The curriculum we chose matters. I often find myself in conversation with other church ministry staff and the topic of curriculum often comes up. We talk about ease of use, how well the activities work, and how the materials help us connect with parents but it is surprising how often the theology of the curriculum does not come up. I have noticed that curriculum decisions in churches are usually made by children’s ministry directors or by volunteers with very little conversation about theology. Usually, the pastor, the person with the most theological training in a congregation, has no input into the curriculum that is used. But curriculum always comes out of a theological perspective.
I was reminded of this when I read the September Ministry Report to Classis and Council from Faith Alive. I thought they really addressed this issue well. Here is what they wrote:
“Theology matters — even for 5-year-olds. Choosing a Reformed curriculum can make a huge difference in how children come to know God and God’s Word.
Many curriculums present the Bible as a collection of stories that teach moral virtues and showcase a variety of biblical heroes. They use Abraham to teach obedience, Hannah to teach trust, and Joseph to teach perseverance.
Faith Alive’s curricula view the Bible not as a collection of stories but as one story — the story of how God redeems and restores the world through Jesus. The main character and focus of that story is neither a moral or a hero — but God.
God’s story began in Eden and continues through the New Creation. It’s important to hear that story — whether you’re 3 of 103 — because it shapes how you know God and how you know yourself."
What do you think? Who makes the curricular decisions in your church? Is your pastor involved in that decision?
Here’s a helpful tool for choosing curriculum.