You don’t have to have a background in children’s ministry to have heard of Gospel Light. They’ve been bringing their passion for biblical education to Sunday school for over 80 years. Renowned Bible teacher Dr. Henrietta Mears established Gospel Light in 1933 as a way to make her wildly popular curriculum available to the public.
Since then, Gospel Light has been bringing high-quality Sunday school curriculum to all ages. This spotlight will focus on early elementary, 1st–2nd grade.
(By the way, if you are looking at this review because you’re trying to choose your next Sunday school curriculum, you might want to check out my complete guide to making that decision.)
What makes Gospel Light great
Let me start of by noting that I am reviewing this material in Disciplr. With Disciplr, all the lessons, notes, and resources are so much more intuitively usable. When I get to a game or lesson extra, I simply click the link and it opens in a new tab. It really takes Gospel Light’s already fantastic curriculum to the next level.
I’ve always been a sucker for large salad bars. I just love that feeling of power in choosing what you want and leaving everything else. Gospel Light’s curriculum gives me the same feeling. It is so robust, I feel like I can pick and choose elements that will really work with my kids.
The lesson extras offer really user-friendly pieces to augment your lesson. I don’t know how many times a service went long, and I was left scrambling for something to do to fill 10–20 extra minutes. Lesson extras offer really good puzzles and games that don’t require a lot of set-up to pull off.
And if you don’t use them, they’re great ideas to keep in your back pocket for future classes.
In keeping with the Lesson Extras, Gospel Light offers other auxiliary resources that are so helpful. A lot of time and thought go into the music, crafts, flyers, and other elements that tie the lessons together.
The first lesson includes the plans for a “Christmas Family Event,” which is a low-preparation gathering for Sunday school volunteers, elementary-aged students, and the students’ parents. It includes plans for the whole evening including:
- Icebreaker questions
- And even a flyer to use for the event
It’s an extremely well-planned event that is so easy to run it’s crazy. This party really demonstrates the value of Gospel Light’s supplementary materials. If this one element was missing from December’s curriculum, you wouldn’t miss it. But its addition gives you an important opportunity to build a stronger bond between the children, your volunteers, and parents. (It might even net you more volunteers.) That’s invaluable.
The crafts are my absolute favorite thing about Gospel Light’s curriculum. Gospel Light has found a perfect balance between suggesting fun, ambitious crafts while being easy to pull off for the teacher. Gospel Light’s approach to crafts and activities keeps the content engaging and fun without requiring a ton of work to implement.
This is probably a good place to note that Disciplr’s integrated shopping lists for lesson prep make it even easier to stay on top of what you need to pull off a an amazing class.
If you want to teach kids, you really need to capture their imagination. You can’t do that unless you’re good at storytelling—and Gospel Light is.
For example, when discussing how the nativity was heralded, Gospel Light gets the kids to think about how important news is delivered today. Then the lesson goes through the story of Jesus’s birth and the announcement to the shepherds. In a lesson on Jesus in the temple from Luke 2, the kids act out the story and focus on how, even as children, they all can grow in faith and please God.
Obliviously narrative portions of Scripture lend themselves to storytelling, but Gospel Light really excels at using story to capture a child’s attention and then building upon it with thoughtful questions and ideas that children can readily understand.
What you need to know
Gospel Light is best for:
Age range: Preschool–Preteen (not unified across age groups)
Bible translation: NIV
Publisher: Gospel Light
Cost: Starts at $324.99
Format and media:
Class format: Classroom
Material format: Disciplr, print
Includes video? No
Scope and sequence duration: 4 years
Average lesson time: 60 minutes
Want more? Browse and sample Gospel Light curriculum on Disciplr.