This curriculum review is part of the Children's Ministry Toolkit - a collection of resources for building strong and vibrant children's ministry, brought to you by Faith Formation Ministries.
Growing in Grace and Gratitude (GGG) is a date-specific curriculum for children ages 3-10. (Resources are also available for 1-2 year olds, but those are not included in this review.) It provides options for both age-graded and multi-age groups. Leaders’ materials are available both in print and in downloadable (PDF) format; both also come in a Spanish version.
GGG is developed and published by Congregational Ministries Publishing, the denominational curriculum publisher of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The curriculum was clearly intended for use in Presbyterian congregations, but it’s worth a look for these reasons:
The curriculum is rooted in Reformed theology and was created with a goal to be “transformational,” not simply “informational.” The curriculum emphasizes God’s grace and how God’s people are to live out of that grace by practicing Christian community, proclaiming the gospel, and working for social justice. Each story is told in a way that “reveals the grace of God and our gracious response.”
Scope and Sequence
GGG includes a broad span of Old and New Testament stories each year in its scope and sequence. Here’s one thing to keep in mind: since the curriculum runs over a full year, unless your church offers children’s ministry programming during the summer months there will be gaps in the stories children are learning.
GGG does an outstanding job of paying attention to children with special needs and disabilities, providing icons that cue the leader to adjust activities as needed. It lacks the same detail to multiple intelligences and provides no indication regarding which activities might appeal to which learning styles.
The illustrations reflect racial diversity.
Living Into God’s Story
Each session is divided into three parts: Gathering in God’s Grace, Responding in Gratitude, and Loving and Serving God. The sessions include wondering questions. Note: The sample sessions didn’t include any time estimates for each session segment, something which could be frustrating for leaders.
Faith Nurture at Home
The curriculum provides two options for supporting family faith at home: 1) a free e-book that includes an illustration of that week’s Bible story, a version of the story, and ideas for follow-up activities; and 2) downloadable black-and-white Grace Sightings, a one-page resource that includes the story and ideas for at-home activities. Neither resource is visually appealing, but families may find the content helpful.
Have questions? Our Children's Ministry Catalyzer would love to talk with you about faith formation in children at your church. Email [email protected].