We could really use some help in finding good curriculum for all age-levels and for small group ministry. Any ideas?
Pastor Matt Beemer – UK and North Africa
A free resource that I often recommend is www.lifechurch.tv even if you don’t use the messages themselves, they certainly can spark some great ideas. If you click on the ‘Resources’ tab on the Home Page and then follow the instructions to ‘Open Life Church,’ you’ll find that they provide all their adult, youth, and children, and group series online and allow you to download it for free. Most series include the background PowerPoints, artwork, notes, promotional video clips, and other media. Not bad for free!
Pastor Gerald Brooks – Plano, TX
Kids love our children’s church! We’ve used justaddkids curriculum, written by my wife, Geni, since the church began, and churches all over the world use it, too. Justaddkids is adaptable for both big and small congregations, and the emphasis is teaching kids how to hide God’s Word in their heart. It’s very inexpensive, offers both hi-tech or no-tech options, and includes large group and small group activities in each lesson. Go to growingothers.com or call Grace Outreach, at 972-985-1112 X 105 for more info.
Pastor Walker Schurz – Lusaka, Zambia
We have curriculum-based small groups at our church. They run for 13-week terms and each group picks from a range of about 65 topics we have at the church office. We have two different types of curriculum to choose from: book-based and DVD-based.
Books that have worked out great for us are the 13-lesson books by Kenneth E. Hagin (prayer, Holy Spirit, healing) and the “Get A Grip” series by Beth Jones. We have a number of other books, but these are very easy to follow and the facilitator does not necessarily need to be a gifted teacher.
The DVD series are very popular as each group gets to hear from a world class teacher and then have discussion topics to interact with each other. We have not found too many DVD series available from charismatic teachers, but have picked a number of selected topics from other great ministers. The two that have worked the best for us are Andy Stanley and Bill Hybels. The topics we have picked from them are very biblical and practical.
The folks in our church that are involved in these small groups are growing in the Word and building great relationships with each other. A valuable resource we found is www.smallgroups.com that has helpful articles, tips and resources.
I trust God will lead and guide you in this endeavor and that the groups in your church will help people grow into the image of Jesus Christ.
Pastor Brad Allen – San Mateo, CA
This is a great question because we haven’t found one set that worked in all cases.
We liked how Rhema was using Gospel Light for elementary age when we were teaching 3rd grade Sunday mornings. It’s not charismatic, but its high quality, comprehensive, and you can add to it and build off of it. I still think it’s the best all-around elementary curriculum we’ve found.
For pre-school, we like Willie George’s curriculum the best. However, for elementary ages, we found that it was all about cowboys and Indians, which didn’t work in urban California.
Mark Harper has some excellent teaching in his curriculum, but we just didn’t like how often the devil pops up in his puppet skits and stories. Yes, there is a devil and he always gets defeated in each skit and story. So you can decide if it’s okay or if you need to delete a skit or story once in a while.
My wife, GiGi, has made some excellent reproducible pre-school through elementary coloring sheets on most of the major salvation and faith Bible verses. I highly recommend them. They’re inexpensive, fun, and reinforce the points you really want the kids to learn. They’re a good addition to any of the curricula you might choose.
GiGi and another lady from our church wrote their own curriculum that covered a full year and it worked well. Why? Because we just didn’t find one curriculum that was relevant, faith-filled, and well-balanced.
You can email or write for sample coloring sheets to:
Pastor GiGi Allen
Victory Intl. Church
PO Box 5425
San Mateo, CA 94402
We just made a good 30 min children’s DVD for ages 2-8 that is great for Sunday School and Wednesday nights for the younger kids. It’s called “Billabong Brad” and it features a crocodile hunter style character with animals and teaches about God’s love. It’s cute. Your kids will like it. You can get one by writing to the same address above.
Pastor Phil Edwards – Ennice, NC
Hi everyone. We have used Francis Chan’s books Crazy Love and Forgotten God for our last two small groups. I liked them but they have a few sticks and are sometimes condemning. Right now we are using a book named, “Seeing and Savoring Jesus,” by John Piper. It is a great book with lots of scripture references. Also available are DVDs for the small group.
Pastor Doug Foutty – Parkersburg, WV
At times, we have taken Brother Hagin’s books and studied them a chapter at a time. When is I see the question is concerning ‘small group’ ministry, I assume there is time for discussion. Brother Hagin’s teaching is always in a simple, easy to understand format. Teens as well as adults could gain much from these books. We have even bought some of his books for each member of the small group and let them study ahead of time and it makes for much better discussion and much better questions are raised from the group. We look forward to Brother Tony Cooke’s book on Grace and expect to use it in our small group Bible studies.
Pastor Tim Kutz – Bartlesville, OK
I am sure there have been many quality responses from pastors, but I wanted to add something that I considered to be a quality resource for a group.
