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The Gospel for Moving Targets Review by Adrienne Falkena

Nancy Snyder
Shepherd Press
PO Box 24
Wapwallopen, PA 18660

The Gospel for Moving Targets, written by Nancy Snyder and published by Shepherd Press, was written to help “active children grow in grace.” It contains 67 lessons broken into three categories titled “Feelings,” “Transformation,” and “Attention.” Geared toward the children who struggle with self-control, sitting still, paying attention, and keeping quiet, The Gospel for Moving Targets is full of hands-on ideas and activities to drive home the points made and keep children engaged. Additional pictures to use are in the back of the book and there is a file on the Shepherd Press website offered to supplement the book with 24 PDF pages to print for the child to color, etc. The book is 288 pages, each 8” x 11” with a lay-flat binding. It retails for $24.99.

I used this with my seven-year-old son and eight-year-old daughter, and it was right on track for their capabilities. It would take very little adjustments to teach it to a slightly younger group, and little to no adjustment for teaching it to upper elementary ages. I chose to use it during our homeschool day, particularly planning it for one of my sons who all but has his name written in the description of the book. My daughter heard us beginning with the first lesson and wanted to join us, and it became the three of us working through it.

The lessons are easy to prepare, with notes at the beginning of each lesson. Reading completely through the lesson prior to teaching was necessary. It’s not scripted, but rather touches on the points you ought to be making as you teach. I would teach with my Bible in my lap, or more often, in the lap of one of my children and they would look up references. This helped keep them all the more engaged as we went. It would be easily adjusted to use this for an elementary Sunday School class, or perhaps even VBS with a bit of adjustments for time constraints.

Surprisingly, the lessons are not short. They would be easy to teach in two sittings if need be, but they did not oversimplify the gospel, sin, or our need for Christ. I rather expected that brevity would be the goal, since it would seem that Mrs. Snyder had written this with my squirrelly son and children like him in mind. This was not the case. There were many points to discuss, verses to locate, brainstorming sessions, and opportunities for prayer to become more like Christ.  We had many great discussions during and after each lesson and we never did have to wrap a lesson into two days because of attention issues.

When this review was offered, and I saw the title and publisher, I all but begged for it. I’ve been very blessed by more than one of the books published by Shepherd Press, and this book seemed to meet me and my son right where we are, in the thick of frustrating moments in life and homeschooling. More than once I wanted to cry during Section 1 as I looked at the next lesson and it all but spelled out the issues of my days. We’re still working through the last half of The Gospel for Moving Targets. I think it’s helped me as a mother and teacher more than it has transformed my son. As he struggled mightily this morning once more, my eight-year-old daughter sighed and told me that this study was not working. I beg to differ. I have a renewed focus to aim the gospel at the heart of my son. Even as we struggle, I’m finding more and more that God is teaching me, too.  I am encouraged.

-Product review by Adrienne Falkena, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, November, 2018