Tru helps leaders, children, and their families connect to God, find their place in His big story, and respond to Him through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Tru is a digital curriculum offered in two ways: digital bundles from Sundayschool.com and a platform called Disciplr. All resources are supplied with each lesson for instant access and include things like:

  • Videos
  • Storytelling Images
  • Discussion Questions (Investigate)
  • Supplemental Activities (Games: Memory, Bingo)

Two Formats:

  • Large Group/Small Group (starts in small groups, moves to larger group for storytelling, moves back to small groups for discussion, response, and closes with a blessing)
  • Classroom Edition (a smaller grouping of age levels, usually in 2-year sections. Stays in smaller classroom groups for the entire lesson)

Age Levels:

  • TruBlessings: 1-year Scope & Sequence (3 Year Olds)
  • TruWonder: 3-year Scope & Sequence; Large Group/Small Group (Pre-K and Kindergarten); Classroom Edition (4s/5s and Kindergarten)
  • TruStory: 3-year Scope & Sequence; Large Group/Small Group (1st through 5th grade); Classroom Edition (1st/2nd, 3rd/4th, 5th/ 6th)
  • TruIdentity: 8 and 5-week modules based on books of the Bible (53 weeks total)
    (Middle School)

Current Scope & Sequences for each age level may be accessed at SundaySchool.com.

Leader Prep
The Inspire article shares personal stories from fellow ministry leaders about how God has worked in their lives.
The Equip article offers perspective and context to the lesson’s Bible passage.
The Support article provides reflection and assessment through encouragement, prayer, and time in God’s Word.

Step 1
Fun, creative activities designed to pique a child’s curiosity about the day’s portion of God’s big story and develop relationships with leaders and one another.
Features:

  • Minimal Supplies
  • Conversation Starters

Step 2
Children experience and learn more about God through Scripture, storytelling, prayer and discussion.
Features:

  • Ponder Point/God Statement
  • The Big God Story
  • Remember Verses
  • Prayer

Step 3
Children reflect on what the Holy Spirit is teaching them and respond to God through creative activities and games.
Features:

  • Worship Stations
  • Small Group Enhancements (optional)

Step 4
Before leaving, children receive a blessing from their leaders and sometimes one another. A blessing may be a portion of Scripture, or words to encourage and guide.
Send home with At Home Weekly.

Customizable Documents:
Each lesson comes with a customizable document so you can adapt the lessons to fit your ministry needs.

At Home Weekly:
A preteaching tool for parents to use with their families during the week. They will not only find out what their child learned this week but they will also be able to introduce the Ponder Point/God Statement for the next week.

Storytelling Videos:
TruWonder and TruStory have three videos per quarter
TruIdentity has a video for every lesson 

TruWorship Music and Media Packs:
Available on SundaySchool.com

Songs from the Playhouse (Preschool) Audio CD or Media Pack
Radio the World (Elementary) Audio CD or WorshipPack
Your Love (Preschool) + You Are (Elementary) Media Pack
Sincerely Yours (both ages)

Media Packs contain music, videos, and lyrics. For a complete list of available media packs and specific descriptions of each product, check SundaySchool.com.

To locate music on iTunes or Amazon, search: “TruWorship”

TruMinistry.com:
Lesson Samples
Blogs
Training resources
Weekly videos featuring Dr. Michelle Anthony, the founder of Tru 

Tru Curriculum FAQs

Large Group/Small Group

  • TruWonder and TruStory are offered in both LG/SG and CRE.
  • Their age levels follow the same Scope & Sequence, meaning they’ll have the same Ponder Points.
  • Although the Scripture passages will be the same, and the storytelling will be similar, the lessons employ different techniques between LG/SG and CRE.
  • They’ll have different activities.
  • Select which version you prefer, or use together. Some people use both—one for main service the other for midweek.
  • LG/SG: starts with small group activities, moves to LG for storytelling and some community traditions, moves back to small group to end the lesson
  • CRE: stays in classroom, smaller numbers of children, greater emphasis on building relationships between class leader and children.
  • TruWonder CRE: Utilizes Treasure Trunk for DISCOVER storytelling time, including the puppet “Gizmo.” Creates anticipation and predictability. Prayers & Praises Book encourages children to keep an ongoing record of their petitions, praises, and answered prayers.
  • TruStory CRE: Investigate resource invites kids to spend extended time in Bible study, investigating it for themselves.
  • TruBlessings is offered in one format (CRE).
  • TruIdentity is flexible to fit the needs of student ministry, but moves between times with the larger and smaller group.

Scope and Sequence

In Tru, the different age levels progress through the Bible in chronological order, briefly pausing for lessons on Christmas and Easter. We’ve intentionally chosen not to have all ages learning the same passages so they can focus on age-appropriate biblical content (a fifth grader is at a different stage than a preschooler). The TruWonder Scope & Sequence was recently revamped to be chronological so the ages would be in similar places in the Bible during the quarters. A benefit to giving kids a broad scope—if they begin with TruBlessings and progress all the way through TruStory (or even with TruIdentity through middle school)—is that they will have learned similar but not exactly the same passages as they move through the age levels.

