A Course in Christian Discipleship for Africa


Butere 2020


Children in Masasi























Rooted in Jesus Junior

Rooted in Jesus Junior
is a practical and interactive discipleship programme for Africa, written for use with children aged 8 to 14. Designed for use in Sunday Schools, for confirmation preparation and primary or secondary schools, Rooted in Jesus Junior has been adopted by many of the dioceses and networks already using the Rooted in Jesus adult programme. Many leaders have said that Rooted in Jesus Junior offers the first Christian curriculum that they have had for use with children.

Rooted in Jesus Junior is contained in six short leader's booklets, translated into the children's first language. In order to allow the children time and space to absorb the material in appropriate ways, each lesson of the adult course has been adapted to form two lessons in the Junior version. Each lesson includes simple interactive activities using commonly available materials, and the only additional resource required is a Bible. The emphasis is placed not on factual learning but on helping the children to apply what they are being taught to their daily lives.

Like Rooted in Jesus, Rooted in Jesus Junior is recommended by the Anglican Communion.
To download a sample lesson click here. To preview Book 1 on Google books click here.

"The Gospel must be properly preached, properly led and properly resourced to support the engine of the church, and it is children who are the engine, the strength of the church. We are just tyres; nearly worn out. Our children need knowledge; we must gift it to children and if we have children who have the Word of God the Anglican church will go far" - Bishop Hilkiah Omindo, Diocese of Mara, Tanzania

The aims of Rooted in Jesus Junior

Rooted in Jesus Junior holds to the same vision, purposes and structures as the adult course. It aims to see children:

Rooted in Jesus Junior can be used with children:

The distinctive features of Rooted in Jesus Junior:

How Rooted in Jesus Junior began

Rooted in Jesus Junior
is was first piloted in Tanzania and Uganda in 2010, and has now spread to many other places. Junior has transformed these children’s experience and that of their teachers, and in many cases changed their whole church. It offers something new to children and their churches: teaching that is vibrant, engaging and significant. It transforms the children's learning, their Christian experience, their journey into life and their growth in faith through an unfolding syllabus of Christian education that not only inspires, but is relevant, engaging and personal.

We believe that Rooted in Jesus Junior is of strategic importance in equipping the church in Africa to fulfil the great commission: to make disciples of all peoples. In most African countries the majority of the population is aged under 18. Child attendance at church is high, and the potential for a transforming experience of God in the lives of children is enormous. Children are hungry for education, and Christian parents are deeply concerned for the discipling of their children. In many places Rooted in Jesus Junior offers the first Christian curriculum for children, and provides an enormous confidence boost for their teachers. Everywhere, pastors and teachers have said that children have begun to take an active part in the life of the church as a result of what they are learning - praying, leading, witnessing. In some places children have invited their friends to come and join in, and the number of children attending church has increased dramatically as a result.

"Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not turn away from it" - Proverbs 22.6

Teaching materials and resources

The vision of Rooted in Jesus Junior is to see young lives given a future, a hope and a faith to live for and live by; and, as they mature into adulthood, to see them taking their part in the life and leadership of their churches, community and nation.

Rooted in Jesus Junior 5
Rooted in Jesus Junior 6


Rooted in Jesus Junior is introduced through a residential training conference for Sunday School teachers, run by experienced teachers and ministers who offer a combination of teaching, training and ministry. The conference can be run as a stand alone event, or combined with a followup conference for the adult programme. Rooted in Jesus Junior is normally introduced to a diocese or network which is already using the adult programme.

Feedback from Madagascar

"The conference held here in Fianarantsoa overthe last four days was fantastic! The team played their parts well, and we also saw the Sunday School teachers fully involved. They loved the practical exercises, and even for me as a priest there was one thing which completely took me aback. It was this: that there are lots of stories about children in the Bible! I hadn't really taken that on board before. But here, in the Rooted in Jesus Junior conference, we looked at lots of stories about children from the Bible. That touched me profoundly. From here I will take home so many new things. When I get back to my parish I will do everything in my power with my team to improve the way in which we teach our children in the Province. Thank you very much!" Ven Jean Flobert, Diocese of Fianarantsoa, Madagascar
Three years later, Ven Flobert reported that a new parish had been planted in the Deanery of Sakaleona, as a result of using Rooted in Jesus Junior to reach out to the children in three villages where there was no Anglican presence: "The big news was that we could have a new parish (Ambahy). It was the fruits of Rooted in Jesus in my region. For three years, we tried to bring children together in 3 villages (Ambodiharamy, Ambahy and Fenoarivo) to bring revival through the Anglican church in these villages. We used the Rooted in Jesus programme in this project. The Lord helped us; the children brought their parents to the church.After about six months we baptised about 20 to 30 children and adults. Ambahy is one of the places between Ampahomanitra parish and Mananjary parish which as yet has no Anglican church. Now we have four villages there with new churches, and we thank our Bishop who has appointed a Priest to care for them."
"Just recently, we had the very first children’s conference in the Diocese, and it was awesome. These children prepared for a competition where everyone had to show their ability in remembering the Bible stories accurately, memory verses and songs. Their teachers were trained in Rooted in Jesus which is a very contextual disciple program for the kids. This I believe will catapult the teachers to a new level in teaching as well as enable the children to grow in their faith. As they interacted with their friends, one could see the joy they had. One of the kids approached me and said, “teacher, I just want to stay here and not go back home again.” That showed that they really enjoyed their time and fellowship with the new found friends and the teachers. Nolavy Osoro, Sunday School Coordinator, Diocese of Toliara

