To Curriculum or Not Curriculum, That is the Question
One of the greatest challenges of starting a new children’s ministry has to do with curriculum. The pressure to produce a high energy, super creative ministry presses us on all sides. Big stages, lights, a talented class, worship bands–Kids Ministry has reached a whole new level. So how does a small start up church compete with all the whistles and bells of larger churches? Whistles and Bells that are very attractive?
The reality of a church plant is that everyone is probably doing everything. With only one service weekly, volunteers can lose steam if they don’t attend services at some point. In addition, you probably have barely enough volunteers to minister to the kids you have now. Reassure yourself that bigger is not better.
Curriculum can be costly. Most budgets don’t allow for the purchase of curriculum and sometimes sustaining the curriculum incurs an additional expense that most church start-ups aren’t prepared for.
I found in the early stages of ministry was to pull together my own curriculum. This is one of the reasons to love the internet, there are a ton of resources out there to make your curriculum more than a Veggie Tales DVD.
Rotation.org is a site that provides complete curriculum sets using different types of teaching tools to tell the same story. Most curriculum is contributed by other ministry leaders all over the nation. If you would like access to the more complete lesson plans available, there is a small $25/year membership fee.
Sermons4kids.com pulls together all the free resources online for you so that it is easy to sift and sort though curriculum sites.
Cmconnect.org is a social networking site for Children’s Ministry leaders. Through this site there is a group called Swap Shop where other ministry leaders are willing to sale or trade different resources with other churches. When I was on staff of a church a few years ago, I had a Children’s Pastor send me almost $500 worth of curriculum for free, all I had to do was pay for shipping, For the Swap Shop or not, I highly recommend this site!
However you approach your curriculum, be patient about investing in a certain KidMin program until you know for sure the direction of your church. The most important thing to focus on in your curriculum is sharing the Love of Christ in all you do. Beyond the lights, the music, the costumes, Jesus’ saving grace should always be the primary focus of all you do!