While the word “curriculum” may solicit yawns from many people, don’t underestimate the importance of curriculum on your ministry! The foundation of your educational ministry is your curriculum. Everything else hinges from and is built upon the foundation laid by your educational hour teaching material. How high and how deep and how broad your educational ministry will be is greatly determined by curriculum.
HOW DO YOU CHOOSE CURRICULUM?
THE WRONG WAY:
- Use what you have always used
- Let your teachers each pick their own
- Look at tons of samples and pickone based on what appeals to you
- Depend on curriculum promotions
- Use what some other great church uses
THE RIGHT WAY:
- Determine what YOU would like to accomplish in your Sunday School educational program.
- List your educational goals
- List weaknesses with current material.
- Make a list of what you are looking for.
- THEN look at published materials that match your criteria.
- Every teacher used what they liked, over five published curriculums were in use, some taught without any published material.
- Repetition and Omission of Bible stories was not only likely, but expected.
- No idea what was accomplished in the years spent within the Children’s Ministry.
- Lots of good ministry going on, but no way to know what was going to happen, or to evaluate results.
So what did we do? I called for a planning meeting and asked our teachers to determine what we wanted for our children. (without looking at a single curriculum sample!) Here is the list of what these godly and experienced teachers determined we wanted:
- Gospel Oriented
- A comprehensive overview of the entire Bible
- Specific Goals and Objectives for Each Age
- Progressive, and not Repetitive
- Get children into the Word themselves
- Emphasis on Scripture memory
- High Quality Materials and Helpful Resources
- One year cycle (meaning teachers teach the same thing every year)
- Missions Focus
- Flexibility for teaching styles and holidays
- Tools to help parents engage in the process
THEN we hunted to see if any curriculum met ALL of these criteria.
Only one curriculum offered all the things above that our teachers wanted:
NOW IS THE TIME TO EVALUATE YOUR CURRICULUM. We used DiscipleLand long enough to see kids go entirely through the process and could see the results.
They have since added AMAZING on-line tools for kids and parents to further engage in the learning going on at church. You MUST check out DiscipleZone.com
FOR AN IN-DEPTH REPORT I WROTE ON DISCIPLELAND CHECK OUT THE KIDOLOGY SPOTLIGHT MINISTRY RESOURCE: DISCIPLELAND
If you haven’t done so already, NOW is the time to re-evaluate what you are using this fall in your educational ministry. Here is a quote we recently had posted in the forum discussion on DiscipleLand:
We ended up dividing our kids 6-9 and 10-12 and used DiscipleLand with the younger and it was amazing! The kids loved it, which is totally cool because it didn’t have any “high techy” stuff, but kept their undivided attention. I loved that during our review this past Wed the kids retained most everything! This is 2 thumbs up! Thank you Karl for introducing us to this. I would not hesitate to tell anyone to give this a try. They will be hooked.
For some VERY HELPFUL TOOLS for evaluating your ministry, be sure to see the evaluations available on the DiscipleLand Equipping Center. Every ministry ought to work through these tools WHETHER OR NOT they use DiscipleLand, or DiscipleLand will fit their ministry structure or needs.
Check out DiscipleLand, you’ll be glad you did! There is a reason more and more churches and switching to DiscipeLand!