This often includes deciding what curriculum will be used with children, youth and even the adults. There is a vast array of materials out there, and it is often tough to choose what might be the best one suited for your congregation, your young people, your volunteer teachers.
Take time in making your choices. Don’t do it alone – assemble a team to research, study, and hopefully try a test run with a sample or two. When looking at each resource, look at several lessons at possible, as well as different age levels. A good run of thumb is to ask yourself these questions:
- Purpose: Why was it written? Does it match our needs?
- Theology: How is God depicted? Who is Jesus? The Holy Spirit? The People of God? Is it in keeping with my church’s / denomination’s theology? How is creation, sin, judgement and redemption explored?
- Type: Is it lectionary-based, Montessori-approach, Rotational/Learning Center, Thematic? What type will support our goals?
- Lessons: Is there supportive material for teachers? Engaging and a variety of activities for learners? Special supplies or typical on-hand materials needed?
- Bible: How is the Bible used? What version? Are Old Testament stories told? New Testament? Gospels?
- Worship: How is prayer included? Is it important to have lessons on the sacramental traditions? Creedal statements? How is Baptism and Communion explained?
- Publisher: Is it affiliated with any particular denomination that may impact the lessons and theology?
- Cost: Does it fit in my budget? Is it reusable? Dated? Extra pieces that need to be purchased for the program to work?
Here are some additional documents you may find helpful in determining what might be right for your church:
- Overview Chart of children’s curriculum
- Overview Chart of Youth resources
- Overview Chart of Adult materials
- Process for Choosing a Curriculum
You can also preview particular curricula and links to them on the web at my Resource Room in the Curriculum section.