One of the responsibilities ministry leaders have is choosing curriculum. With more and more companies and churches joining the mix, it can be daunting to decide which one to choose.
Here are some things to consider to help you make a wise decision.
- What’s your “why?”
The curriculum you choose should complement why you offer classroom teaching.
- What is your long-term discipleship goal for the children in your classes?
Determine if the curriculum will serve as an effective tool to meet this goal.
- Is there doctrinal alignment with your church?
Make sure the curriculum teaches what your church believes about salvation, baptism, the work of the Holy Spirit and missions in the world today.
- Is the Bible presented as the authoritative word of God?
The Bible must be the starting point for what is taught.
- Does the curriculum focus on the gospel of Jesus above character development and good behavior?
A relationship with Jesus must be the foundation.
- How much prep time does a lesson take?
Curriculum should include pre-printed resources and visuals that are attractive and reinforce what is being taught.
- How expensive is the curriculum?
Curriculum should be cost-effective for the number of children in your ministry, and the costs need to be viewed as an investment in children and not an unnecessary expense.
- Are the life application activities effective and doable?
Determine if there is a clear connection between the activity and the truth you are teaching. Activities should open the door to faith conversations and help build a biblical worldview.
- Are there family support resources for parents to continue the conversation and offer life applications at home?
Ideally, a church chooses a curriculum line that includes offerings for all ages, infants through adults, so that the entire family studies the same Scripture. Parents can then reinforce and apply what everyone learned on Sunday throughout the week.
- Is the curriculum designed to meet the needs of children at different age levels?
There should be an option for broadly graded materials for preschool, younger children and older children.
- Is there a clearly presented gospel presentation for younger and older children?
Children need to hear the gospel message at an age-appropriate level.
- Is “fun” an element?
Look for a balanced approach to the amount of fun offered and if the fun points to the truth being taught.
Most curriculum lines offer a month of free resources to preview online. As your church makes a decision, you can download multiple options and create a grid to aid in making comparisons. Remember, curriculum is an important tool, but like any tool, it is only as good as the person using it.
To improve your teaching and leadership skills, join us for the TELL 2022 Children’s Ministry Conference on March 19 at Pleasant Garden Baptist Church.