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A female children's ministry leader writing on a huge sheet of paper as she goes through the curriculum guide.
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Children Ministry Magazine’s Sunday School Curriculum Guide

Use this Sunday school curriculum guide to find the best Sunday school curriculum for kids!

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.

There’s nothing substandard about these churches; it’s just that it can be an overwhelming task to create curriculum on top of all the other children’s ministry demands. For churches who are able to pull it off, the results are usually great. 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!”

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.

Children Ministry Magazine’s Sunday School Curriculum Guide

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.

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

Since 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

Lastly, 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 the curriculum.

Answer these questions:

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

Download our free curriculum evaluation tool to help you choose the best curriculum for your kids!


Want more articles for children’s ministry leaders? Then check these out.

7 thoughts on “Children Ministry Magazine’s Sunday School Curriculum Guide

  1. I read your article. It was great with tons of thought provoking questions to ask ourselves. But where is the Sunday school curriculum report that you got from the top curriculum suppliers? I didn’t see it anywhere in the article. Thanks for your help!

  2. Sarah Johnson

    Bait & Switch? Looking for the curriculum report – just got a sales pitch for Group.

    • Christine Yount Jones

      Sorry about that! Were you able to download the Curriculator article?

  3. The curric guide provides helpful questions for evaluating curriculum and the “Curriculator” pdf is helpful. But still looking for the curriculum report from top suppliers you mentioned in your intro. Any hints on where to find that?

  4. Hi! “Children’s Ministry Magazine asked the top-selling curriculum suppliers to give us basic information about their materials. ” I seem to be missing the link to this “Basic Information about their materials.” Can you re- post the link in an obvious place here for us?

    • Christine Yount Jones

      Steve, it looks like that information was too out-of-date to post so we’ve deleted that sentence.

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