Have you ever tackled a big project and wondered if you’d ever finish and whether it would measure up upon completion? Believe it or not, creating the Torchlighters study guides feels a bit like this! We start with a blank page and a board of ideas, ,and pray it all comes together (don’t worry, it always does!)
Torchlighters Leader and Student guides are custom-designed with parents, teachers and most importantly, kids, in mind! Our team creates the guides from scratch and then makes them available for free online. As members of the Torchlighter production team, our writers are intimately familiar with the stories we are presenting. We also happen to be moms and Christian educators, so we bring our experience to the table. When possible, we even test our ideas on our own children to see if they will work!
Here’s a sneak peak into our process with specifics from our latest guide on George Müller.
Our goal with the study guides is always threefold:
- Represent the hero’s life and legacy with integrity
- Create lessons and resources that are easy to use and relatable for kids
- Present the Gospel of Jesus by focusing on relevant scripture
We begin by thinking hard about the best faith lessons and character traits to focus on for the particular hero we are presenting. Corrie ten Boom teaches us to forgive, while Eric Liddell shows us how to stand firm in our convictions. In the case of George Müller we have a man who is known for faithful prayer and bold ministry to orphans. We set out to communicate these lessons for children.
Next we look at scripture and choose verses or stories to focus on in our lessons. These help to guide our content and keep us grounded in the Word of God. For George Müller we chose stories of God’s provision, culminating in the provision of our greatest need—salvation from our sins. The “sure foundation Bible time” helps remind kids of Müller’s work in building his orphan homes on Jesus as the sure foundation of faith.
Finally we add the activities, games, crafts, and projects that bring it all together. This could include games related to the particular time period, puzzles, service projects, interviews with special guest speakers, and more. As they learn about George Müller, kids will learn to “pick oakum,” play 19th century games like “Up Jenkins,” help kids escape the workhouse with a fun maze, and collect supplies to support orphan care today.
In the middle of the process we sometimes wonder how we’ll pull together four cohesive lessons and a stand-alone student guide that kids will love, whether in or out of the classroom. Some guides are harder than others! But when we put our heads together, pull out the threads of the hero’s story and weave in the Bible’s undergirding truths, we find that God speaks loud enough through his Word and the legacy each hero has left.