Most churches use a wide range of volunteers to teach children. A few have a lot of training and experience; most have little or no training or experience. Some have been in the church for a long time; others have been in the church less than a year. Because of this wide range of experience in teachers, churches benefit from investing in biblically solid, user-friendly curriculum and training teachers in how to use it. The benefits are many.
- Teachers have confidence they are teaching according to the Bible.
- Teachers are exposed to varied teaching methods.
- Teachers teach systematically, covering many important topics rather than merely teaching their favorite topics over and over again.
- Teachers benefit from the insights of those who have studied the Bible and can speak not only from their own study, but also from the studies of others.
- Teachers have lessons appropriate for the developmental age of the children they are teaching.
Therefore, it is important to spend time thinking through your choice of curriculum. Here are some essential components of a great curriculum:
- The curriculum must be Bible-based.
- The curriculum must use a variety of teaching methods, not just lecture.
- The curriculum must have a scope and sequence, covering a range of topics over a period of time.
- The curriculum must offer some leader insights that will help you as you prepare to teach.
- The curriculum must be developmentally appropriate. Babies learn differently than pre-teens.
There is no perfect curriculum, so pick one that covers the most important things you need then adapt it to your setting. As a teacher, I will always stick to the Bible passage and memory verse, but will often vary the activities to fit the needs of the children I am teaching.
As I travel the country and speak to people in different churches, I can tell the churches who value small group Bible study. Teaching the Bible makes a difference in how people live, believe, and act out their faith. Being in a small group allows children and adults to ask questions and have some accountability in their faith. Small group Bible study and the curriculum it uses matters.
Dr. Chris Chun hosted a digital symposium with Dr. Michael Haykin and Dr. Robert Caldwell to discuss Edwards’ spirituality, devotional life and theological impact in American Christianity.