Feedback from Kenya

"In November 2016, we conducted 'Rooted in Jesus Junior' training to a group of Sunday School leaders in Ruiru, north Nairobi. We have since re-visited the church, the bishop and his wife are good friends of ours - unbeknown to us this large church of several hundred members, quite a number who are school teachers and university lecturers, had been unable to keep Sunday School teachers for more than a few months, before they resigned. From the training in early November, to our being there again in late April, not one Sunday School teacher had resigned, and some who had declared they felt they would not be able to offer anything in that line, had come forward to become part of the children's ministry team!  We thought this was great news!" Brian Keel, Leadership Development Partnership
"The bishop overseeing the churches with which we were involved, and also one of the coordinators, travelled 2 hours in order to make contact with us 10 days after we had completed the training, in order to share with us that the previous day he had taken the children’s meeting in his church. This is something that he does not usually do, but felt he wanted to do so on that occasion; he began to share with the children from lesson 1 about having a relationship with God. At the conclusion he shared about the Holy Spirit, and asked if any of the children wished to be baptised in the Holy Spirit - 20 were filled with the Holy Spirit, and continued speaking in tongues for quite a while, so that adults came into the church building in order to find out what was going on." - Brian Keel, after the first Junior training conferences in Bungoma

Feedback from South Africa

"Currently, our Grades 2-6 use Rooted in Jesus Junior. Personally, I am enjoying teaching Rooted in Jesus Junior. I find that some of the topics/questions really encourage the children to ask questions, which I like. Ever since my Grade 5 started using Junior, they've always been 10-12 eager-beavers who are so committed to being in Sunday School every week and come at least half an hour before Sunday School starts. We go over what we learnt the previous week and then move on to our current lesson. I give the children rewards for learning their memory verses, and this seems to work quite well. It's all about Jesus, and I can honestly say that the Holy Spirit is indeed with us.” Lucy Burgess, Sunday School Superintendent at All Saints Belhar, Cape Town

"At Holy Spirit Kirstenhof the younger children use Rooted in Jesus Junior, and the older ones the adult programme.The Grade 6 and 7 children at CHS have been using the Rooted in Jesus Adult curriculum since the beginning of the year.They have enjoyed the topics and have really engaged with the material and there has been much in the way of discussion and questions. The children have particularly enjoyed the active learning style – they aren’t sitting back and being “taught” a traditional lesson, but are discussing, thinking, talking, looking up Bible verses, forming opinions, debating, laughing, praying and sometimes agreeing to disagree, but all the while growing in their understanding of the nature of God and the scriptures as they develop into mature Christians.The leaders have also appreciated the user-friendliness of the curriculum and are enjoying their role as facilitators, rather than teachers." Cathy Henderson, Church of the Holy Spirit, Kirstenhof, Cape Town


Feedback from Tanzania

"Sunday school in many churches are meeting under the family of one heart and one mind training. You can find in one church  more than three groups that were not there before. Now days we can hear voices of kids memorising verses, which is very encouraging to parents and many Christians that there is something new going on in the midst of children. In the Diocese of Mara we have 54 groups going on and doing wonders in memorising and sharing testmonies. Recently I (Revd Can Jacob Robert) attend a service for Sunday school to complete book 2 at All Saints, Nyasura, Bunda and witnessed how children are potential for the future of the church. The Anglican Church has future in Tanzania because children are brought up properly in a biblical teaching." Canon Jacob Robert, Diocese of Mara

“Rooted in Jesus has transformed our work with children; it is changing our church; teachers and children are enthusiastic for Jesus. It has taught us how to support and help our children grow in the Christian faith. Children do not miss Sunday School now. Christian parents are very pleased now as 'children have proper Christian education like the Muslims at the madrassahs'. We are helping children really grow in their faith. We value the syllabus for the church that Junior has given us. We had no syllabus before now. This is a new experience for us and it is good for us. Rooted in Jesus has given us a curriculum” - Canon James Almasi and Revd Carlos Marcus, Diocese of Masasi

Feedback from Uganda

I am happy to inform you that Rooted in Jesus Junior worked for us so much while at NEW LIFE MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH JINJA. From the time we adopted those materials, we experienced vibrant exiting Sunday school meetings with the children. The five Sunday school teachers that I trained using Rooted in Jesus materials have become very good teachers. They are now more practical during every meeting with the children. This has improved much of the children's zeal and love for Christ plus the church. A lot of spiritual gifts were realised like evangelism, worship, preaching, prayer, storytelling, drama, scripture memory verses etc. among the children. Some of these children lead worship during the main service and other church meetings. The number of the children which was about 25 at our church, it has now has grown to 150+"' Pastor Ali Mukembo, Jinja

“Parents saw their children change as a result of being taught the programme and have given thanks to the teachers. The children are now involved and very active in the lessons; they want to put into practice what they have been learning. Now they are smiling and praying all the time. Before we used this programme, praying was a problem and we did not know how to do it with the children. Now they all want to lead the prayer time and serve others, also to read the Bible.” Jane Nanyonjo, islands in Wakiso district, Lake Victoria

"Rooted in Jesus helps teachers stay focussed. It uses more creativity in its teaching style than we are used to which helps the teachers and the children learn and own the message. The programme has helped me keep the fire of Jesus burning among the kids in my neighbourhood.When the children’s hearts are ministered to, they resolve to change and choose good behaviour. Before using this programme, kids were fighting, bad mouthing one another and others were crying a lot in my classes. They are now gentler towards each other than they were before we started using Rooted in Jesus Junior" - Edwin Sengooba, Kansanga

For more feedback from pastors and teachers using Rooted in Jesus Junior click here.

Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it... Proverbs 22.6