Choosing curriculum is a huge decision. There are so many options and there can be so many different facets to consider. Publishers always put their best foot forward, but how do you know if their materials are best for your church? Here are some important questions to ask as you evaluate curriculum.
1. Do you know what you need? Before you look at a single page, you need to have a very clear idea of what your needs are. What direction do you feel God leading your ministry. Curriculum should be a tool to help you accomplish your vision, not be the vision itself. Look through the questions below and form a good idea of what you are looking for.
2. Does it fit theologically? It is essential that what is taught through the curriculum lines up with your church’s theological beliefs. Read carefully. If there are differences, evaluate how significant they are. Would it be easy to tweak? Curriculum is the core of your teaching. Does it teach your kids what you want them to learn?
3. Would it appeal to your kids? Different kids in different cultures will respond to curriculum differently. Some curriculum will fit well in urban ministries but not so much in a country church. Will your kids be able to relate to the content? Will it be relevant for them?
4. Is it volunteer-friendly? Does the curriculum meet your volunteers’ needs? You know your volunteers. You know how much they are willing to study or prepare. Does the curriculum fit with what they have the capacity to do? Will it be easy for them to lead?
6. Does it fit with your church’s vision? The curriculum you choose needs to fit within the big picture of the church. It needs to provide a good transition between age groups. It needs to correlate with the direction of other ministries as well.
7. Do you have the supplies/resources to make it work? Evaluate what is required to utilize the curriculum. Is it stuff you have or would you need to make considerable purchases. Evaluate if you have the right equipment. Could you manage the amount of supplies that is required.
8. Does it fit in your budget? Don’t you wish every thing we wanted for ministry was free? Unfortunately that is not the real world and you have to take financial limitations into consideration. Make sure that you see the entire cost for all necessary pieces of the curriculum so that you can determine if it fits within your budget.
9. Is it easily adaptable? No curriculum fits every church perfectly. That’s impossible. You will have to adapt every curriculum to some extent to best fit your context. How easy it will be for you to adapt the curriculum to fit your church?