We can’t offer the perfect environment to the kids we lead. We can’t be perfect teachers. After all, we aren’t perfect. The kids are cute, but they’re definitely not perfect. Our buildings aren’t perfect. However, we can get very close to a perfect scenario in what we offer. We CAN offer them expertly crafted lessons; sessions, in the framework of a wise-plan of discipleship.
Here are five things that can give you the best possible scenario for teaching kids.
1) The Plan is strong. There is a framework of lessons, often called “scope and sequence,” that has an intentional journey through scripture. Maybe that journey is a cycle through key Bible stories. Maybe it’s a chronological trip through the Bible. Maybe it’s a book-by-book scope. Perhaps it focuses on key Biblical truths. Whatever the case, you should be able to step back and look at your curriculum and say, “That makes sense.” It helps greatly when the key monthly or quarterly truths can be pulled straight from scripture and point kids to God, not themselves.
2) Experts craft it. The lessons and scripts are crafted by vetted experts. Ideally, you want to use a curriculum that has been run through the “ringer” for theological strength, relevance to kids, and educational gauges: Seminary PhDs, KidMin leaders, Parents, Educational experts, Developmental experts. All good.
3) Christ-centered lessons. The language of the lessons would compel a child (and leader) to consider the attributes of God (i.e. his holiness, righteousness, mercy, grace, etc). These are the key components of God’s nature that allow Him to work in and through us. Does the lesson challenge a kid to “Go out and do this because this Bible character did it.” or to “Do this because of who God is?” There is a huge difference and it shapes a child’s theology.
4) The Church partners families to Jesus. You treat the classroom as an extension for what happens at home. This won’t always be the case, but you want your language to reflect the expectation that the church has in that it wants parents to be the primary spiritual source in their kids’ lives.
5) Leaders are well-trained. Every volunteer and teacher knows the plan and how each lesson fits into it.
1-3 above have everything to do with your curriculum. 4-5 have more to do with weekly strategy and will require constant work.
Choose your curriculum wisely and strategize how to imprint God’s Word into the life of your kids and families. This gives you the greatest chance for success.
Jeffrey Reed (@jeffreymreed) serves as a Kids Ministry Specialist for Lifeway Kids. He came to Lifeway with a wide variety of ministry experiences including worship leader, director of children’s ministry, and executive leadership in several growing congregations. He, his wife Katherine, and their four kids live in Spring Hill, Tennessee and serve on the staff of The Church at Spring Hill.