Leaders who work in children’s ministry are on the frontlines of God’s work with kids every week shepherding kids, volunteers, and parents in their spiritual journey. Wonder Ink surveyed ministry leaders about their preferences, routines, challenges, and hopes for quality biblical education for kids, seeking to understand their unique perspectives and needs.

Leaders then defined their ideal discipleship program, sharing their dreams and aspirations for nurturing the faith of the next generation.

We know how hard you’re working to innovate and find ways to create experiential learning, faith formation, and lifelong followers of Jesus who are ready to change the world.

Let’s take a closer look at what these dedicated kids’ ministry leaders told us about what they are doing, how they do it, and their desires and vision for discipling kids. Their vision, born from a deep commitment to sharing the love of Christ, is at the very core of what Wonder Ink provides in its user-friendly, gospel-rooted curriculum.

Wonder Ink’s 3-year, 52-week children’s ministry curriculum offers kids space to fully find their place in God’s Big Story. Children discover they are Known by God, Loved by Jesus, and Led by the Holy Spirit.

Children’s Ministry Overview: Kidmin Leader Study

Survey Summary

Through a survey conducted in September 2023, Wonder Ink discovered the Bible curriculum acquisition and sharing preferences of church leaders in various states. Most children’s ministry leaders make curriculum choices based on firsthand experience, word-of-mouth, and online searches. The research and evaluations lead church leaders to choose the resource providers they feel will best connect with and provide discipleship and biblical learning for their communities.

Children’s Ministry Leaders, Top States – Percentage of Survey Respondents

2,182 children’s ministry leaders responded to Wonder Ink’s survey, including subscribers and non-subscribers of Wonder Ink curriculum. The table below shows the top 10 states as a percentage of total U.S. responses.

In this survey, we learned more about small, medium, and large churches. Each size of church operates in their own way to teach children.

Breakdown of United States Church Sizes: Survey Respondents

Through the study, we observed that church size is a key driver of behaviors and preferences when it comes to children’s ministry curriculum. As such, we used the following church size segments to give context to our findings.

  • Small church: congregation of 200 or fewer
  • Medium church: congregation of between 201 and 750
  • Large church: congregation over 750

Analyzing Survey Data: Ministry Leader Personas

Based on survey responses, we created three depictions of children’s ministry leaders: one for smaller churches, one for medium-sized congregations, and one for larger ministry settings. To better understand their needs, we reviewed each persona’s unique kidmin curriculum experiences, viewpoints, preferences, and challenges.

  • The Small Church Kids’ Ministry Leader

Most small church children’s ministry leaders grew up in the faith, and most of their lives is spent in church community. Their route into kids’ ministry was through their own children (who are now teenagers). They volunteered in their younger years, but when they graduated into youth, they took on a leadership role in children’s ministry.

This leader tends to be a volunteer herself, with approximately 10 or fewer volunteers on her team to help facilitate ministry.

The church has approximately 90 worshippers, with 20 kids in children’s ministry.

  • The Medium-Sized Church Kidmin Leader

Overall, this leader grew up in the church and moved away from home when she went to college. She stayed in the new city and settled down with her family. She has been part of several churches, and has committed to her current church within approximately the last seven years.

This leader is likely a paid staff at her church, with approximately 25 or so volunteers on her team to help facilitate ministry.

The church has approximately 375 worshippers, with 60+ kids in children’s ministry.

  • The Large Church Children’s Ministry Leader

Generally, this leader has been part of the church all her life and had a successful early career. She and her family have been part of their large church community for 10 years. When she arrived, she immediately saw how she could use her gifts to reach the next generation in her church.

This leader is likely to be a paid staff member, with approximately 5 paid staff and 30+ volunteers on her team to help facilitate ministry.

The church has approximately 1,500 worshippers, with 180+ kids in children’s ministry.

How Ministry Leaders Find Kids’ Curriculum

While most churches, regardless of their size, use multiple resources to search for curriculum, there are a few points that are unique to each size category of church:

  • The small church leader usually searches for curriculum resources on social media and Google, but also depends on online articles and colleagues. Events and conferences are less relevant for her.
  • The medium church leader mainly uses social media, events and conferences, online articles, and Google to find children’s ministry curriculum.
  • The large church leader’s top methods to find curriculum are online articles, events and conferences, social media, Google, and friends and colleagues.

Children’s Ministry Resource Preferences

Once each ministry leader discovers the curriculum she is drawn to, she is likely to have specific ideas for how she will use it in her church, including ways to share it with volunteers and parents.

Small Church Leaders Prefer Ready-to-Use Lessons

A small church kidmin leader likes to use physical resources and often follows the lessons as they are presented in the curriculum. She likes having a Bible story video in every lesson. A mixture of free and paid curriculum is used, and she likes being able to include VBS (Vacation Bible School) at key times, while curriculum is used throughout the year.

Medium Churches Use More Digital Resources & Customization

A medium-sized church leader likes using digital resources. She tends to customize the lesson plans more than the smaller church leaders. The medium-sized church leader prefers the Bible story videos in each lesson, and usually uses a paid curriculum.

