our curriculum is theologically “lite”

Your Question:

“The lessons in our curriculum are not biblically challenging, and most deal with ‘good feelings,’ or character development. How can we fix that, or should we look for a different curriculum?”

The Issues:

Curriculum publishers want to satisfy a broad spectrum of churches, so their curriculum is often theologically “lite.”  This is why some churches choose to write their own curriculum. Writing your own curriculum is quite a challenge.  It might be easier to supplement your current curriculum by adding specific biblical foundations that satisfy your vision and challenge the children.  Fixing the current curriculum is always the easiest first step before searching for a new curriculum.

Scripture Foundation:

“For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.”  Hebrews 5: 13, 14

Short Answer:

This world tends to “water down” biblical truth in order to not offend anyone.  The publisher of your CM curriculum is pressured to increase sales by attracting more customers who will buy the curriculum.  Therefore, they write basic curriculum that is less apt to offend a church.  The fact that you are asking this question proves that you want to challenge your children with more biblical “meat” and less “milk.”  The first question you should ask yourself is, “Can we add to our curriculum, rather than looking for a new curriculum?”  It is always easier and cheaper to supplement your current curriculum instead of buying a new one!  If you view your current curriculum as a “bland” meal (white rice, vegetables, steak, or fish), you can easily understand that the “bland” food needs more seasoning.  A famous television cook, Emeril Lagasse, is known for adding some seasoning to a dish with a flair!  As he throws pepper or spices onto the dish he says “Bam!”  What your curriculum needs is some “Bam”!  This is not too difficult, but it may take some time.  Someone on your CM team, or you yourself, needs to go through the lessons and prayerfully look for ways to make the lessons less “lite.”  The best way to do this is to encourage the teachers to add their own personal stories or testimonies to the lesson.  The testimonies must be connected to a scriptural foundation that goes along with the current lesson AND a challenge to the children to apply the principles to their own lives.  Many times, the lack of personal application in a lesson can make the lesson seem “lite.”  It doesn’t take much effort to add a personal application or challenge to the lesson. There are other ways to add some “Bam!” to your curriculum.  You can add biblical backgrounds to the stories included in the lessons; you can add visual experiences (videos, Zoom visits, etc.); you can add guests who come and share their own stories or talents connected to the lesson; you can connect the lesson to current news stories (carefully) as a way to reinforce the biblical principle being taught.  Whatever you do, do it with conviction and with the passion to make the short time you have with the children effect and fruitful! For more help, click on the links below.

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