Are you experiencing that dreaded Children’s Church Curriculum dilemma?
It’s that time again- time to purchase children’s church curriculum for next quarter. And for some really organized folks, you are purchasing for the entire next year. Selecting a children’s church curriculum that is right for you is hard work. There are so many children’s church curriculum to choose from and so many different styles. Where do you begin? Do you even need a children’s church curriculum at all? Let’s talk about children’s church curriculum.
It’s a Big Decision
Even the best cooks understand you can’t cook everything in the kitchen. You must make some decisions before you begin a meal. Decisions like:
- What am I going to cook?
- What do they like?
- What do they need to eat?
- These questions are more difficult than actually cooking the meal.
YOUR KIDS ARE UNIQUE
Those are important decisions for your children’s church service as well. You can’t teach the whole Bible. They can’t digest the whole Bible at one time. You don’t have time to teach the whole Bible, so what are you going to teach? Ask yourself the same questions you ask when you plan a meal.
What do your children like?
What do they need?
Have you noticed how easy it is to give the kids what the teacher likes and needs? This method doesn’t work nearly as effectively as when you plan with the needs, interest and development of the children in mind.
Never forget: Children’s church is church for children.
Key Points to Recognize!
What characteristics are really important for them to develop? What are their needs? Where are they developmentally? The answers to these questions are crucial in the process of selecting your next children’s church curriculum.
Isaiah 28:9 “Whom shall he teach knowledge? And whom shall he make to understand
It was Sunday School promotion Sunday. The teachers were grouped with the students. Each teacher was given a turn to share a testimony. One teacher’s response almost brought panic to the young pastor’s heart, “Well, we don’t use the curriculum. We just talk about things the kids want to talk about.”
While I am a firm believer children need time to interact, but just letting kids talk for an entire service isn’t my idea of effective learning. I think the conversation needs to be purposeful and interactive!
Curriculum can be your best friend.
A good children’s church curriculum can:
- a. help you stay focused
- b. gives you a specific goal to work toward
- c. help you stay focused
- d. serve as a guide to get you where you are trying to go
- e. can be a springboard for individual creativity
- f. can bring unity of focus giving a team different components to add to the service
- g. can save incredible blocks of time
- h. make you look really good
OR a bad children’s church curriculum can be your worst enemy
- i. can be limiting
- j. can be frustrating to stick with it, if the style does not fit your teaching philosophy
- k. can lack spiritual depth
Have you ever made a wrong turn?
What if you decided to stay on that wrong road and just drive faster? Would it get you to your destination? It wouldn’t matter how smart you are, how fast you drove or how badly you wanted to get where you were going, if you are not on the right road you can’t get there. You simply must get on a road that will take you where you want to go.
Children’s church curriculum is the road map to take you where you want to go.
There isn’t one curriculum for everybody.
Don’t follow fads and what is working at the church down the street. With so many choices how do you know what is right for you and your students?
Determine “What is the purpose of your program?”
What do you want the curriculum to accomplish?
I want my worship service to contain 5 main ingredients.
- Solid Bible Teaching;
I want a balanced program, not equal portions.
1. Does the children’s church curriculum you are looking at have the proper balance of the 5 fundamentals necessary in every service?
2. Is the children’s church curriculum biblically sound?
3. Is the curriculum meaty?
4. Where are your children spiritually? You must lead from where they are, not where you want them to be.
5. What does God want you to teach in children’s church? Is God dealing with you on a specific subject? Is it God’s timing for this subject to be taught in children’s church?
6. What is your teaching style? Are you looking for stories, puppet skits, object lessons? Do you want the curriculum to be teacher driven or activity driven? Does the children’s church curriculum you are looking at fit your teaching style?
7. How much time do you have in your service?
8. How many workers will the program require? (When selecting helpers, don’t overlook the children in your class. They can be involved in your program. If you want to disciple children you need a curriculum that has something for them to do.)
9. Can the children’s church curriculum be adapted to fit your needs?
10. Is the children’s church curriculum age appropriate?
11. Does the children’s church curriculum meet a need?
12. Is the children’s church curriculum fun?
FOR MORE ON THIS SUBJECT YOU CAN PURCHASE
Cooking Up a Great Program
Great programs don’t just happen, they are designed. Learn how to organize strong programs that will impact your audience with a message. It will give you practical ways to pull the creative arts together to make your children’s worship time exciting and effective.
Have one objective
What do you want the children in your children’s church to leave with today? Don’t use a scatter gun, hoping to hit something. Place illustration after illustration on the bow of ministry, aim carefully each time at one specific goal. Don’t teach on tithing and “jealousy” and “forgiveness” on the same day. Set your objective, such as today I will teach on “love.” Each story, object lesson and puppet script should be on love. If you don’t aim for something specific, then you will never achieve anything.