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Helping kids find God

Sheffield mum Joanne Gilchrist tells Sharon Barnard how her God for Kids app is helping youngsters to engage with the Bible

“Some kids are never going to engage with a book, no matter how exciting the content. So I decided to create an app that would teach them how good and wonderful God is, based on what he says about himself in the Bible,” explains Joanne, a mum of two.

“Sometimes kids need a medium that they already engage with and is fun.”

But she admits to having no idea what God for Kids would look like when she started the project.

“There was a lot of figuring things out along the way. I had to limit what the app could do, compared to what I had written because essentially, apps work best when they are simple.”

So far she’s produced two ‘adventures’ – Desert and Space – to help primary school aged children learn about the nature and character of God in ways that connect with them.

“The space theme was my graphic designer’s idea which I liked because this adventure is mostly about the big, omni-characteristics of God that make him God, so Space seemed appropriate.”

Joanne, who attends St Thomas’ Church in Crookes, Sheffield with her husband Johnny and daughters Gabriella and Briony, [their voices are used in the app] has been raising funds to finish two more adventures.

She is also working on a series of children’s stories using the avatar characters in the app – and earlier this year published a book about love and marriage.

The feedback on God for Kids has been encouraging.

“Parents love knowing the kids have something edifying to play on. Some have really enjoyed playing together with their kids, which is what I was hoping for.

“One friend’s daughter played on the app constantly when it came out!” she adds

“The owners of Appt – the app company I use – don’t have kids yet but once told me that it’s exactly the way they would want to introduce their kids to God.

“They said they were happy to take on the project because they believed in it too.”

+ Find out more at www.godforkidsapp.com
+ Joanne’s book Looking for Love is published by Malcolm Down

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