Is it okay to change Sunday School lessons?

January 16, 2014

Curriculum, Teacher Training

Have you ever wondered if it’s okay to make changes to the Sunday School lessons you are teaching?

Let me tell you a story…

I am a Sunday School teacher in a 4&5 year old class. I love it! I teach from the curriculum given to me by the ministry leaders.

A little while ago I was preparing for Sunday School and saw that the lesson was on a relatively unfamiliar Old Testament story.

The curriculum provided this story on cd so the kids could listen to it. I thought that was a fun way to change things up and encourage the kids to use more of their senses.

So I listened to the story. The story was well done with sound effects. The total story time was 5:04. The kids were encouraged to be involved physically and vocally in the story. They were encouraged to pretend to taste, pretend to smell, pretend to see, kick, make sounds like various animals, and listen.

Having kids involved in the story is a good thing and I try to do it as often as I can. Encouraging kids to use various senses is also a good idea.

But all the involvement the kids were encouraged in was focused on a part of the story that had nothing to do with the key theme! All of this involvement took 2:40. Almost half of the story was used for this!

Unfortunately, the kids were taken out of the flow of the story. All the involvement was actually a distraction.

In the end, I did not use the story provided. The recording had been done with sound effects and an animated voice, but no visuals were provided.

I told the story myself. I found visuals and props and I choose to stay focused on the main theme of the lesson.

So, let me get back to the question I asked at the beginning.

Have you ever wondered if it’s okay to make changes to the Sunday School lessons you are teaching?

Keyboard with Customize Orange Button.The answer is yes! If the story as written is going to end up causing distraction, then yes, change it! There are times when the curriculum as written is going to need some customizing.

If you do end up customizing curriculum, here are some tips to make it the best you possibly can:

  1. Always make the Biblical text your priority.
  2. Stay true to what the Bible says. Don’t try and make the Bible say what it doesn’t say.
  3. Keep the lesson focused on the key theme.
  4. Look for ways to get the kids involved in such a way that they are focusing on the key theme and discovering Biblical truth for themselves.
  5. Customizing sometimes means getting rid of things that don’t highlight the key theme or could end up being a distraction.

Remember, you’re the teacher! Take the time you need to prepare every week and make each lesson the best it can possibly be!

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About Janelle

I am passionate about Jesus and kids and the people who work with kids in the church. I want to help empower children’s ministry volunteers – especially those who work in small and rural churches.

View all posts by Janelle

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