lesson plans. Please note: These lesson plans are not laid out in any particular order. Just because thing appear a certain way in the plan, does not mean that you need to stick to that order, or that you have to use everything that I have suggested. Some things may work better for some groups than for others. Feel free to modify the content of the lessons to what you need for your group.
Familiarize yourself with this passage:This section contains the scripture reference(s) for the lesson. Spend time reading the biblical text. The more familiar you are with the passage, the easier it is for you to tell the story to the children. Along with the reference, there is a short description of the passage content. This description is not intended to be a script for your story telling. Rather, it is a tool that you can use to refresh yourself on the passage. We encourage you to either read the passage straight from the bible to the kids, or to tell it in your own words. However you decide to tell it, ALWAYS have your Bible open to the passage and out where the children can see it.
Object Lesson (optional):These object lessons are story time enhancers. While it is not necessary to use the object lesson, it is an gaurunteed crowd pleaser, and is an excellent way to reinforce the story. Most of the object lessons will require practice on your part. Please take the time to rehearse the story using the object lesson, and modify it to best fit your group. Your kids will be so excited and you will be glad you took the time to do this with them!
Scripture memory is so important, and the best time for a child to start practicing this discipline is now! The verses that are listed in these lessons are the ones that we used. You may want to change the verse to one that is more specific to your main point. For our youngest kids, we modified the verses slightly to make it easier for them to learn. We encourage memorization with a reward system (prize box). The verses listed in these lessons will be in the New International Version (NIV) unless otherwise state.
Everything in the Bible is relevant (in both the Old and New Testaments) because everything in the Bible points us to Jesus. In this section we will show how the lesson points us to Jesus. Because our relationship with Jesus is what makes Christianity so special, we encourage you to take the time to share the Jesus connection with the children.
Music provides another dimension to learning It has been said that the average person will memorize over 2000 songs in their life. Let's help make those songs ones that praise Jesus! Admittedly this is one of our weakest areas. (Neither of us are gifted musically ) So, if you know of any songs that would be good for a particular lesson, please let us know in the comment section.Thanks!
As often as we can, we try to provide you with a brief statement to connect the games/activities to the story. This helps to reinforce the story and provides another avenue for learning. Be sure to read over the supplies and directions at least one day before your class, so that you have time to plan and/or modify according to the number of kids and the space available.
It is very important to read over this section of the lesson. Make sure you have gathered all supplies before class starts. Also be sure to have an understanding of the directions. It may be helpful for you to complete a sample so that you know what you are doing, and so the kids can see what is going on. Depending on the age/level of your kids, you may want to have certain parts prepped for them.
This section also includes a coloring page. This page is designed for you to print as is, or to download and add your memory verse to. (This is what we do!)
*Please Note: All artwork that is provided within these lessons (unless otherwise stated) is the property of Nathaniel Detweiler and is not intended for commercial use.