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An Illustrated Compassion: Learning to Love Like God is a 12-week no-prep curriculum that will walk participants through twelve stories (six from the Hebrew Scriptures and six from the New Testament) that all focus on the theme of compassion.
No matter where you are on the theological or political spectrum, it's clear our world needs more compassion. An Illustrated Compassion turns to scripture and looks for examples of God's compassion throughout the Bible, and also asks what it might look like for all of us to lead more compassionate lives. The curriculum is a 12-week curriculum broken up into three modules. You can see the stories listed below:
Module 1 – Compassion in the Hebrew Scriptures
- Genesis 18:1-8: Abraham and Sarah’s Guests
- Exodus 1:15-21: Shiphrah and Puah’s Courage
- 2 Samuel 9:1-13: David Shows Kindness
- 2 Kings 6:8-23: The Feast that Brought Peace
Module 2 – Compassion in the New Testament
- Matthew 9:35-38: Jesus’ Compassion
- Mark 10:17-27: The One Thing
- Luke 7:11-17: Compassion that Heals
- John 5:1-9: Jesus Heals on the Sabbath
Module 3 – Living a Compassionate Life
- Deuteronomy 10:12-22: You Were Immigrants
- Micah 6:6-8: What is Good
- Matthew 25:31-46: Lord, When Was It?
- Luke 10:25–37: The One Who Showed Mercy
If you would like to see a complete lesson from the curriculum, you can
click here to download your free sample.
What You Will Receive (with your purchase of the complete Curriculum Bundle)
- 12 no-prep lessons covering stories from the Hebrew Scriptures and New Testament
- 12 coloring pages (one for each week that connects to the lesson's biblical story)
- Four original songs, written and composed just for An Illustrated Compassion
- MP3 audio files and sheet music (both a full piano score and lead sheets with chords) to help you (or someone else) lead the music
- Some promotional artwork for the curriculum (logo in a variety of sizes/formats)
Note: Coloring posters are NOT included in your purchase of the Curriculum Bundle. They are available for purchase separately here.
Each of the twelve lessons is prepared so that it requires minimal supplies and no preparation to be able to lead. This will make it especially enticing and easy for your volunteers to lead as well. Below is a brief overview of what is included in each lesson:
- Introductory comments for the teacher to help them understand what the goals of the lesson are
- An opening gathering activity that connects to the biblical story, and gives the children an opportunity to be active and physically move
- A child-friendly paraphrase of the scripture - provided also as a script for multiple readers if you want kids to act it out
- Illustrated Story Cards, consisting of simple drawings and statements that depict major elements of the biblical story for that lesson, allowing children the opportunity to tell the story back to you by placing the cards in the right order. These also make great additional coloring pages.
- Suggested questions for discussing and imagining together about the story
- A beautifully-illustrated coloring page that highlights one verse from the story in compelling artwork
- A Compassion in Action suggested activity to help connect the biblical story to tangible, real-world things your community can do to help bring more compassion to the world.
- A closing prayer you can do with the children.
Purchasing Individual Modules
We also offer the option of purchasing individual modules if you are looking for a shorter program. Compared with the full curriculum, individual modules include the following:
- 4 no-prep lessons covering stories from the Bible about compassion
- 4 coloring pages (one for each week that connects to the lesson's biblical story)
- Original music (2 songs: the curriculum theme song and the song connected to the module you are purchasing) written and composed just for An Illustrated Compassion
- MP3 audio files and sheet music (both a full piano score and lead sheets with chords) to help you lead the music
- Some promotional artwork for the curriculum (rainbow logo in a variety of sizes/formats)
Samples of Music
We've put together a playlist of samples of the four pieces that you'll get when you purchase the curriculum. Let us know if you have any questions about the music.
What Have People Said about ICM's Curriculum?
"Thank you so much for your curriculum, An Illustrated Earth! The simplicity of the curriculum is refreshing. It also allows us to spend less money on Sunday School supplies, since all you need is a printer, not a large trip to the craft store for pipe cleaners, googly eyes and glue. An Illustrated Earth has worked great for our younger elementary classrooms, and we just tweak some of the questions for our older classrooms so they have a practical application for them as well.
