Introduction to Overflow.
Overflow is our 10-session resource unpacking God's heart for the vulnerable. It's designed for those working with 5-11 year olds. Overflow is FREE for our Partner Churches — check out our partners page to see if you're listed. If so, we've sent a hard copy to your church, but you can email us if you want to find out more, or who it's been sent to. All 10 sessions are also available to purchase for a one-off cost of £100.Overflow Vision Purchase Overflow
Jubilee+ equips churches to change the lives of those living in poverty in their communities. We believe that caring and standing up for the vulnerable and those in poverty is an essential part of following Jesus.
It is predicted that Generation Alpha (anyone born in or after 2010) will number two billion by 2025, the largest generation in history!* Our prayer is that through Overflow, God will meet with children and thereby impact a whole generation and their families – the church now, and in the future.
God is first and foremost concerned with our hearts. In the Bible, Christlikeness begins with the transforming of our hearts to be more like him. Overflow unpacks 10 topics that are in the very heart of God: favour, friendship, healing, mercy, compassion, generosity, kindness, anger, justice and welcome.
God’s heart is full of these things – full to overflowing. Overflow is an opportunity for God’s heart to overflow to some of the youngest in our churches. If we begin with our actions, we will soon run dry. But when God begins with the transformation of our hearts, what flows out will never run out. We want God’s heart to overflow into the hearts of young people, and then overflow to the people and communities around them.
Research shows this generation want to talk about social issues. They have access to more information than any previous generation, and are not content to passively consume – they want to personally interact and co-create.*
Overflow has been shaped by kids for kids. To ensure the content was relevant and had the right starting point, we ran focus groups to research children’s views and opinions. We listened to young people from a range of different backgrounds to try to capture their perspectives and gain an understanding into their ideas, thoughts, and feelings. What we learnt formed the basis of Overflow.
* Generation Alpha by Mark McCrindle (Headline Home, 2021)
How Overflow Works.
Overflow is 10 sessions for 5-11s, unpacking God’s heart for the vulnerable. Each session covers one topic — favour, friendship, healing, mercy, compassion, generosity, kindness, anger, justice, and welcome — with one key point.
Sessions are broken into 10 sections, including a Bible story, games, interviews and the ‘overflow experiment’ that gets bigger each week! Tap on the + symbol for details.
Download the Overflow Booklet
Paper copies of the handbook are available — please get in touch to find out more.
Jesus was an expert at explaining God and His kingdom through stories about everyday items, people, and events. Imitating his example, Overflow uses a different everyday object in the games and teaching for each session. This might be a shoe, toilet roll, ice cube or bag of crisps! The idea is that as children encounter these objects during the week, they will be reminded of God’s heart.
There are three key values underpinning this content…
1. FUN: Most kids love humour and mess; it is found throughout the Bible and in Overflow.
2. THE GOSPEL: The life, death and resurrection of Jesus are at the core of every session. Alongside this is an acknowledgment that we can do nothing without the Holy Spirit’s help.
3. NON-CHURCH KIDS: We all want our churches to be welcoming and accessible for everyone, especially those with no or little church background. This includes our children’s ministries. Overflow is written with children from non-church backgrounds in mind, as well as those familiar with church.
Each of Overflow’s 10 sessions covers one topic, has one key point and is broken into 10 sections…
1. Overflow video: A few minutes of footage captured at the focus group. Young people were recorded thinking aloud and asking questions around the topic. It is not necessarily the right answer. Used as a starting point, it can encourage children to think outside the box, ask questions around the topic and even get it wrong! Pause the video on the end slide and use as a backdrop for the rest of the session.
2. Intro: Professor Inside Out is an eccentric science professor who has a passion for overflow. She introduces the topic, stating the key point, providing a one-sentence explanation, and wondering how the everyday object is relevant. She ends with the Overflow prayer, which consists of a science experiment (trying to create a bigger overflow each week) and an invitation for the Holy Spirit to come and overflow into our hearts, changing us from the inside out.
3. Two games: Opportunities to have fun, make a mess, and see the teaching practically demonstrated. These are important elements of the session and can be slotted in anywhere.
4. 1 Verse: Overflow has one memory verse. Take one minute each week to talk about the word in CAPS. We’ve included ideas to help the children get the verse into their heads and hearts.
5. Toilet roll mummy interview: Question a church member and ground the topic in the reality of a life experience. Invite a child to tie up the interviewee playing the toilet roll mummy game before the interview begins, as a visual acknowledgment of how difficult these topics can be.
6. Bible story: Showing us what God does, thinks and feels through Jesus. Reading the story aloud straight from the Bible is powerful. The team or children can act or mime the story to support the more visual learners and anyone who might not have English as a first language.
7. Question time: An opportunity to ask ANYTHING. Everyone sits in a circle. Form more than one circle if there are 10+ kids. Put 10 minutes on a clearly visible count down. Anyone holding the everyday object can talk. Children signal they want to talk by thumbs up. Who has a question? Who has a reply? The reply might be an answer, an observation, or another question. Give opportunity to talk. Leaders step in when necessary.
8. Show ‘n’ tell 1: A 2-minute object lesson using the everyday object to unpack a biblical understanding of the topic.
Show ‘n’ tell 2: A 2-minute object lesson taking the children to the cross. Explaining how the topics overflow to us through and because of Jesus’ suffering, death, and resurrection.
9. The response: PRAY is an opportunity for God to transform hearts on the inside as we respond to the topic through prayer. An idea to help the children talk and listen to God is included. This time can also be an opportunity for God to meet and transform hearts through praise and worship. The Overflow playlist provides song ideas that reflect the themes unpacked.
CRAFT is an opportunity to think about how we can join in with God and overflow to others. Based around a craft, it is something everyone can take home and use to prompt or help.
10. Take home family challenge: God wants to continue talking to, challenging, and encouraging everyone through the week ahead. Each session has its own easy to use tear-off sheet available on our website to print off, take home and stick on the fridge, equipping families to pray and act together.
Some of the children in your care may have experienced trauma. Leaders need to be sensitive, and it is important to signpost children who may need continued help and support; physical or emotional. This content is trauma aware. It seeks to actively resist re-traumatisation and to support anyone who has specific needs because of past or ongoing trauma. Sometimes it might be necessary to seek help from trained professionals. Always follow your church safeguarding policy.
We would love to hear from you with any encouragements, stories, information about projects, testimonies and queries you may have. Here’s how you can get in touch:
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Jubilee+ is a company limited by guarantee, registered in England under company number 8578163. The company registered office is at Hastings Centre, The Ridge, Hastings TN34 2SA. Jubilee+ is also registered as charity number 1159799.
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