For those in children’s ministry, summer is often a time to reflect on the past programming year and plan for September. Besides making sure there is sufficient staff, training, and resources for the new year, it’s also a good time to evaluate your curriculum. Are teachers happy with it? Does it work with current age groupings? Does it cover the topics your church considers important? Does it include resources to connect with families?
Switching curriculum shouldn’t be done on a whim. Publishers plan out their curriculums to cover important Bible stories and concepts over a period of years. Sunday schools that are continually changing their curriculum risk having kids miss out on important topics. Too often, there’s the idea that a new curriculum will solve problems that have nothing to do with the curriculum. So, if you are rethinking your Sunday school curriculum, consider carefully before making a switch.
However, there are times when it’s necessary to change curriculum. Perhaps you’re using a curriculum that was chosen by someone else and doesn’t really fit with the theology of your church. Or maybe your Sunday school has declining attendance and it now makes sense to go to multi-graded or even a one room Sunday school. Or perhaps your Sunday school wants to try something different, such as going to a rotation model. You might want to connect the children more to what’s going on in worship and a different curriculum would do a better job of doing this.
Where to begin? The number of options for Sunday school curriculum can be overwhelming. Many of the denominations offer multiple choices. There are nondenominational companies offering all sorts of products to choose from. Should you go with printed curriculum or would downloadable be a better choice? There’s terminology like “lectionary curriculum” and “Montessori” to figure out.
PRC – Practical Resources for Churches can help make this daunting task easier for you. We’ll be offering a free webinar on Thursday, August 4, at 7:00 PM Eastern time about Sunday school curriculum. The webinar will include the latest news about curriculum, important questions that need to be answered when choosing curriculum, and review the different types of curriculum. We’ll go through the specific curriculums offered by denominational and nondenominational publishers. There will also be suggestions of resources that can be used as Sunday school curriculum for middle and high school students and a discussion of recent trends in curriculum. A booklet with active links to all the curriculum websites mentioned will be available as a free download.
The webinar will be led by Debbie Kolacki, senior consultant at PRC and a certified Christian Educator in the United Methodist Church. To register for the webinar, click here. All of PRC’s webinars are recorded, so you should still register even if you can’t attend the live webinar. After the webinar airs, you’ll receive a link by email to view the recorded webinar.