"I truly hope your style and philosophy helps to calm the other curriculum makers, who seem to be all about entertaining children and pushing products. The theology of Illustrated Ministry is solid, the openness to wonder about the mystery of God is there, and what better way to work out your wrestling with who God is in your life than through coloring and conversation with children. Thank you again so much for the way you’ve helped us reach our children in new ways."
-Becca Bateman, Associate Pastor for Family Ministries at San Marino Community Church (San Marino, CA)
"In the past, I really struggled to find a curriculum for our younger children to use during our mid-week, intergenerational ministry. To be honest, I didn’t think that what I was looking for even existed. In my mind, I envisioned something a little more progressive with a true message of God’s love. I really wanted to avoid cheesy illustrations or flashy trinkets. After searching online, asking colleagues for suggestions, and trying to modify other materials to meet our needs, I was so thankful to finally find An Illustrated Earth by Illustrated Ministry. 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. They are a wonderful way for the children to share what they learned with their families.
"I am so excited to begin using An Illustrated Compassion with our intergenerational ministry in the coming months. To really get people of all ages involved, I will definitely be getting the posters that accompany the curriculum. My plan is to have the posters laid-out on tables during the worship part of our evening. We have already used the Advent and Lent posters in worship on Sunday mornings, so An Illustrated Compassion posters will be a wonderful addition to our mid-week ministry. An evening of community, coloring, singing, worshiping…beautiful!"
-Mindy Throop Plick, Director of Children's Ministries at Placentia Presbyterian Church (Placentia, CA)
"Last summer, we used Illustrated Ministry's An Illustrated Earth curriculum as the foundation for our summer discipleship classes. One of the best things about the curriculum is how adaptable it is. On Sunday mornings, we offered an intergenerational Sunday School class. We began each class by coloring the Illustrated Earth posters. Then, we would gather together for an opening game or activity and a creative telling of the Bible passage for the day, followed by breaking into small groups (each one was made up of children, youth, and adults) for discussion. When the groups finished their discussion, they would move back to the coloring posters. The posters were displayed in our sanctuary foyer throughout the summer.
"On Wednesday evenings, we joined with a neighboring church, Colonial Presbyterian Church, for an outdoor (in the picnic pavilion) adult Bible study based on the same passages. They loved the coloring, too! We also taught some of the lessons during children's chapel time at our local Rescue Mission.
"We are excited to use An Illustrated Compassion in similar ways this summer. We are excited to hear they've added additional activities and we can't wait to hear the original music that is included! Thanks for providing such great resources! They are a blessing to our church!"
-Melissa Scott, Associate Pastor at Colonial Avenue Baptist Church (Roanoke, VA)
Delivery of Files
When you make your purchase, you will be taken to a page to download your product, and you'll also receive an email with a link to download An Illustrated Compassion. You will download a ZIP file where you can access all of the curriculum and music files. If you aren't familiar with ZIP files, a quick YouTube/Google search will help you figure out what to do with them.
There are a variety of MP3 audio files as well, and they will help you lead the music portion of our curriculum. Since these are digital files, and not audio CDs, you'll either need to play the music from your computer, or get it on to your phone or tablet. You can also burn the MP3s onto a blank audio disc to play in a CD player. While Adam would love to come and help each and every one of you, in person, burn the audio files onto a CD, it's not possible. So, beyond providing you with the audio files, we aren't able to offer any other technical assistance to figuring out how to get the files to play for your specific context.
Note: The curriculum bundle and modules come with coloring pages and music, so if you are purchasing the entire Curriculum Bundle, you don't need to purchase An Illustrated Compassion Music or Illustrated Compassion Coloring Pages - 8.5x11. However, if you only wanted to purchase Module 1, but you wanted all of the music and coloring pages for the entire curriculum, then you would want to purchase the additional related products.