Youth Ministry Curriculum Comparison Chart
You've been entrusted with the spiritual development of youth in your church or group. That responsibility at some point likely will include the need to choose the resources used by you or others to teach the Bible and key elements of the Christian faith. If you think this is an easy task, think again.
Publishing youth ministry curriculum resources has become a big and complicated business. Lots of people and companies are doing it, so you have lots of options. That alone makes your work a challenge. Add to that the unique needs of your particular youth, your particular church and your particular set of resources. Layer on that the relentless passage of time (It's already Wednesday, again?), and you begin to get the picture.
So, here are some suggestions you should consider when thinking about youth ministry curriculum choices.Take the long view.
If you're responsible for 7-12th graders, then you'll have six years to influence and teach many of these youth. Think beyond this month, this quarter, and this semester. Think beyond your own ministry. While it's possible that you may not be there for six years, you should plan as though you will be. This means you need to think about Scope, Sequence and Balance
refers to the breadth of the study. Bible study curriculum should be about, you guessed it, the Bible! A doctrinal study will cover selected doctrines. Which ones? Will your missions curriculum cover missions locally and
globally? What do you want your kids to know about the history of your church and its affiliations? Do you need to address some hot topic? The list can go on.Sequence
is just that—the WHEN of your study. Do you want to study the Bible on Sunday mornings? When will you consider missions or doctrine? Do you want to study sex and dating this fall? What next? Sequencing should take into consideration things such as special church emphases; seasons such as Christmas, Easter, plans for the summer, etc.Balance
describes the need to give your youth a healthy diet over time. Do you love to teach the Pauline letters and salvation by faith? When will you include James' letter and the need to put your faith into action? Do you love the historical passages? Don't forget the more didactic passages. Do you enjoy missions? What about doctrine? Even studies on sex and dating can get out of balance.Understand your Options.
There are basically two broad kinds of curriculum resources; dated and undated. Dated resources literally are dated, with a particular session or study assigned to a specific date or calendar week. Dated resources typically have the advantage of stronger sequence and balance because a developer (or team of developers) thought about what will be studied and if there is balance within the plan. Dated curricula often provide inexpensive books for students and usually are published quarterly.