While we’re all away at Orange Conference, we thought it might be fun to hear from some of the church leaders who use 252 Basics.  These leaders are also blogging about the conference on their own blogs, so you might want to go check that out.
Anthony Prince serves as the director of children and family ministry at Glenkirk Church in the foothills of Los Angeles, CA. He and his wife, Christine, have two children, Carter (four) and Kate (two).  Visit the church site at www.GlenkirkChurch.org and Anthony’s blog here.
I truly believe at the core of my soul, that what happens at home matters more in the life of a child than what happens at church. And, though I’ve been saying that for years around my church, our Sunday morning experience didn’t reflect that philosophy. Instead, we invested a lot into making Sundays a super-fun and exciting event for kids to experience while their parents were in big church.
Over a year ago, I began to think about what our church might look like if we switched strategies on Sundays and began to look at what happens on a Sunday as a launching point for the rest of the week. As our team began to embrace this shift, we noticed that our Sunday curriculum didn’t assist us in equipping parents to continue and lead the conversations we were starting once they left church. We realized that we were going to have to replace the curriculum that our kids, volunteers and parents liked for something that we felt would be more Orange.
It took a year of baby steps, but we finally made it—this last August marked the beginning of our use of 252 Basics. We didn’t make this shift because we wanted to be trendy and switch to the newest/fanciest curriculum on the market. What mattered most to our team was the partnership that was at the core of the Orange Strategy.
I want to wrap up by saying this: making the switch was a huge deal for us, but it has been totally worth it. In the last year of using it, we’ve noticed a dramatic upswing in parent involvement in faith-centered conversations at home. In fact, just a couple weeks after the switch, I received this email from a parent:
Hey guys,
Just wanted to tell you thanks for the awesome programs you put on. Funny story—so, Sunday I thought I’d use the papers from Sunday school and ask [my son] the questions on them (great idea, huh?). I did not anticipate it going very well, as he doesn’t know the difference between yesterday, today and a month ago, nor does he often know the difference between making something up and telling something that actually happened. So, when I asked what did you learn today? I was not surprised when he said, “I don’t know.” So I prompted him using the paper, “Did you learn that someone loves you?” And he said, “Yes—GOD!” And then I asked him if he remembered the story about the two men named Paul and Silas. He said “Yes, they were in jail.” I almost fell on the floor. Then I said, “What happened to them?” He said, “They blocked out of jail. God did it.” Close enough, buddy.
Thanks for helping me discover that my kid can actually learn Bible stories now—if it weren’t for you, I might not have discovered this for another year.