Our curriculum is disorganized
“The lessons in our curriculum jump around from Old to New Testament, and don’t have any clear process that takes the children through the scriptures. How can we fix that, or should we look for a different curriculum?”
The church attendance of today’s children can be very sporadic. The importance of “going to church” is declining worldwide. Because of these factors, some CM leaders believe that it isn’t important for a curriculum to systematically progress “through the scriptures.” Rather than give into society’s “trends,” it is important to make sure that children are introduced to Jesus early and often. It is also important for the children to be presented with a “big picture” of God’s love in scripture, rather than a “potluck” meal of disjointed lessons. This takes planning and dedication on the part of the CM leaders.
“For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God. Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.” Acts 20: 27, 28
Gone are the days when most of your children would attend church every week. Some of today’s children may still be “regular attenders,” but most of them will come and go over a period of 2-3 weeks. Because of this challenge, CM leaders have “retired” the notion of building a progression of lessons over a quarter of time. This “surrender” may lead to lessons that don’t fit into a planned “scope and sequence” that connects all the ages/grades into one flow of biblical education. Without a biblical “scope and sequence,” there is no real way to guarantee that the children are receiving a “balanced meal” of both the Old and New Testaments. When choosing a curriculum, one of the first things to examine is the “scope and sequence.” Does the curriculum expose children to the foundational biblical standards that led up to God coming to earth as Jesus? Do the lessons connect the Old and New Testament writings in such a way that the children see the “big picture” of God’s Word? Are the major Bible stories covered? If the lessons do rotate between the Old and New Testament, is there a connection between them? In a pure chronological study of the Bible, children may not even meet Jesus until the middle or upper elementary ages. This is not good. Children need to be introduced to Jesus “early and often” throughout the curriculum. If your curriculum bounces around without any plan or process, you cannot easily fix this. You can try to add lessons or swap lessons, but this can easily cause confusion in the CM team, or in the people who prepare the lessons. An easier approach might be to create some “glue” between the lessons in the form of introductions or reviews of the previous lessons each week. These reviews will also help the children who haven’t attended in a couple of weeks to understand how this lesson “fits” into the big picture of God’s dealing with humanity. For more help, click on the links below.
View other articles in the “Developing The Curriculum APPENDIX”