Children's Ministry, Faith Nurture
Tools and Resources for Choosing Sunday Morning Children’s Ministry Curriculum
July 21, 2022
Updated August 16, 2022
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All curricula teaches theology in some way. Whether during education hour or the worship service, the curriculum your church uses is introducing your children to God’s word. Are you certain it’s teaching the Bible in a way that is consistent with your theology?
In August, as a part of the Inspire conference, Faith Formation Ministries’ Mimi Larson, Laura Keeley and Jill Benson showed how pastors, church leadership, parents and children’s ministry leaders should know what children are learning on Sunday morning. In preparation for that workshop, they assembled this comprehensive list of resources and tools that will help you choose and use a curriculum that points children to God.
FREE! Helpful Tools:
A Ten Question Tool for Choosing Children’s Ministry Curriculum: This tool, and the accompanying video, was developed to support you in the curriculum decision making process. It features ten topics to consider when making your selection; each with a question or two that you’ll want to answer before determining your choice.
The Building Blocks of Faith Toolkit: This toolkit answers the question, “What helps people of all ages grow in faith?” through the lens of the Building Blocks of Faith—four basic spiritual needs that are met in Christ: the need to belong, know and understand, have hope, and be called and equipped.
Resources for Parents and Children’s Ministry Leaders/Volunteers
Shaped by God by Robert J. Keeley: In this accessible anthology, twelve experts share their perspectives on faith formation at home, in worship, in education, in intergenerational contexts, with people with developmental disabilities, and more.
Handing Down the Faith by Christian Smith and Amy Adamczyk: The authors’ report on their research shows how the role of parents has never been greater in the faith growth of their children.
Dear Parent by Laura Keeley and Robert J. Keeley: Using the framework of the four "Building Blocks of Faith," this book encourages parents as they help their children to find their place in God's family, know God's story, live in hope, and discover their calling.
Parenting in the Pew by Robbie F. Castleman: This classic book offers a vision for the possibilities of worship with children and parents. It is an approachable read with excellent ideas for use in your family or church.
Reformed Worship: Reformed Worship is a collection of resources available through social media, monthly enewsletters, a website, and a growing digital library, all based on a quarterly print magazine that provides practical help and support to worship planners. The theme of their latest issue is “What About the Kids,” and many of their past issues include children, youth and intergenerational resources.
Books for Children (and Adults!)
Wonder Awaits! by Caroline Hamilton-Arnold: This book and corresponding video provide an entry point for child and parent to look with wonder and joy at the world God has made.
Five Pictures Books That Tell God’s Big Story: Picture books bring stories alive in a way that words alone cannot. This post gives five picture books that can be used to share God’s story with children.
Children’s Ministry Curriculum
The Bible Story Handbook by John H. Walton and Kim E. Walton: Working through 175 Bible stories, this helpful book examines seven elements in each story: focus, theme, application, place in the Bible, interpretational issues, historical and cultural background, and age-group appropriateness, as a way to help children’s ministry leaders and parents present these stories in a God-centered way.
DWELL Children’s Ministry Curriculum: DWELL invites kids to live into God’s story of creation, fall, redemption, and restoration. And it encourages kids to live out of God’s story every day as they respond to God’s call. It includes age-graded materials for preschool through grade 8 and a multi-age resource for ages 5-10. (Compare age-graded and multi-age materials.)
Follow Me Curriculum: This intergenerational curriculum focuses on the practices Jesus did and taught his followers to do. People of all ages will explore the biblical passages about these practices and how they have been used historically as well as how they are used in Christian faith today.
Worship & Wonder: This method (also know as Children and Worship) of introducing children to worship makes room for wonder, invites children to engage with the Bible in age-appropriate ways, and creates space for children to meet with God. Specific materials for this approach include: Young Children and Worship, Following Jesus, and various wooden storytelling props which can be purchased from Worship Woodworks. Godly Play is a similar approach to children’s worship.
Engaging Children in Worship: Perspectives for Churches to Consider: In this helpful resource Faith Formation Ministries and Worship Ministries share what they learned from a year of discussing what informs and shapes best practices for engaging children in the worshiping community. It explores how children make meaning of their faith and provides suggestions for how churches can nurture this meaning-making in worship.
God Loves Me Storybooks by Patricia L Nederveld: This set of 52 colorful storybooks, designed for children ages 2-3, is a meaningful way to nurture faith at home and at church. Each book retells a Bible story in simple language that young children can understand and includes a prayer and suggestions for learning-through-play activities.
Every Pastor in the CRC Should Hear This by Karen DeBoer: This helpful post outlines the importance of choosing curricula that reflects your church’s theology, giving specific examples of how moralism misrepresents the biblical story.
How to Choose a Children’s Storybook Bible by Karen DeBoer: All storybook Bibles are most definitely not created equal. Here's a checklist to help you choose well.
Why We Tell Stories: It’s important to tell stories, and to introduce children to the right stories as they begin their faith journey.
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Good day everyone, our Education committee has asked if anyone knows of any worships available for Sunday School teachers or Children in Worship leaders, thanks for your time
Hi Jacob! Are you looking for worship resources? Or songs?
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