Seven days in the week. Seven Wonders of the World.
Is it any wonder you’ll find seven segments designed to round out an hour of programming in a 252 Basics environment? Let’s take a look at how it all works together.
PRELUDE – setting the tone for the experience.
You think what happens during groups is important? Absolutely! But so is everything that happens from the time a kid first steps into your hallway! Think through the world you’re creating, from the music playing in your halls to the posters and decorations on your walls to the way your host team gets down to kid-level as children enter the room. If the decade is the 2010s outside your church, make sure it doesn’t feel like 1983 inside. Check out “Create the Environment” piece at the top of Week 1’s large group lesson for fresh ideas each month.
The relationships in your environment speak to how much a child feels LOVED. How you create your environment speaks to how much a child feels LIKED. BOTH are important to help a child feel welcomed into your ministry.
Once the kids enter your room, it’s time to launch the next segment, Social.
SOCIAL – time for fun interaction.
Time for you Small Group Leaders to shine! During this segment of the 252 Basics Environment, kids connect with
their SGLs for a run-down on the week. (How’s that new puppy? Is Luke still trying to steal your fries at lunch? Who did something awesome for one of their brothers or sisters this week?) This “Plug In” time, included in your small group lessons, also suggests a fun activity that teases the big idea for the day and gets the brain ready to experience the story.
At the end of the Social Segment, it’s vital to help kids transition to large group. You may have a separate large group room—or a corner of your small group space can serve as a stage for the story time. Whatever the case, help kids transition their focus from small group to a large group setting.
TRANSITIONS – moving smoothly from one thing to another.
Nothing loses a fifth grade boy or distracted kindergarten girl like dead air or jumping focus from one thing to the next without a strong transition. For the transition from the opening social time of small group to the large group environment, we include a short phrase the small group leader can say to help kids switch their focus. Lighting and music can also cue kids to be aware that it’s time to pay attention to the Story.
STORY – communicating God’s truth in engaging ways.
Whether you’re producing a game show or taking down the wall of Jericho, the “Power Up” segment brings the Bible story life. A Host and a Storyteller engage kids and leaders in a dynamic telling of the Bible story using materials found in the large group section of the lessons.
The Host—a fun, relatable person—sets up the tension for why the story is important for kids to hear. The Storyteller follows, answering that tension with a story or principle from God’s Word. Stories are told with a wide variety of fun story conventions that take into account how kids learn and what they enjoy. (Don’t hold back on the duct tape or banana peels!) After the Bible story, the Host returns to wrap up the time, reviewing the bottom line for the day and giving kids a practical way to apply the story to their lives.
Sound overwhelming? If you’re just starting out with 252 Basics, you may not have time, resources, or volunteers to pull off a live large group experience every week. That’s okay! We’ve got you covered with videos that take care of everything for your kids to have a great Large Group experience.
Transitions show up throughout large group, as well. We offer multiple music and video products that can help you transition from one part of large group to the next. Keep your transitions smooth or you’ll find your kids’ focus gets rough!
WORSHIP – inviting people to respond to God.
We said “people” on purpose! Sure, we want kids to worship—but it’s just important for Small Group Leaders to jump, twist and shout to the music, too! Kids need to see their peers and adults responding to God through worship.
Once large group is over, Small Group Leaders transition kids back to Small Group.
GROUPS – creating a safe place to connect.
Time to “Catch On” through the meat of the small group time where kids review the Bible story, learn their memory verse, and participate in fun activities that help them to apply the story to their lives. Just as vital? They practice faith skills like prayer and Bible navigation to help them grow in their relationship with Jesus. Small group activities are written with kids in mind – what they like, how they learn, and how they relate to the world around them. Small Group Leaders will find everything they need to create an incredible experience for their kids.
Once small group is over, you’re done, right? Period, dot, the end—until next week.
In fact, the most important part is just beginning: the rest of a child’s week at home with their parents!
The 252 experience ends with an important hand-off. As parents arrive to pick up their child from small group, Small Group Leaders help transition families to the final segment, Home.
HOME – prompting action beyond the experience.
Encourage your Small Group Leaders to catch a few moments to tell parents what happened during group. It’s a chance
to hand out God-Time card devotionals and Parent Cue cards to help families continue the conversations throughout the week. 252 Basics believes that what happens at home is more important than what happens at church. That’s why we create a variety of options for families to talk about the lessons at home.
Now that you’ve navigated the seven segments of 252 Basics, maybe you’ll agree with us that seven is the perfect number! As always, if you have any questions about any of this, we have a great team of Orange Specialists who can help you figure this out for your specific environment. Contact them to help you create a fantastic experience for your kids and families.