Your church understands the tremendous calling of guiding children in their spiritual growth. The right children’s church curriculum will be a helpful resource for teaching them, but there’s so much to consider when narrowing down your options.
If you’re unsure where to start your search or what to look for, you’ve come to the right place! Let’s review how to find the perfect curriculum and how Wonder Ink can help.
5 Things to Look For in Children’s Ministry Curriculum
If non-educational media is highly impressionable, there’s even more reason to make sure that teaching materials are rooted in truth. That’s why the curriculum you choose must be carefully vetted—it will leave a lasting impact on your church’s kids.
A children’s ministry curriculum is an important part of the plan a church makes for children’s learning experiences. To be effective, it must be theologically sound and support your church’s needs. To start your research off on the right foot, check for the following five qualities:
1. A Focus On the Kids’ Needs in Your Church
Whether your children’s ministry has five kids or 50, each child faces unique circumstances that your curriculum should cater to, such as:
- Home life
- Age and developmental stage
- Learning abilities
- Biblical knowledge
For example, your group of fifth graders will need a different lesson than your preschoolers. Think of these circumstances as various pieces of the same puzzle—addressing one child’s need is like gaining a piece of the puzzle, and the right curriculum will put them all together to form the final picture.
2. Alignment With Your Ministry’s Goals
What do you consider the measure of success for your ministry? Why do you want to minister to children and what do you think God is doing through your church?
If you already have a mission statement written out for your ministry, use it as a guiding principle in choosing the right curriculum. Determine what you hope to accomplish through teaching your kids and evaluate how the curriculum could help you do it.
3. Bible-Based Children’s Ministry Curriculum
Just like you’d expect a textbook to be checked for accuracy, your curriculum needs to be accurate, too. And the source it should be checked against is the main source of truth: the Bible.
God’s Word is central to our faith, so it should also be the core of what you teach. Choose a curriculum that’s fully rooted in the Bible, putting Scripture at the forefront of every lesson you share within your children’s ministry.
4. Curriculum That Values Relationships
There are several relationships your curriculum should focus on cultivating through its lessons, including:
- A relationship with God: Children’s church curriculum should teach kids to pursue God from a young age. Encouraging prayer and Bible study time outside of church can help kids form their own relationship with God.
- Partnership with families: Your church should view its children’s program as a partnership with parents—together, you’re working to equip their children to live for Christ! Choosing a curriculum that supports children’s parents, both in its philosophy and in the components of the programs, is important to helping children’s faith thrive.
- Relationships with other believers: It’s so important that you get to do what only you can do. And that’s building relationships with your volunteers, the kids in your ministry, and their families. And it’s a bonus for kids to understand the importance of relationships too! Whether getting to know their peers or your children’s program volunteers, everyone in your ministry should be able to connect with other believers. Choose a curriculum that encourages collaboration and puts “loving your neighbor” into practice.
Not only should the curriculum teach the importance of relationships but it should also encourage taking action to strengthen those relationships.
5. User-Friendly Resources
The kids in your children’s program aren’t the only ones using the curriculum. You’ve probably built a team of awesome, dedicated volunteers to facilitate the teaching of the curriculum you choose, and you must meet their needs, too! For example, what do they hope to get out of the volunteer experience and how can your curriculum support that?
How does your curriculum prepare them for the week ahead? What kind of training is included?
Think of the curriculum’s resources. Are they easy to set up and use? Do the lessons and resources match the goals of your ministry? For example, Wonder Ink’s curriculum is completely editable. That way, your volunteers can adjust the lesson as needed by selecting or removing individual slides and videos.
How to Choose the Right Children’s Church Curriculum
Once you know what to look for, create an actionable plan for your curriculum research. Here are four steps your plan should include:
1. List Out Your Mission and Values
Be clear about what your church believes, what your children’s program stands for, and the values you want to instill through the curriculum you choose. Writing out your mission and priorities can ensure everyone is on the same page about the goals of your program.
2. Brainstorm the Resources You Need to Engage Your Kids
Will you need videos, coloring sheets, or reading materials for your kids? You know them best—decide what structure and materials would best engage the children in your ministry.
If you’re not sure where to start, look at some of the resources that a trusted children’s ministry curriculum offers and use that as a starting point. Alternatively, you can even ask the kids directly what sounds most fun to them!
