Launching the Jesus Storybook Bible CurriculumNovember 2011
by Tracy Thornton
Do you think the Bible is primarily about you and the things you must do, or is the Bible primarily about Jesus and the things he has done? How do the Old Testament Scriptures testify about Jesus? Could you discover Jesus in every story in the Bible? This is a particularly exciting year for the Redeemer Children’s Ministry as we will launch a major new curriculum that we hope will not only answer these questions, but will also have an impact on our community, as well as resource other churches around the world.
Each year we receive hundreds of inquiries from churches across the country and around the world about the Children’s Ministry curriculum at Redeemer. As a result of these inquiries, we learned that many other churches share a desire for gospel-centered curriculum that can be easily adapted to a variety of urban settings where physical space and resources are limited. It is often difficult to find curriculum that is gospel-centered and culturally relevant for children, which is why Redeemer Children’s Ministry took a lead in developing and launching The Jesus Storybook Bible Curriculum.
Based on Tim Keller’s teaching, Sally Lloyd Jones authored The Jesus Storybook Bible in 2007 as a way of communicating to children the gospel teaching we have been exposed to as adults at Redeemer. For example, the story of the heroic David slaying the giant Goliath is often taught to children with the central message that they are to become brave like David. The main message, however, is really about a God who sends David to rescue his people. This points us toward an even greater hero, whose name is Jesus. Therefore, the overarching theme of the Jesus Storybook Bible, as well as this new curriculum, is that “Every story whispers Jesus’ name.”
Since January of this year, Sam Shammas, Redeemer’s Curriculum Writer, has been working with Sally Lloyd-Jones and Zondervan to write and publish The Jesus Storybook Bible Curriculum. The result is a gospel-centric, urban curriculum that is adaptable to a variety of settings, and shows again and again that the Bible is the true story of a God who loves and rescues his people by sending his Son to live the lives they should have lived, and die the death they should have died.
We are currently piloting the Jesus Storybook Bible Curriculum in our 1st and 2nd grade classrooms. The curriculum will be published by Zondervan and should be available for other churches to purchase in January 2012.
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