The special events that these church leaders use curriculum for throughout the year are:

1. Vacation Bible school

2. Christmas

3. Fall

4. Easter


Large Church Leaders Love Customization and Applicable Curriculum

Many large church kidmin leaders use mainly digital children’s ministry resources. They like to customize lessons. Their needs fall into these categories:

They prefer resources that are easy to share with volunteers and use resources to train their teams. They are likely to use curriculum for the following programs and events:

1. Vacation Bible school

2. Christmas

3. Easter

4. Summer Camps

5. Fall

6. Back-to-school

These kidmin leaders are likely to use technology to teach and prefer curriculum that includes Bible story videos with each lesson, and are likely to use paid curriculum.

What Children’s Ministry Leaders Want from Curriculum

With so many curriculum options, how can ministry teachers make the best choice for their kids? Our survey illustrates that the ministry leaders know their own strengths and how they’d like to engage children with lessons. They want a curriculum that fulfills their church’s needs for discipleship for kids and families, including:

  • The ability to customize lessons according to teaching style and the information they want to teach.
  • The ability to digitally share resources with volunteers and teachers.
  • Resources that they can share with parents to empower them as spiritual leaders in their kids’ lives.

Key Takeaway: Ministry educators have self-identified that they want a curriculum based on God’s Word, to teach kids from Early Childhood (including toddler) to Elementary School ages. The curriculum should be shareable and customizable and help kids discover their identity in God’s Big Story.

How Wonder Ink Helps Ministry Leaders Lay a Faith Foundation for Kids

Churches across the country are using Wonder Ink’s 3-year, 52-week curriculum to fulfill many of the goals identified by our kidmin survey respondents. That’s because the curriculum is a turn-key, yet editable, curriculum that encourages kids to explore their faith and ask questions.

“[Wonder Ink] seemed to connect the dots between my vision, wants, and needs.”

They discover that the lessons are guideposts based on four core values:

Ministry leaders told us that they are looking for a curriculum that fulfills these needs:

  • Sound doctrine and theology
  • Kids learn about their connection to Jesus and how they are part of God’s Big Story
  • The curriculum reflects the importance and authority of God’s Word

Wonder Ink’s 3-year, 52-week children’s ministry curriculum offers kids space to fully find their place in God’s Big Story. Children discover they are Known by God, Loved by Jesus, and Led by the Holy Spirit.

Wonder Ink empowers teachers, families, and children via:

  • Fully resourced lessons that explore the entire Bible in a 3-year, 52-week/year curriculum
  • 30, 60, or 75-minute lessons, including Bible story videos, slides, questions, and worship music
  • Lessons which can be edited for time, content, and media by selecting or removing individual slides, videos, music, or games
  • Built-in social media capabilities which drive engagement with volunteers, families, and your church
  • Fully resourced and focused training kits that can enhance volunteer development
  • Specially dedicated series for Christmas and Easter which include family events

Families can access lesson reinforcement activities to allow kids to continue growing in their faith at home, including games, worship playlists, at-home Bible story videos, and family discipleship activities.

Teachers and volunteers love that Wonder Ink is based on God’s Word and that it’s a turn-key solution they can also easily customize with digital and printable resources.

With Wonder Ink, kids are inspired, challenged, and involved, so lessons become meaningful in their lives.

Here is a sample Wonder Ink video lesson on the Crucifixion and Jesus’ Resurrection:

With Wonder Ink, kids can learn God’s Word in multiple ways. For example, they can hear the Bible story from the teacher, then watch it, then participate in an interactive live Bible story teaching experience.

Great Prep & Communication Resources for Ministry Leaders, Parents & Volunteers

Included in every lesson is a section specifically designed to equip and inspire leaders. This section gives an Invitation and Foundational Building Blocks.

In the Invitation, your teachers and volunteers are invited to pause, listen, and shift their gaze toward God as they prepare to teach that lesson, and the Foundation section gives leaders a biblical context for that lesson’s Bible story.

Wonder Ink: Equipping Leaders & Engaging Kids in God’s Word  

Let the Children Come

Jesus said to let the children come (Matthew 19:14). May they come and discover all He is and all He has to offer. And may their faith flourish for a lifetime. With Wonder Ink, kids learn that God knows them, loves them, and leads them as they discover their identity as a child of God.

Turn-Key, Yet Customizable Curriculum

Our survey respondents showed that they want the features that Wonder Ink offers, along with its flexibility. One kids’ ministry teacher summarized how Wonder Ink has enhanced his children’s ministry: “It seemed to connect the dots between my vision, wants, and needs.”

While Wonder Ink offers everything kidmin leaders need “right out of the box,” every church can adapt Wonder Ink as it chooses, customizing it to maximize kids’ engagement and teachers’ and parents’ abilities to share and connect.

Support for Home Learning Reinforcement

What about parents and their role as the main spiritual leaders in their children’s lives? With Wonder Ink, all kids, from early childhood through elementary age, learn the same Bible stories every week, so they can be reinforced at home.

Innovative Learning That Builds Faith Foundations

We’re grateful for our survey respondents who generously shared their insights with us. Our team at Wonder Ink is passionate about equipping leaders as they empower volunteers, engage families, and inspire children on their faith journey.

We already knew ministry leaders were passionate about reaching the current generation for God. Now we know even more about how hard you’re working to innovate and find ways to create experiential learning, faith formation, and lifelong followers of Jesus who are ready to change the world.

That’s what Wonder Ink is doing, too! Join us on the journey and discover the wonder of God!