Three weeks ago we launched small groups on Sunday mornings for 1st-5th graders. This last Sunday we launched 252 Basics. It was phenomenal. I started using 252 a year ago when I was at Cross Timbers. It was not the easiest curriculum I’ve ever purchased, but I liked it more than anything else I’ve ever used. As most Children’s Pastors do, I always tweaked curriculum like crazy. With 252 Basics I got a 30-40 page pack of options. I had two different production/large group lessons and nearly a dozen small group activities. The curriculum was supplied online as word docs, so I would simply cut and paste the items I planned to use. It was beautiful. Probably what I loved the most was the single virtue that was emphasized for an entire month, one memory verse for the month (come on people, do your kids ever remember the memory verse from 3 weeks ago? Giving kids four weeks with one verse at least gives them a chance to get into their minds and hearts.) I also loved all the take home stuff (Refrigerator Door cards and God Time cards). A year ago I was just using the curriculum, now I am using the “Get Real” video packs (high quality video segments you can use in your large group time) as well as the some of their other materials (they’re adding new things all the time). I just found this the other day. At our biggest campus, we have the resources to do a full production, but at our South Campus they aren’t able to pull off an all out production. For the South Campus I can use Studio 252. I can even use it last minute at the big campus if I have an emergency (like if some of our production people call in sick).

So, here is what our service schedule looks like. We have services at 9:30, 11:00 and 12:30, but for this example I’m using our 9:30 schedule.

  • 9:30 Service begins with kids in small groups. For 20 minutes kids will review the last week, cover prayer requests, collect offering and introduce the day’s bottom line through a small group activity
  • 9:50 Large group time. We do two praise songs, a “Get Real” video segment, drama presentation and teaching segment.
  • 10:10 Closing Small Groups. For 25 minutes the groups will do two more activities that drive home the bottom line. They close by distributing the Refrigerator Door card and God Time cards and ending with prayer.
  • 10:35 Parents arrive to pick up kids.

We’ll probably tweak thing in the coming weeks as we see what works best.