Friday, April 18, 2014

Sunday School Curriculum Reviews - Why Make a Curriculum Change?

In a couple weeks my curriculum reviews for 2014 begin; I'll also be releasing Side-by-Side Comparison Charts to help you as you evaluate curriculum looking for your best curriculum "fit". This year I'm also including info from people who use some of the curriculum, so, as we move closer to the start of my reviews I want to take a moment to consider some reasons you would NOT want to make a curriculum change as well as some reasons you WOULD want to make a change . . .

Do NOT make a change in curriculum if . . . 
  1. A volunteer or parent or staff person has information about a new curriculum with all the "bells" and "whistles".
  2. You hear of a curriculum another church you are familiar with is using.
  3. Your volunteers do not understand how to use your curriculum. 
  4. You attend a conference where a different curriculum is promoted.
  5. You have a new children's ministry director/pastor or volunteer and they liked the curriculum they used in their previous church.
MAKE a curriculum change if . . . 
  1. You have spent time carefully evaluating your curriculum by comparing it to your vision/purpose and the materials you are using are not providing the best "tools" for your ministry.
  2. You have carefully surveyed the children and families in your ministry and have discovered they have not been equipped to remember, understand and live God's Word.
If someone approaches you with information about a new curriculum, certainly take some time to evaluate and see if it might possibly be a better "fit" for your ministry, but if the curriculum you are using has the "tools" you need to help you realize your vision for the children's ministry, do not make a change just because someone heard of or likes a different curriculum. If your volunteers are unhappy with your curriculum or do not understand how to use it, but you know it is a great "fit" for your ministry - take the time to train them so they understand how to use it effectively and share your reasons for selecting it so they are able to see the bigger picture as well as how your curriculum will help them accomplish the vision of the children's ministry.

Always take the time to evaluate the curriculum you are using - ask questions of the children and families to find out what they remember from a week ago, a month ago and from the previous quarter and most importantly, what they have done to live what they learned. This is the best way to find out if a curriculum is a good "fit" for your ministry. If the children and families are able to remember what they have learned and can tell you how they are living what they learned - then you have found a good "fit"! If they can not do these things - most definitely look for a new curriculum! 

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