Starting last weekend and throughout this month, our middle school is working through a sermon series called "Grow Up." This series is a part of XP3 Students produced by Orange. If you've been wondering why you havne't seen teaching notes, I haven't been posting them because several main ideas from the series is a part of the curriculum. There are times throughout the year that using produced curriculum is highly beneficial. As we are preparing for the summer season, I wanted to have a series that I could use that would also allow me some freedom creatively to begin thinking about summer events and retreat themes.
Why I'll occasionally purchase curriculum:
- Saves me time of developing my series plan and sermon outlines.
- Provides graphic design work for me.
- Gives great main ideas and illustrations for my messages.
- Often includes discussion questions for groups.
Make it your own
I'm all about strategically choosing times throughout the year to give the primary teacher a break. I often do this in our middle school ministry by having guest teachers and also teaching through a purchased curriculum. Buying a curriculum saves me time and allows me to creatively get a head on some of my other ideas. While there is a great benefit to doing this, it is also extremely easy to not do any preparation on a message. I encourage using already produced curriculum, but I highly discourage using curriculum as a way to skip out on preparation for your messages.
Whenever I use a series that I've gotten online, I try to make it my own (I must admit that there have been times where I should have but didn't do this). Because of the nature of the curriculum already being produced, it certainly takes significantly less time but I still make sure to spend time working through the lesson and make it my own. I listen to the finished lesson and read through the transcript, but I don't use it. I take the working outline and ask myself several questions.
- How can I make this my own?
- What scriptures would I use that weren't included?
- What stories from my own life fit this topic?
- Are there other points or ideas that I feel like need more explanation for my students?
Buy curriculum and use it to help you as you teach students, but any curriculum that you buy whether a sermon series or a small group curriculum should always be adjusted to fit your own needs.