When deciding which curriculum to use for your class or children’s ministry, it is important to be intentional and prayerful in your search.
A good curriculum should allow you to teach God’s truth from Scripture to build up and equip students for daily living.
Obviously, the application is different for children than adults, but we must teach what the Bible actually says and listen to what God is teaching rather than teaching our own interpretations.
Tips and resources
Fortunately, many good resources are available. Follow these four tips to make your search easier:
- Ensure your choices are age-appropriate. It can be easy to go over children’s heads when teaching or to oversimplify a lesson and misstate the key truths. The best curriculums introduce theological concepts to children in a way that best fits their ages.
A frequent issue, especially in small churches, is having a large group with a wide range of ages. Most of the time in a situation like this, it is best to target the middle group — look for lessons that will not lose the interest of the older children but also will not be too far above the learning level of the younger children. For example, if your children’s group includes first through fifth graders, aim for the third grade level. This will help balance out the other ages.
- Use the strengths of your leaders and children. If you have leaders who are musically inclined, find a curriculum using music as part of the teaching plan. If your children’s ministry is full of athletes, use games to teach them more about Jesus. The same could be said of arts and crafts, large groups, small groups and table activities.
If you know your people, you can use curriculum that will make teaching easier to engage. Don’t make it harder on your teachers than it needs to be. Prayerfully match their gifts with the curriculum.
- Find something engaging and creative. We want children to come to church to hear the good news and know God loves them and has a plan for their lives. That message and our focus are too important not to make teaching engaging and creative. That is what Jesus did with His stories and object lessons.
Use a science experiment to help further the message or a musical motion time to help children be more engaged. Yes, you want to sit down and truly study God’s word and dive into what the Bible says — the Bible is always our text and the center of everything we do.
But children, especially in today’s culture, learn through many different means, so let’s make use of all that is appropriate. Look for resources that allow for creativity and address different learning styles while always pointing to the biblical lesson.
- Choose gospel-centered curriculum. Everything in the Bible points to salvation through Jesus. We should follow that example. This does not mean you have an altar call after each Bible study with children, but letting them see and hear the gospel message is most important.
Sharing the gospel is urgent because you never know when it will click in their heads. The curriculum you choose must be gospel centered. This is the most essential component. As you research curriculum you should always be asking: “What will this teach our kids about Jesus?”
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