Looking for a new children’s ministry curriculum? Here are seven sacrifices you should never make.
Experts who’ve studied how change plays out in organizations—including churches—warn that when you change too much at once the wheels can fall off. So ask yourself: Do you really need to change everything about your ministry? Who are we kidding? You’ve already got it going on. Your philosophy of ministry is solid. You know your kids and teachers. God’s using you and your volunteers.
Here’s the problem: Sunday school curriculum options often force you to fit into their mold, requiring you to cut vital aspects of your ministry. Here are a few cautions as you do next quarter’s curriculum shopping…
7 Sacrifices You Shouldn’t Make for a New Curriculum
1. Don’t sacrifice your ministry philosophy.
You know your people best–teachers, kids, parents. If choosing a curriculum means throwing your ministry philosophy out the window, it’s simply not for you. Find something that builds on the best of your ministry.
2. Don’t sacrifice your volunteers for a different curriculum.
Forcing volunteers to teach in a way that is unnatural for them will cause burnout. If they have the option to teach the way they are naturally wired, they’re going to flourish! Finding something for everyone is easier than you think.
3. Don’t sacrifice flexibility (ever-changing schedules, anyone?).
Maybe “big church” is having a special service which means shortening your normal Sunday school time. Maybe it’s a beautiful day outside and you want to take Sunday school to the front lawn! Or maybe both teachers and kids have been dragging their feet lately and you want to throw in a few extra upbeat worship songs for a little morale boost on Sunday morning. Whatever it is, you shouldn’t have to throw out the entire lesson that week. Find something that works in conjunction with your ever-changing schedule. No force-fitting.
4. Don’t sacrifice Bible depth for a new curriculum.
You know your kids are smart and their little hearts are experiencing transformation through God’s Word. Give them the good stuff. Throwing more memory verses into lessons may not be the best way to go deeper into God’s word. You want Sunday school lessons that show kids how applicable the Bible is to their life. Don’t settle for something that is “Bible light” when Bible depth is out there.
5. Don’t sacrifice fun.
Good theology doesn’t mean bored kids…Jesus isn’t boring. Anyone who has read it knows the Bible is chock-full of the craziest stories! Make sure that you let your kids see the Bible for what it really is—miraculous, awesome, powerful. Find something that engages them.
6. Don’t sacrifice your church culture.
Missions, worship, outreach—whatever your congregation’s sweet spot and emphasis, don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. A new curriculum is full of exciting new opportunities for your ministry, but you’re going to want it to align with what’s at the heart of your church.
7. Don’t sacrifice your sanity.
We talked about the church’s schedule…now let’s talk about yours. You want to focus your time on kids and relationships. But often times your job description goes from “minister to children” to “curriculum rewriter.” I know, you need more coffee just thinking about it. Don’t buy a curriculum if it’s going to consume your time and your gusto. Your ministry should captivate your kids, not your sanity.
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