"Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit." Matthew 28:19
There are several factors involved in discipling children. Factors like teaching them how to spend time with Jesus, reading and memorizing God's Word, following Jesus in baptism, sharing their faith, apologetics, being in community with other believers and more.
For several years now, we have been hearing about kids walking away from their faith as they grow older. Somewhere along the way, we have failed to provide kids with a clear discipleship pathway. We teach lessons each week, but the lessons often are not part of a strategic plan to help kids grow in their faith.
We know that we only have a limited amount of time to disciple kids. And with today's attendance patterns, kids are attending church an average of twice a month or even less. More than ever, we have to be strategic in what we are going to teach kids in the short amount of time we have them. If we are going to walk kids down a discipleship pathway, we have to know exactly what we are going to teach them and where we are taking them.
Let's talk about what we teach. Many curriculums focus on teaching the Bible in chronological order. Others focus on teaching character traits. While others make the central theme the Gospel.
All of these are good things to teach kids. But I believe the bigger question is do they take kids down a clear discipleship pathway? Look closer and you'll find they are often not laser focused on discipling kids.
With this in mind, I sat down and asked these questions.
What do we want kids to know when they make the transition into middle school?
Since we have limited opps, what are the must know truths we should teach kids?
How can we create a curriculum that captures kids' attention?
How can we see God's Word move from their head to their heart?
What are the components of lessons that kids remember long-term?
While contemplating and working through these questions, I developed the Connect 12 curriculum.
Connect 12 focuses on discipling kids through 12 key Bible truths. The 12 truths are the 12 things kids need to know and apply if they are going to follow Jesus for the rest of their lives. A month is spent on each key truth. In one year, kids learn 12 Biblical truths they will never forget.
The twelve truths take kids from salvation all the way to being a spiritual leader.
Here are some more key components of Connect 12 that you won't find in other curriculums.
Kids learn one key truth each month. By focusing on one truth a month, kids remember it for the rest of their lives. Kids will remember what you taught them.
Each series lasts for 4 weeks.
The different learning styles are all used so every child can thrive in their discipleship.
The discipleship is also done through relationship.
Learning happens through application not just information. Lessons go through a grid that makes sure each lesson involves lots of discussion, hands on learning, games with a purpose, engaging videos and focuses on leaner based methods.
Thousands of kids have been through this curriculum and are now serving Jesus as an adult.
The lessons are designed for elementary age children.