To Curriculum or Not?
It's an age-old argument in student ministry. A conversation that I've sat through many times. To use curriculum or not use curriculum? That is the question.
Before I was in the thick of student ministry, I was always in the “write your own stuff” camp. It somehow seemed more holy. Then I got hired full time and started sharing every Wednesday night. BAM! Circumstances can changes one's mindset pretty quickly.
Here's some of the more common thoughts expressed about using curriculum or sermon outlines in ministry…
- The writers of the material don't know my students and therefore the content won't be as relevant to them.
- I want to allow the Holy Spirit to “breath” life into my weekly talks. If it's scripted, that's not going to happen.
- If I use a “canned message”, I will spend less time preparing my own heart and pouring into the scripture.
- I want to use my own stories as illustrations, not someone else's.
- I'm saving a lot of money by writing my own stuff.
- I read through it – the WHOLE thing.
- I edit out irrelevant or unnecessary content.
- I make all sorts of notes and scribbles: adding, updating, fixing, illustrating, etc.
- I replace stories with personal stories from my own life.
- I edit for length.
- I do all this early enough in the process so that I can let it marinate in my head and go back and read and polish it a few more times before I share.
- For whatever reason (it's the way I'm wired, I guess), this process takes a whole lot less time than if I were to start from scratch.
- It allows me to take someone else's content and shape it to fit well in my local ministry context.
- It allows me to stretch and use my creative gift with created content.
- It allows time for me to spend quality and deep time with the message and related scriptures so that it's not just a drive-by experience.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the YS Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of YS.