Dave Williams has a book called Faith Goals. It can be purchased at www.mounthopechurch.org.
I highly recommend this as a group read and group discussion that can fill personal, family, group, business and church goals. It can be a valuable resource for men’s group, women’s group, and couples study, as well as a free market small group study.
Pastor Tommy FiGart – Vinton, VA
In regard to children’s curriculum, there are several traditional, well-known options available but we’ve found that they can be very expensive for a growing church. To address the need for a more economic solution that still offers quality material, we’ve produced and use low cost curriculum that was developed during my 9 years as Pastor Wyatt Brown’s Children’s Minister. We call the curriculum Fun Church and Treasure Hunters. The curriculum can be purchased for as low as $49/quarter or trimester. Both sets are full of fun object games, puppet skits, object lessons, crafts and the message of faith. Both Fun Church and Treasure Hunters curriculum can be reviewed and purchased at www.funchurchnow.com.
Pastor Jeff Jones – Kalamazoo, MI
The Get a Grip series by Beth Jones has been pivotal in the unity and growth of Valley Family Church, from kids to adults. Churches in America and around the world are using this resource with their entire church family, small groups, leaders and new believers classes.
We use two of these workbooks on a regular basis in our church. They are fill-in-the-blank style and perfect for a foundations class, a small group or individually.
“Getting a Grip on the Basics” is geared to help every believer become established in the basics, since our christian life is only as strong and fruitful as our foundation. It answers common questions we have such as, How do I develop my relationship with God? How can I hear from God? How do I grow and develop my faith? It also covers how to be filled with the Holy Spirit and the authority of the believer. This workbook is practical for any believer, no matter how seasoned they are.
“Getting a Grip on the Basics of Serving God” is all about discovering God’s plan and purpose for your life. Your destiny is connected to your local church and the sooner you find your place of serving, the sooner you will experience all God has in store for you! This workbook will help pastors, church leaders and believers discover their God-given destiny and His plan for service and leadership in the local church.
We also use books in the Get a Grip series for kids, teens, and other topics. Find them all here: http://jeffandbethjones.com/store/collection/22
Pastor Dean Hawk – Colorado Springs, CO
Our children’s ministry uses Geni Brooks’ curriculum—“Just Add Kids”
Our preschool uses “Boz” (Kim purchased this at Christian bookstore).
H2O Sermon Source is a resource for both pastors and youth pastors. Each sermon includes a detailed Word outline for easy editing and personalization, illustrations, corresponding Power Point, Fill-in-the-blank handouts, and a small group discussion guide. Sermons may be purchased individually, by the series, or in a volume of twelve. Sermons are identified for teenagers, adults, or both. Visit www.h20sermonsource.com to download a free sample sermon!
Pastor Thom Fields – Kennewick, WA
Children and youth have so many choices for one-stop curriculum shopping when you need lesson plans with crafts, snacks, videos, etc., incorporated into it. We’ve used Group Publishing, Cokesbury, Kidmo, Creative Pastors (Ed Young/Elevate kid’s material), and Hillsong Kids.
Group and creative pastors have material for all age/gender demographics but the key is finding teaching that aligns with the vision of your house so you’re not conveying one message from the pulpit and another in a small group. Talk about confusion and division! I’d recommend finding resources from other ministries the senior pastor is interested in. That’s how we started using Ed Young/creative pastor’s small group plans and Wendy Treat’s women’s Bible study plans. If you’re listening to a certain pastor and his teaching, contact his church and see what curriculum they use for a specific ministry department. More often than not (and if they have a clue) what they’re teaching in a class/small group will line up with the ministry philosophy of the church.
Pastor Greg Fraser, Morinville Christian Fellowship
We have been “wowed” by several things in the Power to Create (PTC) curriculum by Tim Redmond:
- The unique and biblical way with which PTC approached the area of kingdom purposes and finance.
- The thoroughness yet simplicity in using the curriculum.
- The small group component and personal development aspect of the entire PTC package.
- A way for me as a pastor to approach and empower our entrepreneurs with fresh insights into growing wealth with purpose.
- A way for me as a church leader to empower other churches and pastors with some hope and help in the area of kingdom wealth creation. (I have already given away several PTC packages to other pastors and am planning more!)
I think the timing of this message to the body of Christ is critical. In these uncertain economic times we all need to be reminded that our source is not in this world but our eternal and all-powerful God. He is more than enough and we are more than enough in Him to see the provision for every vision He puts in our hearts!
I would encourage any pastor or church leader to visit the website at www.PowerToCreate.org and get the help and support they may need in this area. Our church has been greatly encouraged the two times that we have brought Tim in to do some of this teaching but with the PTC curriculum we can have him train our people throughout the year.