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An exhuasted looking women holding a lot of disheveled folders. She's probably so exhausted because she didn't choose a published curriculum.
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Top 3 Reasons for Choosing Published Curriculum

I’ve heard in the past that around 20 percent of children’s ministers write their own curriculum. (And as I’ve mentioned 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 choosing a published curriculum. I talked with some of our curriculum experts here at Group, and here are some things I discovered.


Top 3 Reasons for Choosing Published Curriculum

1. Time

How much time does it take to create a 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 2016 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 18.5 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 a 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.)


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!

For more great ideas like this in every issue, subscribe today to Children’s Ministry Magazine!


5 thoughts on “Top 3 Reasons for Choosing Published Curriculum

  1. LS

    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.

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  3. David

    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!

  4. Bora

    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.

  5. David

    Bora…thank you for your comments as well. And thanks for having a heart for kids!

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