In 2007, after years of research and in response to requests from churches who were looking for an alternative to an age-graded children’s ministry curriculum, Faith Alive published Kid Connection, a large-group/small-group curriculum with an interactive approach to faith formation. It was written by a team of experienced children’s ministry leaders (including me!). And it became a popular option for churches from a variety of denominations.
Of course, while God’s story is timeless, educational approaches are not. Knowing that Kid Connection would be retired in 2023 and wanting to support the changing needs of churches during the pandemic, the Dwell team got to work. The goal was to build a fresh option for churches who were looking for an alternative to an age-graded curriculum; one that was flexible enough to be used in a variety of ways at church (both in-person and virtual) while also encouraging and equipping family faith formation at home.
Here’s why I’m so excited about it.
Each Dwell Flex session follows four simple steps: Breathe, Tell and Wonder, Pray, and Respond. This streamlined format is very easy for leaders to prepare.
Easy prep sometimes goes hand in hand with questionable pedagogy and problematic theology. But if you’ve used resources from Faith Alive before, you won’t be surprised to find that excellent Reformed theology forms the foundation of Dwell Flex.
Flex is ideal for children from Kindergarten through grade 3. And subscribers are given direct access to recommended age-graded activities for each story, making it easy to tailor the session to the needs of their children (including those who are a bit older.)
Sessions from Flex can stand alone and be used out of sequence, making it easy for those (like me!) who use the content for children’s messages. Christian school teachers and homeschooling parents will find the structure and content helpful to use in their contexts. And of course, Dwell Flex is also an excellent option for multi-age children’s ministry programming. (Find out how two congregations used it for their online children’s ministry in this news story.)
Resources for Equipping Families
Many parents feel unsure about how to help their kids build a resilient, lasting faith. Providing every Dwell Flex family with their own boxed set of the fun-to-use and faith-forming devotional God’s Big Story cards encourages and equips families to spend time engaged in faith practices together. In addition to the reasonably-priced God’s Big Story Cards (bulk order pricing is just $10 USD/12.50 CDN per family!), Flex offers you . . .
. . . So. Much. Free. Stuff.
Like its super-sibling Dwell, Flex’s outstanding Dwell at Home resources provide churches with multiple ways to encourage and equip families. The short seasonal, downloadable family devotionals God’s Big Advent Story: Jesse Tree, God’s Big Easter Story: A Holy Week Journey for Families, and God’s Big Pentecost Story weave in the same faith practices of wondering, engaging with Scripture and prayer that kids experience in Flex sessions. Equally fabulous for parents and caregivers: the Five Ways series of tip sheets that share ideas for living out our faith in ordinary, everyday ways.
And then there are the downloadable Story Symbols. In addition to visually introducing the story each week at church, the symbols align with those on the God’s Big Story cards at home.
And It’s All Online
Every one of the sessions in this four-year curriculum is a downloadable, printable file that can be shared electronically and viewed from any kind of device. Embedded links make it easy to find everything you need as a leader. And have I mentioned that it’s included at no additional cost to churches with a subscription to Dwell Digital?
P.S. Dwell Flex’s scope and sequence follows the same order as the Kid Connection curriculum, making the switch simple and seamless for KC users. (Thanks for thinking of that too, Faith Alive!)