Illustrated Ministry has published three 12-week curricula over the past few years:
- An Illustrated Earth: Celebrating God’s Creation
- An Illustrated Compassion: Learning to Love Like God
- An Illustrated Invitation: Joining God at Work in the World
The feedback we’ve received on our curricula has been very positive and tells us we’re creating something new in the children’s ministry curriculum world that people want.
“…The curriculum is absolutely beautiful. The lessons are extremely user-friendly with very little prep required, yet they are beautifully profound with fantastic illustrations. We turn the coloring pages into little books that the children complete and take home each week…”
“…One of the best things about the curriculum is how adaptable it is…Also, there are lots of practical applications and projects for the kids to do together…”
“…The theology of Illustrated Ministry is solid and the openness to wonder about the mystery of God is present…”
Our newest curriculum is called The Lord’s Prayer: An Illustrated Curriculum. This is a flexible, six-session curriculum that is a verse by verse study of the Lord’s Prayer from Matthew 6:9b-13.
Why the Lord’s Prayer?
We have a page on our site where you can submit product ideas. Every week we get lots of fun and creative ideas from our customers. One submission we’ve received over and over again was resources for the Lord’s Prayer.
No matter your denomination or tradition, most likely the Lord’s Prayer has found its way into your personal devotional life or communal worshipping experiences. For many churches, it’s a prayer we say Sunday after Sunday after…you get the idea.
We often feel successful when we’ve taught children and young people to memorize the prayer. However, we all know there is a big difference between being able to repeat back a few verses by memory and taking the time to learn the meaning behind the prayer itself.
Because of our community’s repeated requests for Lord’s Prayer resources, and our desire to offer a way to immerse oneself in the Lord’s Prayer, we are excited about this new product, The Lord’s Prayer: An Illustrated Curriculum.
ICM’s Intentions behind the Curriculum
Each component of the six-session curriculum is an invitation to experience this well-known prayer through art, reflection, and discussion. Through the use of inclusive language and meaningful theology, children have opportunities to explore our belongingness and connectedness to each other, the world, and God. Not only that but how that belongingness and connectedness means we must also collaborate with God to bring God’s kingdom into the world.
The very first word of the Lord’s Prayer is “Our” not “My.” It immediately reminds us that this is a communal prayer. We all belong to God, to each other, and to the earth God made. God is bigger and more beautiful than we can imagine, and every single one of us is made in God’s incredible image. With this as a foundational belief, we always choose to use inclusive language.
“Our Loving God” versus “Our Father”
Jesus’ choice to begin the prayer with “Father” was impactful. It was meant to remind listeners how loving God is and how God always reaches out to care for them as all loving parents would. It was also a political statement that challenged loyalties – either with a loving God or a government that pushed people down. That is why we chose to begin the prayer with “Our Loving God.”
In a way, it knocks us off balance, challenges us from getting stuck in thinking about God in a limited way (specifically, God as male), and cares for people who have been deeply hurt by their fathers. It also reminds us to consider the countless names and attributes we know God by and gives us a chance to discuss them.
Different Versions of The Lord’s Prayer
As you know, there are several traditional versions of the Lord’s Prayer. In fact, we have a couple of versions in our Bibles. One is in Matthew’s Gospel and another in Luke’s Gospel.
Today, different faith communities have their way of saying the Lord’s Prayer, often with slight differences in the words. Some churches say “sins” or “debts,” while other churches say “trespasses.”
Some Christians include the Doxology, “For Yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen” at the end of the prayer, and some don’t.
Because we focused primarily on Matthew’s version, we chose to use the word “debts.” While this is the version we decided on, as always, we encourage you to customize the material to fit your context. Feel invited to use your church’s preference for the prayer whenever you pray it. That is the beauty of coming together with our different words and traditions; we recognize that despite these differences, we all are searching for the same things: forgiveness and restoration.
How to use the curriculum?
Over the years, many churches have found creative ways to utilize the versatile and little to no-prep design of our curricula. Some churches have used it for intergenerational summer Sunday School programs, foundational materials for Vacation Bible Schools, sermon series based on the curriculum texts, lessons to fit their schedules, and more.
With a little time and use of our appendix, The Lord’s Prayer: An Illustrated Curriculum can easily transform into materials for a retreat setting, foundational materials for a five-day Vacation Bible School, or expand into a 12-session program.
When we first began to explore the Lord’s Prayer, we were overwhelmed by the possibilities! There were so many different ideas, topics, and activities we came up with to engage with the Lord’s Prayer. Our team was inspired by all the ways we found to interact with, and live out the call of the Lord’s Prayer. Our hope for you is that this isn’t just a 6-session curriculum, but that it transforms into something that helps your faith community fully embody the message of the Lord’s Prayer.
Structure of the curriculum
Our goal is to offer you a no-prep curriculum that can be led by anyone in your congregation. With hopes of minimizing your workload, we have designed The Lord’s Prayer: An Illustrated Curriculum in a way that requires little background material/reading before presenting the lesson.
