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How I Use Elevate Jr.

Earlier I talked about launching Elevate Jr. in our Early Childhood areas. Today I wanted to fill you in on how we are currently using Elevate Jr. and how we transitioned to it from a traditional Sunday School classroom format.

  • We tested it out during our Saturday Night services for 8 weeks.   It was a great success, and we learned a lot about what we needed to do to make it work on our much busier Sunday Mornings.
  • My Early Childhood Coordinator and I held special training meetings on the four Wednesday nights leading up to our Sunday Morning launch.   At these meetings we provided dinner, and did the first lesson of Spy Chase Jr. for the leaders.   Yes, we treated them like they were the children.
    • These meetings were key, because they helped creat buy-in from some very important people and it helped move out some that needed to be moved out.   Know what I mean?
    • During the training we were clear with our leaders that we are only married to our spouses; we’re not married to one particular way of using this curriculum, and we’re open and willing to tweak how we use Elevate Jr.   I think this helped ease people’s minds about doing something new.
  • We are using Spy Chase Jr. to launch with.   I believe it is the first of the Elevate Jr. series’ that was created.
  • We are using the Large Group Format, with the entire video portion of the curriculum being shown at the same time.   We are not however using it as a true large group.   We are gathering the age groups that were previously split into one area for the video.
    • For example, the 3 year old children check-in to their separate rooms based on their last names; then move to one room to gather for the large group video, then dismiss back to their separate rooms for the classroom activities.   The same is done with the 4’s together, and the 5 & 6’s together.
  • We print the large group manual for each classroom leader at our print shop, taking out the activities we will NOT do that week.   In other words, we only give the teachers what they will need.   This is a big difference from giving leaders a teacher’s manual, and telling them to not use certain elements of that same teacher’s manual.   Why create needless confusion?
  • We have asked the stronger of the two age group leaders to lead the video time with the kids.   For the most part, we haven’t had a problem with this and we hope to allow both group leaders to eventually split the video teaching time.

Am I leaving anything out?   What would you like to know before I get to the postivies and negatives later this week?

Jonathan Cliff is married to his wife Starr and they together live out their days with two sons and a daughter. Jonathan serves as one of the Pastors at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tennessee; where he works with leaders throughout the city to help develop Christian community that leads to deep and meaningful spiritual friendships. His journey has been an adventurous one, having served in the local church for 15 years in family ministry developing leaders, building environments for kids and students to belong, and encouraging parents to take big spiritual steps with their families.