Tru focuses on revealing the character of God through exploring The Big God Story (God’s Word). Each age level goes through the Bible chronologically every year, covering stories—some the same, some different—each with a slightly different emphasis.

Because Tru chronologically tells God’s story, every year the Scope and Sequence will feature some of the same important highlights that are part of telling the whole grand redemptive narrative of Scripture. For example, each year begins with Genesis (which covers Creation and Abraham). Additionally, we will always feature a Christmas unit near the beginning of Winter Quarter. We’ve developed Tru year after year with practitioner input and testing, and consistently heard positive feedback for having several Christmas lessons in a row to lead in December. Although these stories may seem the same at first, the lens through which they’re examined are different each time. For younger children especially, this familiarity helps them remember the main points of the lessons.

By touching on important passages of Scripture multiple times as they mature, Tru takes advantage of a simple teaching philosophy known as Spiral Progression: looping back to familiar concepts or stories over and over, adding details each time. For instance, the creation story found in Genesis is taught in every age level of Tru. By teaching toddlers the basic facts of this Bible story, as we do in TruBlessings, they’re able to begin learning about God’s love for them in a developmentally appropriate way. As children grow and their ability to process expands, the same crucial stories will be revisited but more details will be added. In this way, as a child grows they’ll hear the same part of The Big God Story but in different layers. Continuing the example of Genesis, TruWonder will emphasize God as Creator, TruStory will emphasize the eternal nature of God, and TruIdentity will explore how God takes us in all our brokenness.

Beginning with the Fall 2016 quarter, all the Tru age levels underwent revisions for better consistency and ease of use, including adding descriptions before each activity. As with all our content, we test with church practitioners for many years, seeking feedback and making revisions before it ever reaches our customers. Experience tells us that churches receive a new group of three year olds each year with Blessings, so the experiences are all new for these children.

Tru is not a topical curriculum because we focus on The Big God Story—the grand redemptive narrative in Scripture. Many topics are naturally covered in context, such as baptism, communion, tithing, outreach, mothers, family, etc. If you’re looking for ways to incorporate other topics your ministry is wanting to highlight, take advantage of the customizable feature of the Tru lessons. There are often ways to weave in concepts you’re wanting to cover with your families (taking our cue from Deuteronomy 6). For additional ideas, please contact a ministry services representative at 1-800-323-7543 or go to SundaySchool.com.

Storytelling: Videos

Storytelling videos are provided as a creative and engaging way to present The Big God Story (or introduce the God Statement for Identity). They supplement the Ponder Point (God Statement) and help kids better understand who God is in a way that appeals to their age group.

  • Both TruWonder and TruStory feature three storytelling videos each quarter, averaging about one per month.
  • TruIdentity provides one video with every lesson.

When a video accompanies a lesson, there are several ways to incorporate it, depending on your available time and the needs of your ministry:

  • Use in place of live storytelling
  • Use along with your own storytelling
  • Use for second service
  • Show and then follow up with questions

There are three years of videos, some of which have been revised slightly due to changes made to the Ponder Points.

Storytelling: Techniques

The Big God Story (or ENCOUNTER in TruIdentity) is the main part of each lesson. This is where children hear from God’s Word and learn who He is and how they can be a part of what He is still doing to redeem humankind back to Himself. Because it’s an important part of the lesson, with many people gathered in one place, the pressure can feel pretty high. In preparing the lessons for you, we’ve done everything we can to make this section as easy as possible. In addition to suggested props, bolded leader talk, and provided resources, there are storytelling techniques shown at the beginning to indicate how this part of The Big God Story will be engaging children. To familiarize your volunteers with how they may interact with the lesson, here are some techniques you’ll see woven into our lessons:

  • Visuals (photos, slides, etc.)
  • Verbally (speaking, creative voices, etc.)
  • Theatrical (skit or drama)
  • Movement/action (kids coming onstage, moving around the room, etc.)
  • Call and response (Every time I say, ‘King,’ you say, ‘Long live.’)
  • Object lesson (even a science experiment)
  • Videos
  • Interview format
  • Ambiance (lighting/room/sound enhancement)
  • Improv (kids or leaders acting without planning)
  • Reader’s theatre
  • Group game (a game that sets up storytelling)

Investigate

Investigate is still available, but in an effort to simplify the lessons, we’re now providing Investigate as a supplemental resource. Because it’s designed to explore the lesson theme and go deeper in more areas of the Bible beyond the day’s passage, you can use it to enhance your discussion time after The Big God Story. This resource is now listed as a supply with TBGS section, see Resources. (Note: There is also a supplemental Festival Investigation available with the Remember and Celebrate lessons, found at the beginning of the lesson with Further Resources. Use this anywhere in the R&C lessons that works for your ministry.)

Remember and Celebrate

Remembering and celebrating is an important part of Tru philosophy: to pause and look back, to acknowledge what God has done, so every age level participates.

  • TruWonder and TruStory: two per quarter (sixth and 13th lessons)
  • TruBlessings: last lesson every quarter
  • TruIdentity: last lesson of every series

The biblical feasts and festivals are integrated into the Remember and Celebrate lessons and follow a chronological path through the Scope & Sequence, rather than line up with the time of the year.

