Church Spotlight 7
Franklin Christian Church in Nashville, Tennessee
Located just fourteen miles south of Nashville, Tennessee in the rapidly growing city of historic Franklin, Franklin Christian Church (FCC) is a direct reflection of the diverse make-up of people in the community. The congregation is made up of long-time local residents, as well as families who have moved to the area as a result of corporate transfers. In addition, there are music industry professionals, professional athletes, as well as young parents who enjoy raising their families in a small town atmosphere.
It is the desire of the FCC Children's Ministry staff to partner with parents in the spiritual education of their children, through building relationships with families and offering solid Bible teaching as well as mentoring and friendships in a safe, fun, and comfortable environment. Our vision is to see each child instilled with the desire to know and love God in a personal way.
Each Sunday morning, the FCC Children's Ministry volunteer staff, serving families with children ages Nursery through 6th grade, has the opportunity to share the love of Jesus to over 200 children.
Before choosing DiscipleLand curriculum in 2003, Children's Directors, Gail Bivins and Joyce Bell, spent six months studying and evaluating curricula.
"DiscipleLand met our desired goal of providing solid Bible teaching to our children. It is true to the Scriptures and provides the teachers with many different ways to present the concepts of each particular lesson. We like the fact that DiscipleLand includes the whole Bible and does not just repeat 'the same old stories over and over again.' We like the inclusion of choices in the scripture memory, Bible skills to work on each quarter, beautiful illustrations and historical information, and devotional thoughts for the teacher to use as they prepare their lessons."
Sunday mornings in Children's Ministry at FCC consist of one hour of Children's Worship and one hour of Discipleland. Powerhouse students (5th-6th grade) begin their morning in class and then attend adult worship together.
Preschool DiscipleLand at FCC
In the 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 year-olds' classes, our teaching schedule is repeated each year and is based on DiscipleLand Old Testament Quarters A-D and New Testament Quarters A-D. December through Easter is spent on the birth and life of Jesus. The rest of the year we focus our lessons on the lives of people from the Old Testament. Because [DiscipleLand's] curriculum is a little challenging for children at this age, we have supplemented with various activities more appropriate for younger children.
The 3-1/2 - Kindergarten students follow the scope and sequence of DiscipleLand Old Testament Quarters E-H and New Testament Quarter's A-H. Built into each week is a time of music and a visit from Dee, Cy, Paul, and Chip!
Here is what some of our preschool teachers have to say about DiscipleLand:
"The graphics in the teaching pictures and take-home pages are beautiful!" "The application taught in the antics of Dee, Cy, Paul and Chip make an impact on the children." "There are activity ideas for all learning styles." "DiscipleLand provides us with much more than we can do in our allotted time, which gives us the freedom to choose activities that fit the dynamics of our class."
Elementary DiscipleLand at FCC
Dick Crider was the featured guest at our 2007 Fall Children's Ministry meeting. He spoke to our teachers about discipleship and then spent time with the Elementary teachers explaining the changes to DiscipleLand's Core Bible curriculum. The changes made have received great reviews by our teachers. The teachers have enjoyed teaching the same material each year. They know that the time and effort that they put into a project or visual aid can be kept from year to year. The dynamics of the class and personalities of the children from year to year also keep the curriculum approach fresh and keep the teachers on their toes!
Our elementary teachers shared the following about the strengths they have found in DiscipleLand Core Bible:
"With the emphasis on daily routines and lifestyles in the first grade curriculum, the children are engaged in a lot of hands-on activities and crafts. One of our parents stopped one of the teachers to share about how excited their child was to come to their class each week!" "The 2nd graders are so proud to be able to look up scriptures and read the verses. Since the 2nd grade curriculum really focuses on the Bible as God's holy message to us, it is right in line with their new abilities. They have enjoyed a couple of the new "lesson accessories" like the picture cards (We keep the picture cards in individual photo albums throughout the quarter, then the children take them home all together in a special envelope at quarter's end. We decorate and change the album cover each quarter). We have a world map for each child and add a missionary sticker each week during 2nd quarter. At quarter's end they take them home with all the missionaries. Sometimes we add missionaries that our church supports too. We have a large laminated room map and they can post the missionaries with laminated tags. We call it Missionary Match Up. We use this after class or during transition periods." "I like the historical background given for teachers and the devotional prayer to guide me before I begin planning."
"My students definitely have a better understanding of the power of the Holy Spirit and the importance of relying on the Holy Spirit. The material for the 4th grade has been effective at not only getting them to read Acts and know what is going on, but has also helped them have a good general knowledge of the commitment the early church disciples had in spreading the Good News. I believe they have a grasp of the book of Acts as a whole as well as the specific events that occurred at that time. The 4th graders are also becoming more confident in using their Bibles. They read from the Bible in every lesson."
FCC has a church wide emphasis on discipleship in 2008. The message of making disciples of Jesus that permeates through the teaching and training materials published by DiscipleLand walks hand in hand with the message and vision of our congregation. We are blessed, that through prayer and research, God led us to DiscipleLand!