When Paul wrote to the Corinthians he reminds us that the Gospel is to be a the centre of church life. We are to be about and known for the Gospel. He makes this plain in 1 Corinthians 15:1-8.
Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmlyto the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.
Of course this means that our children’s ministry with its focus, Kids Alive should be Gospel centered. This means that we are not about primarily teaching ‘morals’. The standard ‘Kids Talk’ in church involves someone giving a Bible story through a puppet or drama and then the person says ok kids the lesson for today is: Don’t lie! Or whatever other moral point they choose to make. This is not the Gospel but Christian moralism. This will mean kids at church grow up thinking that the Christian message is about what you ‘do’ or ‘don’t do’. Instead hearing the Gospel which is about what God has DONE in Christ.
The Gospel is the overarching message of the Bible and so it should be the overarching message of children’s ministry.
Here are some resources to help you think about this some more.
God’s Big Picture – Vaughan Roberts. A big that helps you see that the whole Bible is one message focused on Jesus.
The Jesus Storybook Bible – Sally Lloyd-Jones. This is a very helpful for children that clearly outlines who Jesus is the focus of the Bible.
Biblical Training.org. Plenty of resources here to teach you these principles.
What’s in the Bible – DVD Series
We uses the book ‘long story short – 10min family devotions’ and find it awesome and probably more importantly manageable. Here is a video about it.