3. Set a Budget
Although you’ll ultimately want to choose your curriculum based on meeting the needs of your ministry’s kids, your budget will play an important role in the affordability of these resources. Determine how much you’ll be able to spend on your curriculum as a secondary factor in narrowing down your options.
Look first for the right content, then consider affordability.
4. Consult Providers and Get a Free Walkthrough of the Curriculum
Once you’ve narrowed down all your expectations for the curriculum, start reaching out to providers! Schedule a free walkthrough or consultation to learn more. Plus, talking to a real person can help you get a feel for the curriculum provider’s values. Be prepared to ask additional questions so that you have all the information you need.
Children’s Ministry Curriculum from Wonder Ink
Wonder Ink’s children’s ministry curriculum checks off all the criteria mentioned above (and more!). Our lessons equip ministries of all shapes and sizes to spark faith formation.
At Wonder Ink, we believe that faith formation means sparking curiosity about God and who He is. Our curriculum instills four core truths through biblically-based, weekly lessons:
- God Knows Me
- Jesus Loves Me
- The Holy Spirit Leads Me
- I Am a Child of God
Through these core truths, kids can learn to find their identity in God’s identity, which is revealed in His Word. As they pursue the understanding of their identity and purpose in Christ, they’ll learn to look for God’s identity and His will at the center of all life’s biggest questions.
But the journey of faith formation is a daily walk that starts with curiosity—which is why Wonder Ink explores the big ideas of the Bible through a 4-step lesson outline:
- Curiosity: Wonder Ink gets kids thinking about the wonder of God through lessons and activities that encourage curiosity.
- Belief: Our curriculum takes an interactive dive into Scripture that guides kids into knowing God more deeply.
- Faith: We have conversations to help kids see how God’s Story connects to their own, emboldening their faith and fostering a deeper understanding of their place in God’s kingdom.
- Identity: We encourage kids to respond in worship through an interactive activity. In this environment, we hope kids hear God speaking and reminding them of these core truths: I am known by God, I am loved by Jesus, I am led by the Holy Spirit, and my life can tell of God’s wonder.
Ultimately, every lesson points to God’s Big Story of redemption! Our curriculum guides kids through the journey of finding their identity in God through curiosity, belief, and faith.
Wonder Ink’s impactful curriculum and comprehensive toolkit give leaders the tools they need to strengthen their children’s ministry community by training volunteers, empowering families, and inspiring children.
Notable features include:
- Ready-to-go lessons: 30, 60, or 75-minute lessons, including teaching videos, slides, questions, and worship playlists
- Digital customization: Lessons can be edited for time, content, and media by selecting or removing individual slides, videos, music, or games, allowing you to adapt each lesson to your needs
- Discipleship plan: Fully resourced lessons that explore the entire Bible in a 3-year, 52-week/year curriculum
- Collaborative, community-building toolkit: Built-in social media capabilities to drive engagement with volunteers, families, and your church
- Volunteer development: Fully resourced and focused training kits to communicate with and develop your volunteers so that they can inspire kids to discover their identity in God’s Big Story
- Holidays and events: Special dedicated series for Christmas and Easter, with the ability to share an event calendar and seasonal family engagement series
Families can even access lesson reinforcement activities on our totally digital platform to continue the learning when kids get home! This includes games, worship playlists, and badges for kids to earn once they achieve their learning goals.
Wonder Ink’s annual subscriptions include full access to the digital platform and its full suite of tools. Subscriptions are based on age level as follows:
- Early Childhood (Ages 3-5)—$597, or 3 installments of $219.00
- Elementary (Kindergarten through Grade 5)—$797, or 3 installments of $289.00
- Full Curriculum (Both age groups)—$897, or 3 installments of $329.00
And if you’re not satisfied, we offer a 90-day money-back guarantee for 100% of your purchase price! No additional license or media fees are required.
Additional Children’s Ministry Curriculum Resources
Are you interested in learning more about what to look for in your curriculum? Check out these additional resources for more information:
- Top 10 Reasons to Try Wonder Ink Children’s Curriculum for Free.
Convinced that Wonder Ink is the best children’s ministry curriculum? Read this guide to learn why you should try it for free!
- Why You Need to Make Sure You’re Using a Bible-Based Children’s Curriculum.
It can’t be overstated: A biblical foundation is essential in children’s curriculum. Read this article to explore the importance of a Bible-based curriculum.
- 5 Things that Make a Great Children’s Curriculum.
If you’re putting together a checklist of things you want in your children’s curriculum, you can narrow down your list using this guide.