Here’s a review of Club Hero curriculum written by Mark Harper ministries.
We started using Club Hero when it was first released in January of this year (2010). I had previously used “Super Church” years ago at my last church. I liked Super Church but it need some updating in my opinion.
Here’s Club Hero as I see it:
1) “Spirit-filled”. I won’t apologize for being who I am and what I believe. I believe kids are just as capable to understand these principles as was I.
2) Relevant- I hate that word because its overused but I haven’t another to describe it. Its fun and it connects with our kids really well.
3) Video elements. They do not make up a great percentage of the class.
- Each week’s lesson includes a short “Digital Comic Book”. It is a comic book pane page that has some motion and voice-overs. If you ask my 5th grade boys, their favorite part its the motion comics. They are short and it makes the kids want more. They don’t want to miss a week because they will miss what happens next.This segment also has a verse and bottom line screen.
- Each week’s lesson contains a review video to play at the end. It is multiple choice and the kids love chanting out the letter of the correct answer.
- As an add-on you can purchase the “short films”. These are about 3 minute videos that go along with the lesson but are optional. I would suggest getting them even if you don’t use Club Hero (or Super Church 2.0, which I will mention later).
4) Great lesson plans
- Drama Skits – usually a 2 person drama with characters from the original Super Church. These are great for us because we have a drama team of older kids and youth and they can do these. One or more character and one teacher is all they require. These are very humorous.
- Object Lesson – simple but powerful illustrations to teach God’s Word
- Interactive-Lesson – a game like activity that demonstrates the day’s point.
- Video Elements
5) Small Group Materials – we have started setting time out of each service for small group time and these are great. Each week there is :
- Icebreaker game and questions
- Bible Time with a story from the Bible that correlates with the lesson. The kids that can read take turns reading from their Bibles. They actually love doing this. Has a few questions to ask the kids about the passage read.
- Small Group Lesson Yet another illustration that is easy to teach fro small group leaders. Also has a few questions to ask the kids.
6) Partnering with Parents take home materials.
- Let’s the parents know the points we covered this week.
- Bible Time – a passage for the family to read together.
- Family Time- an activity for the family to do that reinforces that week’s point
7) Price – $25 a month and $49 for 12 weeks of Shorts films add-ons. You can cancel anytime and pay by the month. They also have deals for paying for a whole year. I pay for mine out of my pocket, so I don’t do the year.
8) Downloadable – the lessons are in pdf and mp4 formats. The short films are on a DVD. (I would like to see them be able to be downloaded also.) I like not having a “binder” of papers. Some people can’t cope without the binder. For those people there is SuperChurch 2.0. You can buy everything in the binder (including short films) for a slightly higher price that the monthly rate.
9) Online support forum – not many people onboard with Club Hero (last count around 170, I think), so not much action there yet.
10) Quarterly Series – 13 weeks: 12 lessons and one review week. That can be long for some people but we like it and our last series really went over well (Grow Up).
11) Developed out of a local church and not by someone who is not involved in children’s ministry. Mark Harper is the children’s pastor at Living Word Christian Center in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota (Minneapolis). He developed this to use in his church and then after using it tweak it and makes it available to public.
12) Feedback- whenever I have suggested a feature or tweak, Mark responded.
- We started using Club Hero on Wednesday nights but switched it to Sunday mornings and it works better for us.
- Our services are 1 1/2 – 1 3/4 hours long and we have plenty of material and frequently don’t get everything in.
- It does not have “themes” except for the “Digital Comic Book.” I am not big on themed (cowboys, knights, etc) teaching person so this works great for us.
- It does not have any sort of worship materials included.
- I am not using the curriculum on the dates it releases and it works out fine. It is not tied into the date but just works that way for release and payments. It is flexible to use whenever. I am actually almost three months behind because we took a break for a special series here and there.
- There is a free sample on the website.
- In the future I hope to see trading cards and other prize items to be made using the various characters that the digital comic introduces.