At my church we are currently using the 252 Basics curriculum for ages 5-12. It works very well for the amount of children we are running as we make minor tweaks to the scripts provided by the curriculum. We have two groups due to the size of the each age group, Kindergarten through 2nd grade are together in one room while 3rd through 5th are in another.
Going along with the curriculum, the story for tomorrow’s large group session is the story of Jesus and the Disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane. Now I am not a fan of using the same storytelling method week after week so I needed to find another way to present this story. I have toured previously playing worship music professionally at youth camps in the east coast so I decided to put my musical abilities in the front for this lesson. So I grabbed my guitar and my laptop and began working. After looking through my playlists of music that has been in the top of the charts for children over the past decade that is appropriate (mainly Disney approved music) I decided which songs I decided I would like to incorporate into the lesson: “Baby, Baby, Baby” by Justin Bieber and “I want it that Way” by The Backstreet Boys.
I first saw this method used by a friend a few months back and then combined it with the ideas that Tim Hawkins uses in his skits. What I came up with is a musical story for the Garden of Gethsemane. Now how did I place Bieber and Backstreet into this story?
252 wrote this script to include things that Jesus COULD have done instead of listening to God and being arrested according to his father’s plan. So I simply just added those songs into those situations where Jesus COULD have joined a boy band singing “I want it that way” and Jesus could have attempted to smooth talk the guards arresting him with something like “Baby, baby, baby, oh. Baby, baby, baby, no. Baby, baby, baby”.
Working at a day care I was able to talk to the kids enrolled what their favorite songs are which help me stay in touch with the music that go in the ears of children today. So I figured if I can find a way to meet them at their level with the music they are familiar with then they have that much
So while playing a simple chord progression being appropriate with the point of the story in which I am at, when it reaches the time for a section of a song to be played I simply go to the chord of the song needed, (yes, I had to learn the chords to the choruses of both songs), to keep the story smooth in transition and to keep the children’s attentions.
What do you think of this method? I would love to know your comments and thoughts. Do you do something similar to this method? What would you do differently?