Kids@church/Click: Some great material for your children’s Sunday School


I teach Sunday School for children regularly, but I don’t always have the time and energy to write my own lessons. So last year I found myself in the market for Sunday School material.

Thanks to a friend trawling through the shelves at a Christian bookshop, what I discovered was kids@church, put out by Youthworks in conjunction with CEP. (In Britain, it’s published as Click by The Good Book Company). I suspect that lots of churches in Sydney are familiar with this material, but many other churches aren’t.

kids@church is a complete nine-year Sunday School syllabus for preschool and primary school children. It consists of Serious Play (which is for children aged 3 to 5), Adventure (which is for children aged 5 to 7) and Over the Top (which is for for children aged 8 to 11. This is the one I tested). For each age group, there’s 12 sets of 10 lessons—one set for each school term—which cover the big story of Scripture in three years. Each term’s lessons can be purchased separately, with no pesky subscriptions. In a single term, you’ll need one reasonably priced teacher’s manual (which includes 10 lesson plans, visual aids and a child’s component) and enough child’s components (take-home booklets) for your group.

During term 4 last year, I taught Ephesians and Revelation to our Sunday School using Preparing for Jesus’ Coming, an Over the Top booklet for children aged 8 to 11. Here’s what I liked about kids@church:

  • It’s thoroughly biblical. The exegesis is excellent. (There was only one lesson out of 10 that I had quibbles with.) It’s been written and edited by a panel that includes respected names like Kirsten Birkett.
  • It teaches the Bible in a clear and interesting way. I occasionally added to a Bible teaching time that I thought could be a little more interesting (for example, I ‘drew’ the story of Saul on the road to Damascus), but mostly this was unnecessary.
  • It covers the full story of the Bible. If you were to run this material from year to year, the children would get a good overview of the Bible story and how it all hangs together, and then you would review this as they moved from age group to age group.
  • It deals with parts of the Bible that Sunday School material often avoids. I chose the lessons on Ephesians and Revelation for this very reason! Most Sunday School material focuses on Bible narrative, but avoids the theologically dense parts of Scripture. I want to teach children how to handle all of the Bible. I want to teach them sound doctrine, not just Bible stories.
  • It tackles challenging theological issues, while staying sensitive to children’s level of understanding. For example, the lesson on Ephesians 1:3-14 talks clearly about what it means to be ‘chosen’ (predestined) by God to be part of his family.
  • It teaches memory verses well. I was very impressed with the variety of methods used to teach memory verses, and I’ll be using these methods in future!
  • It’s engaging. Games, treasure hunts, posters, dramas, crafts, murals, maps—I was very impressed by the range of activities at the start of each lesson, which are designed to grab the children’s attention and introduce the lessons’ themes. It was good to have several activities to choose from. In each lesson, there’s also an excellent list of suggested songs from well-known kids’ CDs related to the lesson’s theme.
  • It’s age-appropriate. I found the material for eight to 11-year-olds to be well pitched to this age group. This is typical; I’m currently using some other CEP material for a range of ages (Kids Plus) and it’s carefully and cleverly adapted to different stages of understanding.
  • It’s well-organized and easy to use. It took me a week or so to get used to the layout (as with all new material!), but I soon found it clear, easy to follow, and suitable for teaching from and referring to during the class. The list of ‘gear’ to take each week was helpful, and the ‘photocopiables’ were well-designed and easy to reproduce.

There wasn’t much about kids@church that I didn’t like. But here are a few small complaints:

  • The visual aids (mainly posters) are small and not particularly impressive. (I found the picture of the risen Christ off-putting!) We often chose to create our own posters together instead.
  • The take-home booklets: the children found these small black and white booklets a little boring. However, it was good to have something for them to work on at the end of each lesson that they could take home at the end of term.
  • A lack of craft ideas: only one lesson included traditional Sunday School crafts. Even if we didn’t use them each week, it would have been good to have some more ideas for crafts at the end of each lesson.
  • The Bible translation used is the CEV (Contemporary English Version). While this is a matter of preference, I find the International Children’s Bible/New Century Version to be more reliable, if a little less readable.

I’ll be using kids@church again! While I wouldn’t want to use one Sunday School syllabus all the time (I think the children and teachers would get a little bored!), kids@church would be at the top of my list if I was looking for a single syllabus. With it, I’d be confident that our children were learning the complete story of the Bible in a doctrinally sound and interesting way. Because each set of 10 lessons stands on its own, you can also teach kids@church for a single term, as I did.

If you’re looking for Sunday School material that is biblical, theologically sound, clear, usable, engaging and fun for kids, kids@church is well worth a look!

2 thoughts on “Kids@church/Click: Some great material for your children’s Sunday School

  1. Thank you for the thorough and helpful review. I feel able, even without seeing it, to recommend it to our Sunday School team leader.

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