When I first moved to Cedar Rapids, it was a HUGE change for me, especially the church aspect. My hometown church that I had attended forever was relatively small. It had a community feel to it in that everyone was involved in everything, because we were a smaller congregation, events and ministries were all hands on deck. I wore many hats as an active member of that church, and I LOVED it. However, because I was going through such a change in my life (new town, new house, new marriage, new family, new church) I decided that in transitioning to a new church I would take a break and not volunteer at all in the beginning.
Being almost three years in, and looking back, that was the most foolish mistake I made when I moved.
It was in volunteering that I not only connected with my new church family, but also discovered a new passion that had actually been brewing through a new found love of homeschooling.
Specifically this past year I was able to help with children’s ministry at church and piece together a curriculum lesson plan for our Wednesday nights, and then in late winter there was a need for a Backyard Bible Club or VBS program. I was able create a curriculum called, “Gospel in the Garden,” for our church to utilize this past summer. Those experiences have revealed to me something I truly love to do, teach God’s Word to kids in creative ways.
I completed a project recently that was started with my own children in mind. I wanted to teach them through a book of the Bible. I decided I would do it through activity sheets. I wanted it to be short and simple. Short enough to where they wouldn’t lose focus (and I wouldn’t give up), and simple enough for a variety of ages, but something theologically rich that taught the TRUE context of the passages. Now being on the other side of this project (DONE!) I am even more excited than when I started!
It has turned into a 40 page complete study on the book of James, with commentary that honors the true context of the passages and provides some sort of coloring or activity on each page. I spent countless hours studying the Word through commentaries as well as listening to sermons on the passages, and had my super smart pastor husband proofread everything. Several years ago Tim Challies put out a book called, Visual Theology, and this study has turned into almost a visual theology for kids on the book of James.
This would work great as a family Bible study, a parent and child study, an study facilitated by an older sibling with a younger sibling, or even as a discipleship tool in a mentor relationship. My plan is to print copies for my girls (and me!), put them in cute three ring binders, and break out the fun gel pens! This will give us a thorough study on the book of James over the span of two months when we do one page a day, five days a week. The goal is not speed, but retention and heart change. If you would like to jump on board with this it is available in my Etsy shop. There are no lesson plans, you simply follow the instructions on the pages.
Thanks to my church for giving me the opportunity to volunteer as God created me and uncover my passions while serving Jesus. Thanks to anyone reading this and considering purchasing this study, it’s an honor.