This week I wrote a couple of posts about doctrine and theology in children’s ministry. Honestly, I think these posts generated the most interesting discussions and interaction I’ve had here at chidlren’s ministry online. So, if you participated in the discussion, thanks for adding value. For those of you who just read, I hope it sparked some thoughts. Feel free to continue to add to the conversation.
If I had to wrap up this idea, I think I’d say that thoughts on doctrine and theology are somewhat divided. I didn’t hear anyone say they weren’t important, but some were concerned about implementation. I think that is key. If it’s this race to fill a child’s head with knowledge, then that’s not success. It’s like knowledge without life. Think of the pharisees for Chirst’s time. They knew the Law better than anyone, but their hearts haden’t been transformed. There is a very high value on life transformation. Personally I believe that these two walk hand in hand, one without the other is dangerous.
If anything, I feel that some of our churches and ministries today are not as intentional about the theology and doctrine part… but focusing primarily on life transformation. Yes, doctrine is in our curriculum, but are we relying too much on our curriculum to tell us what we need to teach our kids? Do we have an intentional plan of teaching our kids theological concepts from birth to college? To be honest, many curriculum publishers do put thougth into this and plan this into their scope and sequence. However, I know Children’s Pastors. I’ve been one for 11 years. Most of us don’t stick with any one curriculum for more than a few years. Something new comes along, so we switch or even some of us write curriculum ourselves (that’s fodder for another post). When we do this and we don’t have a plan for intentionally teaching theology and doctrine, our kids stand a chance of getting an incomplete foundation.
So, all of this was in my head last night and then I got this comment from Scott who works at Lifeway. He shared with me a document that Lifeway uses in developing their curriculum. He’s a teacher in his church and uses this document even as he’s planning his lessons. Check out the document here.
So, if you use LifeWay curriculum, you can be confident that this doctrine is systematically being addressed. If you don’t, then let this document be a guide and resource to you. Let it be a springboard into developing your own plan for intentionally teaching theology.
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Thanks for posting the document from Lifeway. Great point about not sticking to the curriculum very long. I also wonder how much of an issue it can be when ministries regularly change leadership. I know that my church has seen a change in leadership of CM about every 4 years (in fact, when I was hired, my boss said he was hoping I’d stick around for 20 years).
We have very simple guidelines of what we want to achieve in each age level, and we keep that in mind while selecting curriculum. However, I’m not sure how intentional we are at remembering it as we implement the curriculum. I see worship time as a great opportunity to expand more on teaching the kids who God is, His character, and our relationship with Him. However, there is still so much more to be taught.
Thanks for the reminder!
The link on the document doesn’t work any more. Does anyone have this document and would be willing to email it over to me. I would love to see this. Thanks.
Hmmm, looks like Lifeway moved the file. This was written so long ago, I’m not even sure what the file was anymore and how to go about finding it. Sorry.