Questions About Curriculum
What's the hottest curriculum right now?
What's the best curriculum right now? What's the curriculum everybody's talking about right now? The truth is, that there is just a lot of good curriculum out there. So it's not as easy as me saying, "You need to use this curriculum. It's the best one." Here's why: Although there are curriculums that I personally like the best, and that we're using in our church right now, it's not because of the marketing content or the box. It's more because I looked at the kids in my ministry, and the way we do ministry, and the goals that I have for the kids in my ministry. And I've looked at, "Okay, what curriculum out there is going to help me best get from point A to point B with these kids?"
You have to do a little work and a little research on this, but there is a ton of good curriculum out there that you can get in the mail, that you can get digitally online, there is free curriculum, there's curriculum that you can pay for, there is curriculum that you could write yourself, which we'll talk about that in a little bit. There are a lot of options. When people ask me what's the best curriculum out there, this is kind of what I always go back to: you actually need to step back a little bit and look at what are your goals, where are your kids, how are you doing ministry, and then find something that's going to help us get from here to here quicker.
Should I be writing my own curriculum?
I think there are some kids pastors out there that are really wrestling with this one. Like, "Hey, should I be writing my own curriculum? If I use someone else's curriculum, is that making me lazy? Should I really know what my kids' needs are and be addressing that myself, or is it okay to buy a curriculum and use it?" I look at the curriculum providers as a gift to the church, because it frees up a ton of man hours and it's really good stuff.
What should we look for in a curriculum?
I'll just start by saying what you don't want to look for is the easy, volunteer-friendly curriculum. I understand volunteers are busy, and I have nothing against making it as easy as possible for the volunteers, but that's not the end goal. The end goal in a curriculum is moving kids from here to here, taking them down the discipleship journey. Growing their faith. Those are the goals. I'm not going to buy just because something looks easy. I'm not going to buy just because it's marketed cool or looks fun. I think there are some questions you really have to wrestle through as you look at what you do need to look for in a curriculum.
I want to encourage all of you that are reading. Kids need a solid biblical foundation upon which to build the rest of their lives. I was just talking to someone about this yesterday in my office, about the importance of just teaching kids those Bible stories, those Bible truths, those Bible doctrines. When you teach that to kids, that really does stick, and it lays that solid foundation upon which those teenage years can build, those adult years can build.
My number one for you, when you're looking at curriculum, you want to make sure it is super Bible-based; that it is going to get kids in the word, teaching them the word. It's not just about the fluff. It's not just about teaching to be a good kid, but I'm really helping them get grounded in the word.
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