The wild came about from a need to present the gospels to primary aged school children. There’s lots of cool stuff out there to give to kids but not so much if we are talking about giving scriptures. The whole bible is about Jesus, so for a child, let’s just cut to the chase and read about Jesus walking around the planet as one of us, a human being. I would encourage anyone, who’s never read the bible to start with one of the gospels, especially Marks. This is because it’s short, to the point and full of action. Once a child discovers Jesus in a spiritual way their appetite for the rest of the bible is awakened. So we took marks gospel and set about making a kid friendly presentation of this biblical text.
The result is “The Wild” a cool looking magazine/comic book loaded with helps pointing a child to discovering Jesus as their friend, saviour and Lord. The first pages highlight the wild as a book all about the person Jesus, Followed by the big picture plan of salvation, probably the shortest bible overview you can read. Then comes the warning, when you read the Good news something happens. This page helps kids process the most important thing of all while reading the Gospel, who is Jesus to me? This page is connected to the back of the book where the Lord’s Prayer becomes a temple for kids to unpack what it means to follow Jesus. Then we have who’s who, which helps kids grasp the back drop of the story, and the part, that major historical figures play in relating to the central character, Jesus.
The wild is packed full of great pictures to keep the reader reading. As you look through it you will find a number of different looking Jesus, and not always gentle Jesus meek and mild. He’s not mucking around with demons and he’s not happy with the religious controllers. He’s not afraid to challenge and shape his friends into a team of planet shakers and he holds the crowds in amazement. He loves the kids and defends their rights and he never mixes his words when he speaks but says it like it is, because HE IS GOD! Some of the pictures you will find a little comical, helping the reader to put this 2000 year old story into real life, real people, and real circumstances.
One other thing about reading the wild is the colour coding throughout the text. Most people today, let alone children don’t read large amounts of print on paper unless they have an interest in that particular subject. So we divided the text into three subjects of particular interest. Miracles, parables and important things Jesus said. We are not suggesting some things are more important than others; we simply wanted to break this down into smaller bite size appetisers. Our prayer is that kids will become hungry for the word of God devouring the whole thing Genesis to Revelation.
I do think the best gift you could give someone is a bible; every child should be given the opportunity to explore the Jesus story in a way that’s meaningful to them. With the Wild presentation of Marks Gospel I think this happens. But hey, check it out for yourself.