Our Preschool Ministry has used First Look Orange Curriculum for about five years now. We have used the curriculum to teach Bible truths to our littlest friends, but in a Sunday School setting. This year we jumped all in and set up our preschool Sunday ministry to include large group and small groups and it has been a game changer.
When we started to communicate this shift to our preschool leaders, we were met with some resistance as with any change that comes. It was hard to grasp putting preschoolers all in a room together for large group worship time. It was hard to understand 3 year olds in a small group. But with any good change, comes lots of communication and a clear vision.
We were certain this was the way God was leading our ministry into the future so we went all in. We met with local ministry friends at another church who had a year under their belt of preschool small groups and we talked and learned and set forth.
We agreed to start with 3-5 year olds and see how things progressed. To note, you can always start small or take baby steps and build into a ministry change. We identified that our two year olds may not be ready for room shifting and gathering together to sit for an extended time of story telling. So we set the year up with youth and adult small group leaders for 2- 5 year olds but agreed 3-5 year olds would be the target group for large group time.
We have up to five preschoolers (age specific) per small group. We have two small group leaders per group. And we set them forth. We gave them adequate training (provided through lead small), communicated the bar for success, equipped them to lead with tools and encouragement and sent them out to love their few.
Our large group includes a story teller with an engaging story, video based worship songs lead by a youth worship team, movement and lots of fun. Preschoolers gather for large group worship for about 10 -15 minutes each Sunday morning and spend the rest of their time with their small group, exploring the lesson through games, art, play, and sharing time.
Our preschool small groups each keep a notebook that the lead writes in each week and it may track prayers, or what they learned in worship that morning. But this time is sweet and precious as the littles of God’s kingdom get to share about what they are learning or how they are experiencing God. It is a great way to watch their little minds and hearts grow in Jesus throughout the year.