Just this last year we decided to write our own curriculum for our students. We took all of last summer and wrote and wrote and wrote. The end product was a 4 tear curriculum for each grade, going through what we feel our students need to hear during each grade of their school year so by the time they leave they have an understanding what the Bible is, says, and what it’s about. It was a team effort, all of us worked so hard and are happy with the end result. There are still some kinks that we need to work out but this year we have a gotten really good feed back from our small group leaders.
We wanted all of our curriculum to be Gospel driven (naturally) so here is the basic breakdown:
- Freshman- Foundations and Doctrine
- Sophomores- New Testament Survey
- Juniors- Topical, using Old Testament Scriptures
- Seniors- 1/2 year on Jesus (all jr. high is focused solely on Jesus), 1/2 on life skills (how to find a church, how to be a good steward of your money, etc.)
Wanted to give you the philosophy and tips on how we formatted our curriculum to help our leaders lead our students in small group. We broke it down into 5 sections.
Expose. This a little something the leader reads to set up the night’s study. It usually has a story or a little bit of background of the book they are going through or the topic they will be going through. Example on FAITH: The Bible says that we cannot please God without faith. If we don’t believe in Him and what He’s doing then we aren’t pleasing Him. He wants us to have a live and active faith so that our relationship in Him can grow. This study will examine what faith is and how we can grow.
Examine. This is where we dive deep into the text that they are going though. It usually involves reading verse by verse, section by section. In the leader’s notes there are sections labeled: Read this, ask this, emphasize this. Leader’s lead the discusion and go through the material they have scheduled for that week.
Everyday Life. This is a section in which we take what we just went through in the Bible and apply it to an everyday life. How do we take what we just read and put it into action in our lives now. Example of some questions: Would people in your life call you a “person of faith?” What is your witness to others in your reliance on the Lord? Have you ever felt discouraged when things don’t happen on your schedule? Have you felt impatient with God when you don’t get things you want on your time table? Is there a person in your life that you look up to for their faith in the Lord? (This can be a great time of encouragement for the students.)
Experience. This section we want our students not only to learn and study, but then experience something in life as well. It can be either an activity the group or an individual assignment. Could be prayer, could be prayer in a group, going to a Starbucks and doing study their, a group project, etc.
Extras. This is anything extra to the study that would help. Any extra Scripture, YouTube videos that have to do with the subject, etc.
If you were were ever going to write your own curriculum, hopefully this can give you a structure on how to do so. I understand that not all have the time in which to do something like this. If you were to ever want some great, quality, cheap curriculum for you and your ministry you can find some on Download Youth Ministry. There is a ton of great stuff on there: sermon series, small group curriculum, games, forms, etc. You should go and check it out. Or if you want to check out my stuff on that site, you can click HERE.