“A Big Year” is an electronic media initiative to foster faith development across age groups over a twelve month period. Started by the Churches of Christ in Queensland, the project is now supported by the Uniting Church and is being developed as an inter-church venture.
“A Big Year” features a website; app for iPhone/iPad or Android device, a Facebook page, and videos. There are three ‘streams’ – individual adults, families with primary-aged children and youth groups.
When you sign up on the website, you are presented with some activities to undertake each month. There’s an audio introduction. The activities are grouped for “Monks” (contemplative) , “Cheerleaders” (social), and “Activitists” (practical action) – with ideas for individuals, families and youth groups. In month 1, there’s nothing overtly Christian about the activities. Bible readings are suggested, as is a move to watch “Pay It Forward”.
For the current month, the theme is “Love Your Enemies” and the notes are available as PDF downloads. Apparently the website is currently under revision.
Once you’ve signed on to the online community through the website you can see messages from other community members and the administrators. You can also set up or join groups. This is a neat feature for groups from a particular church or network, and clearly a lot of groups are already using the resource as a basis for their group life or to supplement it. (One is called “Beer and Bible”…)
At the time of writing I can’t seem to get the iPhone app to log in, so when I can I’ll add some info about the app and what it does. (I’m assuming that it’s a mobile version of the website, more or less.)
Overall it’s a pretty impressive setup. I’ll be interested to see what the content it like, both educationally and theologically. The whole approach seems fairly active, not so much about teaching Bible or doctrine, more about living as disciples – but that impression may change. Personally, I think I’d like something a bit meaty and challenging to discuss as well.
Here’s the intro video:
If you are taking part in “A Big Year” at the same time as others. you can interact with others around the monthly theme. (Alternatively you can start anytime and go at your own pace.) Here’s the “Love Your Neighbour” Video from this month’s theme.