Curriculums come and go, Scripture does not. Don’t die on the altar to any curriculum. Hopefully, the curriculum you pick serves your church well for a long time. When it has run its course -just the curriculum, not your vision or mission- have the courage to let it go and begin the process of selecting a new curriculum.
How do you know if a curriculum has truly run its course and needs to be replaced? Curricula are long-term commitments. Hopefully you don’t need to change them all that often. But wait too long and it can do a lot of damage. Here are some signs that your current curriculum may be getting outdated or be in need of a change:
It is a remnant of a vision or mission for the church that no longer exists. It served someone else’s vision long ago, and the vision it supported is no longer the vision of your church. For example, years ago your church was doing “the purpose driven church,” and the kids’ church changed curriculum to “the purpose driven kids’ church.” Now your church has changed its mission to “reaching our world, one relationship at a time.” But the kids’ church is still using the same purpose driven curriculum. The rest of the church is going a new way; the kids’ ministry was left dangling. Time for a change.
The kids are no longer getting the jokes or references. Everything is so outdated that the kids cannot relate or connect with what is being taught.
The teachers do not want to teach it. They are not excited about it. They make excuses not to show up. You know for a fact that several of them are just teaching their own thing because they despise the curriculum that much. Time to amputate (the lessons, not the leaders).
The kids don’t want to hear it. They are bored, acting out, disengaged. They are not excited to be there. They are making excuses to not show up. They are not inviting their friends.
The parents don’t want to hear about it. They aren’t showing up for parent meetings, and they don’t want to sign up to help. They are bored and checked out and making excuses not to show up. Stop blaming parents and kids for checking out. Blame won’t get it done. Time to give them something they can’t wait to show up for.
It no longer fits your format. For example, if you were once all small groups (Sunday School) and are now switching to a large group (children’s church) format, this will necessitate a curriculum change. New vision, new direction, new format is a great time for a new curriculum.
Keep praying throughout this whole process, and you will see: a curriculum change for the right reasons, implemented the right way, with the right planning can ignite your kids’ ministry service to a whole new level. Use with caution; this kids’ service is now power packed and extremely contagious!