Curriculum… Good… or Bad…

So I’ve had a few questions lately about curriculum and Kids ministry. So I’ve decided to give my view on it.

If I may begin by telling you a story about Dr. Jeff Magruder. Dr. Magruder is a professor at Southwestern Assemblies of God University. One of his main focuses is proper exegetical preaching.  He passionately teaches students how to properly handle the word of God and bring forth THE biblical meaning in each passage presented. One bonus about him is that he’s not one of those professors who teaches techniques and theories that are out of date because he hasn’t been involved in ministry for 30 years, he is currently the Pastor of Abundant Life Church in Grand Prairie, TX. He is so good at what he does that he is frequently asked to speak at seminars and workshops on the topic of preaching. If you like you may follow this link to check up on his credentials. [link]

In the midst of one of these seminars he was teaching about crossing the bridge from the central idea of the text to the central idea of the sermon when a man stood up in the back of the room. The man straightened his jacket and stood very proudly. Respectfully he raised his hand to gain Dr. Magruder’s attention, and then asked,

“So tell me sir, at what point in the midst of all this preparation to actually expect God to show up in your sermon?”

You could tell that the seasoned minister thought he had Dr. Magruder in a corner. Without missing a beat Dr. Magruder smiled and responded,

“Sir, I don’t know about you, but I expect Him to be there from the beginning when I pray, up through the study of scripture and commentary, through the discovery of the CIT, through the discovery of the CIS, through my sermon on Sunday morning, and through the time when the people wrestled with His Holy word in their own hearts.”

Dr. Magruder has firmly grasped the fact of who God is. I’m proud to say that I am blessed to be surrounded by men of God who grasp the true nature of God for even my own pastor, Pastor Scott Ethridge of the Healing Place, has often been quoted saying,

“If we believe that God is omnipresent then tell me why God can’t tell me today what he wants to do in his people 3 months from now?”

In saying all this let me ask you this… why couldn’t God speak to you today about what you’re kids need to hear 3 months from now? For example, a few months ago God spoke to me about how our kids needed to learn about submission and authority.  As I began to pray and seek God about this I came across a set of curriculum sold by a well known church in Oklahoma on just that topic.  I believe that was a God thing. He directed me to a topic and then he directed me to a resource.

Perhaps that is people’s biggest hang ups on curriculum. They look at as ministry in a box. Don’t even need to prepare. Just open the book and say what they tell you to say.  But that’s not the case. Curriculum is a resource for you to minister to your kids. As I go through the lessons week by week I ask God,

“What is you want these kids to learn today? What is that needs to be highlighted in their lives?”

As I hear from God, which I’ve been listening since before I purchased the curriculum, I take the resources given me and I modify and shape and mold to make it for the kids of The Deep.  If the people from “Kids on the Move” came in they might see similar elements but the services would defiantly not be theirs.  What works in Tulsa doesn’t work in Shreveport. What works in the hood doesn’t work in the burbs.

So when you crack open that new HIllsong Kids Curriculum stop and think about your audience… who are you talking to? (by the way that’s one of the steps that Dr.  Magruder speaks about) Dig through the curriculum check their references. Not going to lie in the midst of my time here at THP as the Children’s Pastor, I’ve had to bring correction to different curriculums.

So in short, curriculum isn’t a bad thing. It’s only bad if you don’t take the time to really look at it and make it yours. You are not Church on the  Move (unless of course you are if so then… yeah thanks for visiting haha) you are you. Take the time to listen to God and what he has for your kids today, tomorrow and the day after.

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3 thoughts on “Curriculum… Good… or Bad…

  1. I am a Christian grandfather and retired computer programmer with a ‘called-of-God’ burden to excite youth, their parents, and leaders as to God’s precious word in application to ‘back yard missions’ and tech trash evangelism.
    I get some of those ‘Martin Luther’ feelings as I see the saturation of technology in the lives of ‘especially’ young people and yet nothing in VBS or youth curriculum. I’ve begun creating my own. I’d like to get some constructive opinions from you in this blog or elsewhere.
    Respectfully,
    Jim ‘Gramps’ Curtis
    Hillsboro OH USA
    Ps 71:18

  2. Ever Seen a Grown Man Cry?
    I grieve deeply every time I notice another youth/faith based resource distributed to disinterested children with cowboy and dinosaur themes. Like rubbing salt in an open wound, those same leaders joke about their preschool grandchildren can operate computers better than they. To top it all off, pastors stand in their pulpits wondering where all the church kids went.
    Before heaven I say I’ve walked out of several ministerial conferences to keep from literally screaming, “THE CHURCHES ARE ROBBING THEIR CHILDREN!!” Churches gobble up the latest presentation technology and quickly make it critical path tools, even very small churches. Dallas, it even breaks my heart to type these words now.
    The answer is so simple… It revolves around one simple word… in fact the word is found in the middle of your name… God gives us His simple answers (nearby) to our most stressing needs. The key word in your name is the word – ALL. I honestly don’t think that most church/youth leaders understand exactly what it means. (I don’t know how short these comments need to be, but here goes.)
    It’s helpful to use a new word in a sentence. I always like to find juicy sentences in scripture… look at 2nd Tim 3:17. See our word ALL? Notice what it’s right in front of. Now ask a nearby seminary grad or your grandchild if that ALL would include computers? (and cellphones too). Brain surgery stuff, right? Just like all of God’s nearby answers, we see another juicy sentence with our keyword ALL in it, in the previous verse… ALL scripture.
    Dallas, this is nothing like the scripture twisting of those Da Vinci Code clowns. God gave us what I lovingly call, God’s Computer Manual.
    Dallas, I sincerely beg you to teach me how I can get my totally free 30 years of stories, lessons, workshops from PRESCHOOLERS to post-parenting agers into the ‘minds and hands’ of professing Christians?
    I’ve placed all my stuff on my website. Nothing is technical, nor computer required, non-denominational etc. I have no sly devious agenda.

    GodsComputerManual.com (aka EvangelismGold.com)

    Jim ‘Gramps’ Curtis
    Hillsboro OH USA

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