Sunday School Curriculum Guide

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There should be a special graveyard for all those saints
of God who’ve died on the vine writing their church’s own
curriculum. Many churches can pull this off, but more churches have
watched some of their best people dry up and blow away because of
the heavy burden.

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There’s nothing deficient or substandard about these churches;
it’s just that it can be an overwhelming task to create curriculum
in addition to all the other children’s ministry demands. For
churches who are able to pull it off, the results are usually
phenomenal. But because of the huge challenge, we join with those
of you who’ve given up and shout, “You curriculum companies: God
bless you one and all!”

To help you wade through the mounds of ready-made curriculum
available, Children’s Ministry Magazine asked the top-selling
curriculum suppliers to give us basic information about their
materials. This is not a review; it’s simply a report.

Selecting a Sunday school curriculum is no easy task. It’s often
hard to even know where to begin. Use the questions below to help
you determine if the curriculum program you’re interested in will
meet your needs.

Goals and Objectives — It’s important that the
curriculum’s objectives fit your program’s goals. First things
first, though. Do you have a mission statement for your children’s
ministry? If not, determine this before going any further.

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Answer these questions:

  • Does the curriculum’s philosophy fit our mission?
  • Does the curriculum fit our theological emphasis?
  • Do the objectives of the curriculum help us meet our
    goals?

Spiritual Growth — Children need to not only
learn the Bible, but also to grow in their faith. Knowledge without
practical application, according to the book of James, is like
looking in a mirror, walking away, and then forgetting what we look
like.

Answer these questions:

  • Will this curriculum provide children with the spiritual
    formation they need to grow in Christ?
  • Are the lessons based solidly on the Bible?
  • Do the lessons emphasize understanding of relevant life
    principles based on biblical truths?
  • Are there opportunities for children to apply biblical
    principles?
  • Are there service opportunities connected to the truths of the
    lessons?

Children’s Needs — All children are different.
It’s important for a curriculum to meet children’s needs in a
variety of ways.

Answer these questions:

  • Does the curriculum offer educational opportunities for all the
    learning styles (visual, auditory, kinesthetic)?
  • Does the curriculum involve children in the learning
    process?
  • Are there opportunities for self-discovery?
  • Is the curriculum challenging for children?
  • Is the curriculum child-centered? Will it capture children’s
    interest?
  • Are there age-appropriate lessons and activities for each age
    level?

Ease of Preparation — Let’s get real! If the
curriculum you choose is too difficult for your volunteers, you’ll
have a revolving door in your ministry. Consider the needs of your
children and volunteers equally as you evaluate curriculum.

Answer these questions:

  • Are the lesson plans easy to understand?
  • Are there theological helps and insights for the novice
    teacher?
  • Are lessons neither supply- nor preparation-intensive?
  • Will volunteers feel “successful” and satisfied using this
    curriculum?

Please keep in mind that phone numbers, addresses, and
prices are subject to change.

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