The structure of the curriculum includes these components: a gathering activity, scripture reflection, an activity, a time for imagining and coloring, a closing prayer, and a take-home sheet. Additionally, we include an appendix filled with other ideas and activities and a glossary to cover any words we use in the curriculum that we feel need further definition and context.
The Lord’s Prayer Curriculum Coloring Posters
To enhance your experience and learning of the Lord’s Prayer, The Lord’s Prayer Curriculum Coloring Posters are fully integrated into the flow of this curriculum. To get the most out of The Lord’s Prayer: An Illustrated Curriculum, we highly encourage you to purchase The Lord’s Prayer Curriculum Coloring Posters.
These hand-drawn posters are fully integrated throughout each session of the curriculum. The first three posters create a beautiful hand-lettered illustration of the Lord’s Prayer. The second three posters are interactive, designed to be communal, and draw children into the lesson through creative prompts. Children are invited to add their expression and ideas to create the final look of the posters as they move through the lessons.
There are many nuances to this prayer, one being how the writing technique of poetic parallelism is used throughout. Each word and phrase in the prayer was used intentionally. As a way to highlight that, we chose to design the interactive posters to reflect some of the parallelism of the prayer by combining some of the sessions on the same poster. There will be a couple of sessions where you return to a poster to complete it. The use of the posters will look like this:
- Session 1: The hand-lettered Lord’s Prayer posters (2 or 3 in total depending on whether your church’s tradition includes the Doxology of the Lord’s Prayer)
- Session 2: Interactive Poster 1 (“Our Loving God, who is in heaven, hallowed be your name.”)
- Session 3: Interactive Poster 2 (“Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”)
- Session 4: Interactive Poster 1 (“Give us this day our daily bread”)
- Session 5: Interactive Poster 2 (“And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors”)
- Session 6: Interactive Poster 3 (“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”)
When you purchase the curriculum, you’ll have a better sense of the types of activities that will lead to engagement and participation with the interactive coloring posters. But you can see the three posters below, as well as some photos of the posters in action!
If using the posters isn’t an option for you, be sure to use the coloring pages included with the curriculum. They are slightly modified versions of the interactive posters, and children will have a similar, more individualized experience with them. But to get the most out of the curriculum, we highly recommend using The Lord’s Prayer Curriculum Coloring Posters.
NOTE: If you buy the Physical Posters, you will receive just ONE version of the Lord’s Prayer (our version that begins with “Our Loving God”). We talk about the differences in wording throughout the curriculum and it will give you many chances to talk about the differences if your community uses “sins” instead of “debts” or you’d prefer to use “Our Father” instead of “Our Loving God.” If, however, you need a specific version, you can add the Digital Files (which includes all of the different versions available listed below as part of the digital files for our Hand-Lettered Lord’s Prayer Coloring Posters) to your purchase of the physical coloring posters for half the price of the digital files.
Hand-Lettered Lord’s Prayer Coloring Posters
Because the Lord’s Prayer is common with so many communities, we knew that there may be some who would love the coloring posters for the prayer and didn’t need the curriculum. In that case, you can purchase our Hand-Lettered Lord’s Prayer Coloring Posters.
These posters include only the three hand-lettered posters that illustrate the Lord’s Prayer. The Lord’s Prayer is separated into three separate posters so you can decide to use or not use the Doxology poster, depending on your church’s tradition.
These posters are meant to be printed out as 2’x 3′ posters and are ONLY available as B&W digital files. Because they are digital files, it allows us to provide a variety of different options for you. To make these posters as inclusive of all communities who may want to use them, we will offer the following versions:
- We will include two versions of the first poster. One version of the first poster will begin the prayer with “Our Loving God” and another version will begin the prayer with “Our Father.”
- We will include three versions of the second poster. The first version will use “debts” and “debtors,” the second version will use “sins” and “those who sin against us,” and the third version will use “trespasses” and “those who trespass against us.”
- We will include one version of the third poster. This is the Doxology to the prayer (“For yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever, Amen.”), and you can decide whether to include this poster or not, based on your church’s tradition.
We will also be offering Hand-Lettered Lord’s Prayer Coloring Pages as well, so if you are looking for small versions of this for coloring, you can choose this option.
These posters will be perfect for coloring and framing to decorate an area of your church! This is the first time we’ve offered hand-lettered illustrated posters like these, and we’re excited to see all of the creative ways our community finds to use them.
Related Lord’s Prayer Products
The Lord’s Prayer Sticker Sheets: In addition to our curriculum and coloring posters, we also have some amazing Lord’s Prayer Sticker Sheets. Use these along with the curriculum, or grab a set to help your students learn the Lord’s Prayer.
We ordered these from the same place we ordered our amazingly high-quality Illustrated Nativity Sticker Sheets, and you’ll find many uses for them.
The Lord’s Prayer: An Illustrated Prayer Booklet: And if you’re looking for a specific way to use the stickers, we are launching a Lord’s Prayer Booklet for kids. This digital download provides participants with a prayer book to use with their stickers. Each page has a spot for the sticker, a prompt to get them thinking about the specific verse, and a chance to respond to a prompt related to the verse through drawing or writing.
As always, please let us know if you have any questions by contacting us here.