There are a couple of ways the feasts and festivals could have been ordered throughout the curriculum. We chose to put them in Messianic symbolic order. Many theologians point to the festivals as symbolic eras in the Messianic timeline. Tru has them in the order of New Testament significance of what has been fulfilled and what has yet to be fulfilled. When we look at Scripture as theologians have, we can see symbolism in the feasts by the things God has done throughout time.

Practically, there aren’t enough feasts and festivals to neatly line up with every season.

For more information, please refer to the How It Works document, Remember and Celebrate section, for your specific age level.

Worship Response Stations

Worship response stations give kids the opportunity to worship God corporately and individually. In addition to stimulating godly worship and praise, response stations spiritually affirm who kids are in Christ—God wants to hear from them and they see that they are a part of The Big God Story. This time is intended for children to freely express their worship as the Holy Spirit leads them.

Flowing naturally out of the storytelling of The Big God Story, children will be thinking about what they’ve just heard. Pause for a few moments and invite them to respond to God while they’re still feeling the impact, giving the Holy Spirit space to move and work within each child. When time is given and the response modeled, kids can reach out and truly meet with God. This is when the lesson becomes about encountering God—it’s transformation, not just information.

Make plans for your worship time, but prepare yourself and your team to hold them loosely if the Holy Spirit leads your group in a different direction. As your team plans for worship response as suggested in the lesson, try to create an atmosphere without expectations. As a leader, part of your role is to help the children understand the freedom they have to choose how they’re going to respond.

Although each week’s lesson will suggest a “Worship as Response,” there are endless ways to create space and prompts. Feel free to adapt to whatever will work best with your children and ministry needs. For examples, descriptions, and photos, please refer to the How It Works document, Worship as Response section, for your specific age level at truministry.com.

Teacher Training

At Home Weekly

This resource is designed to serve as a bridge between families and the church. This weekly can equip parents to not only know what their children are learning at church, but helps them to become their kids’ primary spiritual leaders. No matter what their own faith background is, parents are able to preteach the biblical content and lead discussions at home with their family. The AHW has undergone a redesign to add brief information for families about what was taught that day, as well as what’s ahead in the coming week. The weekly is provided in a fully customizable format so you can add details about your specific ministry or tailor it however you wish.

There are many ways to provide this helpful resource.

  • Print it and send it home with kids after the blessing
  • Save as a PDF and email it to parents
  • Print copies and place them at your entrance
  • Bulletin insert

Both Tru curriculum and HomeFront Magazine are founded on the philosophy that parents should be primary in the spiritual formation of their children. HomeFront Magazine is published monthly with each issue highlighting one of the 10 Environments from the book Spiritual Parenting by Dr. Michelle Anthony. Whether through lessons led at church or the magazine content, the common threads are to inspire, equip, and support parents in their role as spiritual leaders.

Visit the website to purchase HomeFront Magazine

Adapting Lessons

The activities and supplies provided are suggestions. Don’t feel like you have to follow them exactly. Although Tru has been practitioner tested through the years, it’s up to you to customize it to fit your unique ministry. One of the appeals of Tru is the customizable feature and the adaptability of each lesson. Many activities will offer options within the supplies or instructions (including the Small Group Enhancements). Feel free to adapt your setup, where you do the activity, the supplies you use, or even how you end up pulling it all together. As you become more familiar with using Tru and the flexibility it offers within its lessons, you’ll see places you can swap out, move around, naturally insert what you want to cover, or alter as needed.

There are no current plans to develop a high school curriculum, but several student ministries have had success with using TruIdentity, our middle school curriculum, for their older students. Because the modules provide a customizable commentary and outline for youth pastors to adapt for their teaching, there are many ways to make it work for your students. Here are some specific ways to adapt the lesson content:

  • CONNECT: Replace the game if it seems too “young.”
  • ENCOUNTER: The Lesson Commentary and Lesson Outline are written to support the Scripture passage. Pastors can take in this information as helpful context and then scale back what they share with their middle schoolers. Youth often come together for worship and then stay together as middle/high school for the teaching. They could stay together for the teaching or divide out at this point.
  • RESPOND (large group): The worship response stations are easily adaptable for older students. The questions asked, time allotted, and journaling are all pieces that could be extended or deepened for students with longer attention spans. This could include time in prayer on their own or for each other.
  • RESPOND (small group): These questions would be the best place to make adaptations for older students, making them deeper and more developmentally stretching. These questions are cut or simplified for middle school students.

Also, how you divide the students into small groups will change the discussions. The level, depth, and topics explored and resulting discussion will all vary depending on where students are. High schoolers are at a different place with different concerns than middle schoolers, but many of the same questions will apply.

Special Needs

Although it is not specifically certified for special needs, some churches have had success using TruBlessings with their special needs classes (feels more accessible and still keeps everyone immersed in the same philosophy).

If you would like further assistance in resourcing your special needs ministry, please contact a ministry services representative at 1-800-323-7543 or go to SundaySchool.com.