This issue of Kid’s Korner is from long-time children’s minister Georgia McKinnon who recently was appointed to serve as Registrar for Grace Communion Seminary, starting in April.
I’m often asked, “What curriculum should I use for our children’s ministry?” While there is no one answer that fits the needs of every congregation, Kid’s Korner this month will share some resources that may be helpful for your needs.
Sunday School lessons are easier to find and access than they ever before, but this also presents the challenge of discerning between resources that point faithfully and accurately to who God is. Some resources are better than others in that regard. You will find resources that can be used as they are written, and others that may need some modifications to reflect a more faithful theology.
Before sharing the resources, here are a couple of disclaimers. Most importantly, as you work with children in your church, remember that God is already working with them, and with you as you teach. Any curriculum that we use is secondary to sharing God’s love with our children through our time with them. Loving, healthy relationships are the fertile soil in which kids grow and blossom. Curriculum is just a gardening tool that can help in those relationships. Children will remember the relationship that you have with them far longer than the curriculum you used. The second disclaimer is that inclusion on the list below does not imply a complete endorsement of all materials by the specific publisher or website. Look for tools that are fitting for your context.
Here is a list of resources that I have compiled, either through personal experience, recommendation, or research:
- The Jesus Storybook Bible (www.jesusstorybookbible.com)
This is a storybook aimed at sharing the central story of the Bible—the story of how much God loves all of his children. The book is delightful for children and adults alike. There is a curriculum available for purchase on the website.
- Whirl (www.wearesparkhouse.org/kids/whirl/lectionary)
This curriculum is built around the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL), which is helpful for congregations using the RCL in their sermons each week. The curriculum includes a video component, and you can purchase this curriculum in printed form or as a download.
- Books/publications by Karyn Henley (http://karynhenleyresources.com)
Karyn offers resources to use with infants through elementary age. The materials are solid in their presentation of Bible stories, but this curriculum requires more teacher preparation than some of the other choices. Karyn has written a Day-by-Day Kids Bible designed for children ages 7-10, an Easy to Read version of the Day-by-Day Bible for younger children, and several devotionals.
- Ministry to Children website (https://ministry-to-children.com)
This website has many free resources, including coloring pages and Sunday School lessons that are built around Bible passages. For their lessons that are in sync with the Revised Common Lectionary go to https://ministry-to-children.com/category/lectionary-lesson.
- The Bible App for Kids (https://bibleappforkids.com) and related free curriculum (https://bibleappforkids.com/free-childrens-curriculum).
(Note: I don’t have personal experience using this resource).
- The Bible Project (https://thebibleproject.com)
Though not written specifically for children, this highly visual resource would likely work for teens. Its mission is to show that the Bible is a unified story that leads to Jesus. It features animated videos that convey the message of each book of the Bible as well as videos that trace themes throughout the Bible. This is a great resource for getting grounded in the unified message of the Bible.