Children’s pastors are tweakers. We tweak everything. Rarely will we ever pull anything out of a box and do it. It’s got to be tweaked for our kids and our church. Also, children’s pastors who are in the midst of ministry often times see things differently than a publisher does. What would happen if a publishing company could leverage the community of hundreds of children’s ministry leaders around the country to develop curriculum that offers dozens of options, extra ideas for every imaginable situation?

Sounds complicated, huh? Too difficult to pull off, right?

Five years ago maybe, but not today. With the social web, the power of creative community is waiting for the first publisher to leverage it. There have been many times where I wasn’t happy with the small group activity my publisher suggested. In those times, I’ve blogged about it and have gotten ideas from my readers. Unfortunately, not everyone has a blog where they can ask like-minded people. However, what would happen if a curriculum publisher provided a place for client churches to visit, download curriculum and videos, but also upload their ideas, their graphics and their videos? My friend Dan Scott shares his custom created graphics for 252 Basics monthly virtues on a flickr thread. I know that dozens of churches are using his graphics. My friend Sam Luce has tweaked take home papers and others have borrowed them. I know others tweak their curriculum for various reason, but there’s no place for them to share their changes. It’s likely that others are in the same situation. Why should we re-invent the wheel.

You see, I feel a publisher that’s really forward thinking isn’t only creating curriculum, but allowing their clients to tweak, morph and modify into something more complete, maybe even better. We all want options. We want more choices. Curriculum publishers have limited resources, so why not leverage the time and creativity of the masses to offer more. In the midst of this, you create community, encouragement and resources that go well beyond just offering curriculum.