Connect church and home with this Bible-based Sunday school curriculum for children, youth, & their families.
Mission and goals
Gather ’Round: Hearing and Sharing God’s Good News is a Bible-based curriculum nurturing children, youth, and their families in becoming followers of Jesus: people who know and love God, interpret God's word, belong to God's gathered community, and share God's good news.
The Gather ’Round curriculum has adopted four major goals:
1. To nurture children and youth in their faith formation by…
- helping them know, love, and follow God;
- Children and youth learn about Jesus, who shows us how to love and follow God. Teachers share with young people the understanding that before we know God, God already knows us. They acknowledge that children are created to be in relationship with God. Children and youth are given vocabulary to give voice to their understanding of God and faith. The process of faith formation is respected as young people move from a faith of innocence toward an owned and accountable faith marked by a decision for baptism.
- engaging them in the language and habits of worship;
- Prayer, silence, music, and ritual are regular parts of session plans. Teachers help children and youth to articulate the language of faith in applying the truths of scripture to their own lives.
- respecting them as partners in ministry;
- Young people's contributions are valued and encouraged. Teachers see themselves as facilitators, not gatekeepers, in nurturing young people's relationships to God.
- encouraging them to engage directly with scripture.
- Sessions are based on faithful retellings of Bible stories. Children and youth are exposed to a wide range of scripture texts, including both familiar and less well-known passages. They are invited to wonder and to share their reactions to the scripture texts. All learners encouraged to share their own stories.
2. To strengthen the connection between home and congregation by…
- Using the same scripture text each week for all age groups;
- Pastors and worship leaders may incorporate the weekly scripture text into the worship service.
- offering parents and caregivers resources to participate in their children's faith formation;
- The Talkabout encourages family devotions, faith discussions, and at-home application of weekly Bible themes, providing opportunities to engage the entire congregation in faith nurture.
3. To explore what it means to follow in the footsteps of Jesus in Christian community by…
- considering how God is working in the world and how people are invited to participate in that work;
- Sessions address issues of peace and justice, discipleship and stewardship, community and covenant, and transformation and salvation. All learners are encouraged to apply these themes in their own lives.
- learning how to share our faith with others;
- Sessions teach us how to tell the stories of our faith. Participants share their own faith experiences with each other.
- providing an alternative to worldviews that emphasize individualism, power, and accumulation of wealth;
- Sessions lift up the call of Jesus Christ and the Old Testament prophets for righteousness and justice, with basic human needs met for all people.
- encouraging an attitude of service.
- Sessions encourage learners to apply biblical precepts in service to others. The Talkabout suggests options for family service actions.
4. To be versatile and easy to use by…
- supporting congregational Christian education programs;
- Leaders are given background information and guidance in every session. Bible insight essays are written by biblical scholars. A Multiage unit is offered for all quarters. Sessions are accessible to those without significant church background or religious training.
- maximizing the responsiveness and flexibility of the curriculum.
- The curriculum is produced new every year. User feedback informs the production of future curriculum material. Teacher's guides provide multiple options. Flexible sessions are usable in a variety of gatherings, such as worship, midweek Bible studies, and other small group meetings.
© 2007–11 Gather 'Round