Reviewed by Christine Harrex, Lawrence-Waitahuna Presbyterian
I have always had a strong belief in the value of small groups.
More than twenty years of Sunday school teaching has shown me that when children are taught in small age-specific groups, meaningful relationships are established and learning is deep and personal. I have always been scathing of big group programmes where these opportunities are limited.
Motivated by these ideas, the children at our church are taught in four separate age groups, and for a long time we have used the Scripture Union’s Lightlive website as our main curriculum resource.
Due to major building renovations, we have had to vacate our church for six months. The new location for our children’s programme is an empty shop building on the main street. We now have to operate in one space and cater for 25 children of varying ages.
That’s how I discovered Mosaic.
Mosaic is a Scripture Union curriculum resource designed for small groups of children with a wide age range. It’s ideal for churches where it’s not practical to divide the children into separate age groups. It will work in settings where the number of children is small, space is limited and adult leaders are few.
Mosaic comes in eight books. Each book contains 12 session outlines. Each session makes suggestions for a simple programme with activities suitable for children aged 2 to 14. Photocopiable resources are included as well as an outline for an all age service and advice and tips for teachers.
My own experience of Mosaic has been positive and surprising. The new programmes I have developed out of Mosaic, are managing to engage 4-year-olds and 12-year-olds at the same time. They are not only fully engaged, but Mosaic is enabling real depth and challenge in the learning for everyone, including me! Mosaic has shown me that if I target the older children then all the children will be engaged. The younger ones step up and although some things may go over their heads, all ages can work together very successfully and do the same activities.
What I love about curriculum resources produced by Scripture Union is that there are options. I can choose the activities that will suit my purposes and I can craft my own programme that will work with my particular children in my particular setting. All the ideas and resources are there, but I can adapt them. Mosaic works in the same way. I begin by looking at the Mosaic session in the book, then I go to Lightlive for more ideas on the same topic, then I design my own lessons.
Mosaic has changed the way I think. When we return to our refurbished church building with its additional spaces for children’s ministry, I plan to maintain some elements of the Mosaic style.
As a Kids Friendly church, we place a lot of importance on intergenerational worship. Mosaic has challenged me to recognise that with the right resource material, there are great benefits when children of all ages learn together.