3 Reasons for Choosing Published Curriculum

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3reasons -publishedcurriculumI’ve heard in the past that around 20 percent of
children’s ministers write their own curriculum. (And as I’ve
mentioned in this blog before, I used to reside in that camp.)
Since that time, my view on the subject has changed, and I’m now a
big proponent of utilizing published children’s ministry
curriculum. Now, your experience may differ- and if you’re a fan of
writing your own curriculum, I’d love to hear from you in the
comment section below. But today I’d like to share with you my
reasons for supporting published curriculum. I talked with some of
our curriculum experts here at Group, and here are some things I
discovered.

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1. Time   How much
time does it take to create life-changing curriculum based on a
two- or three-year strategy? I’ve heard of some people saying they
spend up to 40 hours writing their own curriculum. That’s the
equivalent of working a week at a full-time job! If you didn’t have
to spend a significant chunk of your whole week writing, what other
things do you think you could do for your ministry? You could plan
special events, visit your kids at their schools and have lunch
with them, talk with families…and the list goes on and on.

2. Money   Do you
save money writing your own curriculum? According to our
exclusive results from the 2013 salary survey
, compensation,
benefits, and visibility are on the upswing for professional
children’s ministers everywhere. More people are falling in the
median full-time salary range of $40,000 to $44,999, with 22
percent within this pay range. (Some of you are falling out of your
chair with laughter right now, I know.) Let’s say a children’s
minister has a $40,000 salary. If that person devotes 10 hours
per week to writing curriculum, that’s like spending $10,000 per
year on curriculum. Chances are, you’ll probably spend more
time than 10 hours writing and prepping. Now, while published
curriculum isn’t free, just think about what $10,000 could get
you-or where you could use that money or time in other areas!

3. Kid-focused 
 When you write your own curriculum, it’s difficult to be an
expert on all age groups and know where kids are in their spiritual
development. And do you know without a doubt you’re writing a
lesson that’s going to address all the learning styles? Is
what you write inclusive of the tactile, kinesthetic, and rhythmic
learners in your ministry? (We’ve found that most homemade
curriculum writers tend to focus on the auditory and visual
learners-typically the two learning styles they’re comfortable
with.)

sunday school

Kids LOVE these Sunday School resources!
Check 'em out and see why so many children's ministries around the world are having success with Group's products!

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Not every ministry is the same, and different
solutions work better for different churches. Writing your own
curriculum may work for you; and if so, let us know about your
process! If you are looking for amazing, life-changing curriculum,
please check out what Group has to offer. We’ll help you find
the perfect curriculum for your ministry and help you out every
step of the way! Either way, we love to hear from you. Let us hear
from you in the comment section below! 

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About Author

David Jennings

David has served kids around the world for the majority of his life. From Texas to Romania, he has followed where God has led him. Most recently, he served for six years as a children's director in the great state of Alabama before moving to Colorado to work for Group as an associate editor.

5 Comments

  1. Children's Ministry Magazine

    I am ministering in a foreign country, and most of the American material is irrelevant to our situation. On top of that, because many of the U.S. churches' children's ministries have the kids 2-3 hours on Sunday (children's church and Sunday school), the prepared curriculum has a lot of "fluff" to keep the kids busy. Although I've only written my own curriculum a couple of times over the years (because I couldn't find a prepared curriculum that covered the topic in the way I needed it to), I usually take prepared lessons from various places, put them together and adapt it for our group. Curriculum is a great tool–but even the experts can't foresee or know about each church's particular need or situation. I think there is a balance somewhere between producing your own curriculum or buying it–it isn't an "either/or" situation.

  2. Children's Ministry Magazine

    LS…thanks for your comments! I remember late nights looking at a leader guide and highlighting the parts I wanted to use, and marking out all the fluff or things we just didn't have time to do. Thank you for working with kids around the world!

  3. Children's Ministry Magazine

    I definitely agree with LS. Curriculum is a definitly a great resource, but every church, or, every class of Children Sunday School is different. I work in a migrant-church with lots of 2nd generation Australian Born Chinese. A lot of the curriculum we use will not fit 100% of our kids need. What I normally do is gather information from various places and select those suit the kids best. However, having a curriculum did helps a lot as this lays out the topics to be covered of the year and provides a skeleton of the lesson.

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