For years and years our church used a well-known mid-week curriculum, which focused on kids memorizing lots of verses, and receiving little trinkets along the way. We believe wholeheartedly in kids memorizing scripture, so that was a definite strength of the program. We all learned and grew spiritually because of it.
But as our children worked at their own pace at home (or maybe didn't work at home, as some cases may be) they all showed up on Wednesday night in different places. While one child was reciting the 23rd Psalm, another child was in the Gospel of John, while still another was back in Genesis. Because they were in different places in the Bible, and trying to cram in as many verses possible per night, there was little time to discuss the meaning of each passage. And so often, our kids didn’t seem to understand the basic definitions of the words they were saying–words like atonement or justification. With so many verses being recited amongst one group of kids, even our best leaders had a hard time explaining what everything meant. It felt a bit like, well, memorizing for memorizing’s sake–especially when kids came back the following week with no memory of the multiple verses they had recited the week before. It was like an alarm went off. What we really wanted for our kids was not just memorizing God's Word, but also understanding and applying it. The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple. (Psalm 119:30)
Also, we spent a good portion of our evening letting kids study their verses at church. Leaders were basically overseeing “church study hall.” This didn't seem like the best use of our very talented, godly leaders who were willing to really invest in our kids. "What if..." we mused, "What if we used that time to truly disciple our kids?" Could kids simply study at home and spend Wednesday nights at church deepening relationships and learning from our amazing leaders how to put God’s word into practice?
We knew that we had to make a change, and sometimes, change is a scary word! We took some time to pray and ask the Lord to show us a way to help kids truly know God. Not just know about God, but to personally know Him.
So we set off on a journey to write our own curriculum. The fruit we have witnessed has been amazing and we would never go back. Now we invite others to join in. You can read much more about our journey here. But the highlights of the KidzLife program are:
- Every K-5th child on the same passage (length of verses vary according to age)
- Kids absolutely understand the verses they memorize
- Large group, small group, worship, and memory verses all go hand-in-hand
- Kids know how to apply and live out God’s word in their daily lives
- Kids develop deep relationships with peers and leaders
- Creative Bible lessons kids remember months and even years later
- Super fun and intriguing tools for kids to use at home
- Parents see life change
- Hundreds of kids trusting Jesus and choosing to follow Him!