Using Curriculum in Youth Ministry: Are You Ready to Teach?

Adapted from a presentation given on Sat, Sept 11, 2010 at a Metro DC Synod youth ministry workshop.  Four points guided the discussion. This blogpost focuses on the second point.  I'll get to curriculum itself in the next two posts.

  1. To use, or not to use, curriculum?
  2. Are you ready to teach?
  3. How do you evaluate and select a curriculum?
  4. Some recommendations

Second Question: Are you ready to teach?

Whether or not you use curriculum, you must prepare in advance.  If you prepare your lesson in five minutes, your kids will know and they won't take you, or what you have to say, very seriously.  This is the Gospel we’re talking about, folks.  Take it seriously.  Plan ahead.

If you’re using a curriculum, review the materials ahead of time.  Good curricula always includes options – Activity A or B; Questions 1, 2 or 3.  Make sure that you've read and marked up your leader guide, so that you know which activities or questions you're going to use.  Be ready to use the curriculum as a tool for proclaiming the Good News of our Lord.  Also, be sure to get your supplies ready and have the room set up. 

If you’re not using a curriculum, be familiar with the Bible study method you’re choosing to use, not to mention the passage of Scripture you'll be reading.  Preferably, you’ve used this Bible study method on your own or in
another setting before, so that your first time introducing it with a
group of kids isn’t your first time ever doing it.  Have Bibles available and make sure the meeting space is ready and welcoming.

Leading and facilitating ministry with young people requires more than just a pulse and a willingness to show up (though showing up is huge).  It requires that we care enough about the kids and the Gospel that we'll take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours to plan a youth Sunday School class or Bible Study session.  This stuff ain't rocket science, but it does require some time to plan and prepare.

Next post: How do you evaluate and select a curriculum?

Published by Chris Duckworth

Spouse. Parent. Lutheran Pastor. Veteran. Jedi. Political Junkie. Baseball Fan.

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