Zondervan, 2012, 128 pp., $14.99
If I told you many times I used David Lynn's Talk Sheets
for Sunday School or midweek program in the '90s, you would have questioned whether I deserved a paycheck. Regardless, it was the best tool for me to invoke discussion among our students. Well, it's 2012; and David Lynn is back with Middle School Talksheets: Epic Old Testament Stories
. The format is pretty much the same, minus the goofy clip art, which I loved. Each page is packed with questions, check boxes and fill-in-the-blanks on one side and a lesson format on the other. There are 52 lessons, one for every week if you really wanted to use it every week for a year, but there are so many other uses for this material. Lynn takes us from Genesis to Judges with the main stories every kid should know. You could divide all the pages by books of the Bible and create quarterly Sunday School lessons, use them for a 4-week small group or use them as small group material on retreats. The only setback for the pages is determined by how much time you have to use the sheets. Each sheet is good for about 30 minutes. This is good if you only have a one-hour class. If you group time is longer, these sheets make for a great small group complementary piece to your midweek meeting. Thanks to David Lynn, we again have an easy, reproducible page for quick discussion to encourage kids to know God's epic story.—Paul Turner, Pleasant Grove Assembly, Pleasant Grove, Alabama
David Lynn's book Middle School Talksheets: Epic Old Testament Stories
promotes relational ministry by asking students what they honestly think, feel and question about God, the Bible and theology. There is an array of discussion starters that asks students to encounter biblical text on a personal level. The lessons are structured so they can be adapted to any group. This is a terrific resource for people who do not want the typical "I'm just going to tell you a story and then give you a moral" style lesson. The only thing youth leaders may not like about this series is the curriculum reviews the most commonly known Old Testament stories. However, Lynn does a good job of looking at the stories from different perspectives than are traditionally taken, bringing new life to God's Word.—Rachel Galarneau, Springfield, OhioMiddle School Talksheets
is an excellent resource for any middle or junior high Sunday School class. While you definitely will have to adapt the lessons and make them more for your students, it creates a good foundation on which to build. It gets students involved in some of the more unfamiliar Old Testament stories and relating them to life today. Great resource!