Even the greenest children's ministry worker knows about curriculum. We'd be willing to bet that – even without a day in the trenches of ministry – the word "curriculum" would bring an anxious shiver across their body.
Overstated? Perhaps. But the importance of curriculum can't be over-emphasized. Especially in children's ministry. Not only does it give teachers the freedom to teach (usually with little-to-no prep time), its primary function is to deliver age-appropriate content to kids across an entire spectrum of social and cognitive development.
The spectrum of children's curriculum is broad. While, once again, there isn't a magical curriculum that will serve all your needs, some of them will come pretty close. The trick, then, becomes figuring out what type of curriculum you need, based on learning goals and the specific context of your church.
While some curriculum options defy category, most of them do fall into one of five broad categories, including Biblical stories, lectionary-focused, topic-based, one-room, and the rotation model.
- Do you want a general, chronological overview?
- Is a more topical (but still Biblically-based) focus appropriate?
- Is it age-appropriate?
Another curriculum option frames the scope and sequence around the Revised Common Lectionary. Each week, children read scripture, hear stories, and participate in crafts or other activities based around the week’s readings. This is helpful for obvious reasons. It allows kids to get plugged into the greater worshiping life of the church and helps parents make connections between what kids learned in Sunday school and what they experience in worship.
Topical curriculum, once again, is self-explanatory. A curriculum of this type organizes a scope and sequence around various Biblical, social, and theological topics. It introduces theological and Biblical issues to kids, but it also begins the process of combining theological thinking and everyday praxis. What do you believe? Okay, now how does that work in the world?
One-room Sunday school is a good fit for smaller churches or for churches who have unpredictable Sunday school attendance from week to week. This gives you the option to bring children across multiple age groups together in one room – giving them the opportunity to learn together with appropriate activities for that setting.
Rotation Sunday school offers a variety for your Sunday school students. The curriculum is set up to rotate (as the name suggests!) to a different focus each week. These can include cooking, storytelling, art and science, and even liturgical options! Similar to a topical approach, the rotation model allows kids to investigate and experience their faith in a number of ways. It can also work well for smaller Sunday schools where you have multiple
This has been an excerpt from our eBook available through Spark House Digital “Value of using Sunday school curriculum”. Download it here.