Today I'm excited to introduce my dear west coast friend, award-winning author, Pam McLagan!
Pam is a brilliant teacher and author of two bible lesson workbooks, BluePrint Bible Lessons for Kids, Vol. 1 and 2. If you're looking to challenge your children with deeper spiritual bible lessons, then her books are exactly what you've been looking for!
Not long ago, Pam lived but one town from me before moving back "home" to Oregon. We shared many conversations about family and ministry and flying (her husband's passion) while huddled up next to our fire pit enjoying ice cream. Little did we know we'd be traveling the writers journey together.
Listen in on our conversation and send her some love in the comments below...
Where did the idea for these books begin?
About twenty years ago, I was coordinating children’s classes at our church and was co-teaching a precocious group of four and five year olds. Most of them had been “born in the pew” and were bored with curriculum that took six weeks to teach creation and never get to the Fall. As I had experienced with my own children, these 4s and 5s were quite capable dealing with more than that, and they were certainly capable of memorizing longer passages of Scripture than “God is love.” So in volume 1, the first three lessons are: 1. God creates the world; 2. God creates people in His image: the Trinity; and 3. Adam and Eve disobey God… and that includes the promise of a Savior. Also in volume 1, during the lessons about Jesus as our Teacher, the children learn the Lord’s Prayer.
What prompted you to write these books?
After using the lessons for several cycles with the original congregation, the lessons resided in boxes and envelopes of photocopies for many years. About six years ago, they came out again and began to be used in two different churches in our area. The children’s ministry coordinators and teachers were so enthusiastic about the format and organization that I began to think in terms of a broader audience. I thought about small congregations like ours that didn’t have a lot of money to spend on curriculum and considered that something like this could be of help. It was at that time, that I decided to pursue publication.
Each book contains 52 (volume 2 has 53) lessons … that’s a year’s worth of Sunday School lessons, or mid-week or Bible Club lessons. Most lessons take up only one page, so what people find is a BluePrint, not a script. That also makes it easy to adapt presentation to whatever group of children a teacher has. Each lesson page has the Scripture passage, the memory work that usually goes for several weeks, a “consider” section which gives the teacher something to think about, an “our children” section to relate the message of the lesson to kids, and a “something to make or do” piece to make things concrete.
Each book also contains a “teaching with style” portion to help presenters hone their skills.
Who might find these books most useful?
Children’s ministry coordinators find these books helpful as they can be used with a range of ages of kids. They started out for 4s and 5s, but in the past years, our congregation has used them up through grade five.
Homeschooling parents have found these lessons helpful to provide a baseline for the Bible portions of their own broader curriculum.
Christian Preschools have used them as their Bible curriculum.
Grammas have purchased them to use with their grand-kiddos.
Are they crafted for use in all denominations?
YES! I’ve tried to stay out of areas that could be “denominationally” problematic. In volume 2, there’s a series of lessons linking the original Passover and coming out of Egypt to the Last Supper with Jesus in the upper room, and then to modern day practice. I include several different terms for “communion” and do not specify any particular method, but mention “your group’s practice.”
Have you won any awards?
In May, BluePrint Bible Lessons for Kids (volume 1) was named Winner in the Christian Non-Fiction category of the 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Awards and was also named as a Finalist in the Education/Academic category.
Would you share some positive feedback from users of your books?
One children’s ministry coordinator said, “The simple and short lessons give each of my teachers the opportunity to use any activities, crafts and teaching styles they are comfortable with. The timeline approach has been very effective in establishing a solid foundation for Bible truth in all our kids.”
A homeschooling mom wrote, “…it’s neat how adjustable [BluePrint] is to different age groups. It has been easy to use. I have been teaching in children’s ministry off and on for 20 years, and what I like about BluePrint Lessons is that it gives me the guideline and allows me to find my own supplements, crafts, activities, etc.”
Another homeschooling mom said, “The kids love it and remember the lessons—which is the truest test of a good resource!”
So, what's next, Pam?
Next on the list is a group of lessons for Tweens and Teens. They are at an age when they need more than someone telling them the story; they need to be learning to dig into the scriptures for themselves. It’s mostly in the planning stages at the moment.
Thanks for talking with us today, Pam, and introducing us to your new award-winning books!
About Pam and her books:
Pam is a mom and grand-mom and wife who has been teaching something-or-other since she was fourteen. She’s been teacher, education coordinator, and director of Vacation Bible Schools in the congregations she has been a part of. Professionally, she has taught in public and private high schools and is currently adjunct faculty in her community college’s English Department. She is the author of BluePrint Bible Lessons for Kids: 52 Lessons for Preschool through Grade 5 (volumes 1 and 2). Pam lives in Albany, Oregon with her husband, Bill.