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Curriculum: Write It or Buy It?

Children’s ministers have a lot of choices to make to ensure ministry provides the best spiritual experiences for kids—while staying within the limits of time and budget. Curriculum is one of the most important choices you’ll make.


When selecting a curriculum, every children’s minister eventually faces one core decision: Do I buy curriculum from an established publisher—or do I write my own? Both options may have advantages and disadvantages. But the primary advantages to buying from a publisher include time efficiency, team input, overall teaching plan, and supplemental resources.

Top 4 Reasons to Purchase Curriculum

1. Time

Whether you’re full-time staff or a part-time volunteer, there never seems to be enough time to get everything done. Writing lessons each week is a very time-consuming process. A well-written and fully developed published curriculum provides a complete lesson plan, ready to go out of the box. Naturally, these curricula can still be modified to fit your needs, and many include multiple options to adapt lesson content.

2. Team Input

Most published curriculum is the end product of a large team of individuals working together to produce the best results. These teams may include writers and content developers who bring a diversity of experiences and backgrounds to the project. Proofreaders and editors ensure the material is clearly written, easy to understand, logical, and follows a thought-out and tested scope and sequence. Likewise, designers create useful visual aids and clearly presented handouts. Songwriters, artists, and many other talented contributors add additional content elements and provide layers of expertise and strength to the finished product. Together these individuals create a final product that’s far richer and more comprehensive than any one person could create alone.

3. Teaching Plan

In many instances, published curriculum is part of a larger scope and sequence that ensures the core teachings of Scripture are adequately covered. Developing a comprehensive, age-appropriate discipleship plan requires a significant amount of time and research and assessment.

4. Supplemental Resources

In addition to the curriculum itself, many publishers provide an array of supplemental resources to support the material. This provides a more complete user experience. Products such as wall posters, banners, membership cards, theme art, or special music can play a big role in enhancing the overall learning experience. Many also include weekly take-home pages to keep parents informed of what kids are learning about and to provide opportunities for extending the learning experience at home.

John Hicks is the national programs coordinator for Royal Rangers at Assemblies of God National Leadership and Resource Center. Learn more at ag.org.

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Curriculum: Write It or Buy It?

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