I recently wrote a post on how we have chosen curriculum at Sojourn. I mentioned there that we write about 40% of our lesson material each week. But what about the other 60%? We are currently using a pre-publication curriculum called God's Story that is written by Marty Machowski and the team at Covenant Fellowship Church in Glenn Mills, PA. Portions of the curriculum will be published by New Growth Press beginning this Fall under the name Gospel Story. Here are just a few reasons why we've chosen Gospel Story:
- Gospel Story is about the gospel. The curriculum seeks to show the big picture of the Bible. Each week, there is a focus on how Old Testament Messianic passages are fulfilled in Christ. The majority of the Bible--including New Testament letters--is covered in the chronological lesson plan. And the curriculum makes many references and applications to how the good news of Jesus relates to our lives.
- Gospel Story is a unified curriculum. It teaches the same Bible lesson on two different learning levels each week. The preschool lessons are targeted at ages 3-5. We use it for our Twos, Threes, Pre-K, and Kindergarten classes. Grade school lessons are targeted at grades 1-6. We use it for Grades 1-5. Both age groups include 156 lessons (78 on the Old Testament and 78 on the New Testament). The unified nature of the curriculum is an excellent help for equipping parents to do discipleship at home. If a family has three children in our ministry--in fifth grade, third grade, and Kindergarten--they will all be studying the same Bible passage on the same week. Conversations about the lesson on the way home can involve all three kids.
- New Growth is releasing some excellent family-equipping resources to accompany the curriculum. Long Story Short: 10 Minute Devotions to Draw Your Family to God has already been released. The 78 weeks of devotions correspond with the 78 lessons in the Old Testament curriculum. Here is a great video with Marty on the resource:
In October, New Growth will publish The Gospel Storybook Bible: Discovering Jesus in the Old and New Testaments. Here is a PDF preview of the book that looks to be an excellent resource. The 156 stories in the book will correspond exactly with the curriculum lessons. We'll certainly put one of these books in each of our Preschool classes when it is published. And we'll probably give one away to every family at our Baby Dedication.
- Gospel Story is a digital curriculum. So, it is adaptable. We're not doing the lessons in order, but we're instead re-arranging them to correspond as closely as possible with Sojourn's Sunday sermon schedule. The digital lessons are easy to distribute to our team along with the supplementary music services, preschool learning centers, and Take Home sheets that we're writing ourselves. What we have found is that this curriculum provides a good framework from which our SojournKids team create and modify activities, art projects, and other additional resources.