What content are you using for your youth ministry? Is it doing everything it promised? If you aren’t totally satisfied with your purchase or if you’re struggling to use it that’s okay.
No curriculum is perfect for your youth ministry. But, there are some resources that are better. Deciding on which ones to choose and why can be challenging. So before you add that message series to your cart or hit subscribe be sure you:
KNOW WHAT YOUR COMMUNITY NEEDS
The simple answer is Jesus, but how you bring them closer to him depends on the issues they face and the topics that occupy their mind. When you know your community you’ll know what you need to teach.
You can capture this information by connecting with leaders, parents, and teachers in the community. For more information on this topic check out this post: Who Is Your Target Audience? Read HERE
PREPARE YOUR LEADERS TO HANDLE THE CONTENT
No matter the content you want strong and confident leaders. Make sure you are spending time investing in their development by:
- Encouraging them to work on their own faith formation.
- Sending them to workshops on small groups and leadership conferences.
- Training them to list to the needs of their teens while focused on Christ.
Now, that doesn’t mean you can just hand your team anything. While you need a solid team and a clear understanding of who you are trying to reach you also need to pick the best content for your ministry. Here are 3 signs that a specific content will work for you:
SIGN #1: CONTENT IS ADAPTABLE
Most curriculum companies know that youth ministries come in different shapes and sizes. While they’ll make their recommendations on how to best use their materials they’ll allow you to make the changes you need. And that’s because:
- The same number of teenagers changes from church to church.
- Not every ministry has access to the same technology and resources.
- Certain denominations require specific components and scripture translations.
The more flexible the content the easier it’s going to be for you to use and the less you’ll have to settle for something of a lower quality.
SIGN #2: THE RESOURCE CAN GROW WITH YOU
Resources usually fall into two categories:
Supplemental Content (i.e. Small group videos or 3-week message series)
Comprehensive Curriculum (i.e. subscription based curriculum)
Which one you chooses depends on the format of your ministry. If you are creating a lot of content in-house then the supplemental is all you need. But if you are just starting out in ministry and looking to invest in leadership and culture development you will need to invest in something comprehensive.
Don’t feel pressured to use something because others are using it. Know what your needs are as a ministry so that the content you chooses helps you grow into a sustainable structure.
SIGN #3: IT SERVES YOUR MINISTRY AND NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND
Your curriculum and resources should never get in the way of your overall vision to grow disciples and reach others for Christ. You want content from a ministry that wants you to succeed.
Be careful of companies that are only pushing their content as if nothing else exists. Are they helping you grow as a leader or just making you dependent on them?
A great content is there to serve the needs of your ministry. If you find yourself just dumping dollars with no results you might want to reconsider your investment.
If you aren’t sure where to look connect with fellow youth workers and ask them what they use. Ask for samples and get others on your staff and core team involved.
When you pick the right content it adds to the quality of your ministry. It won’t become a stumbling block or budget destroyer. Instead, it will be a tool that creates a conversation where small groups can go deeper into a relationship with Christ.
Question: What small group content do you use? What do you like about it the most? You can leave a comment by clicking here.