Poll: What curriculum do you use in your student ministry?

We use Word of Life curriculum for our Wednesday program, and we use Word of Life for our Bible fellowship program (Sunday mornings). We are looking at changing from Word of Life in our Bible fellowship, and moving to something different. We are satisfied with our Wednesday Word of Life program, but wanting to do something new and fresh starting in the fall with our Bible fellowship curriculum. What curriculum do you use? Here is a quick poll, and I want you to comment below to let me know the positives and negatives of the curriculum that your student ministry uses:

Please comment below if you use something else not listed. Also, please let us know why you like or dislike the curriculum that you are using.

14 thoughts on “Poll: What curriculum do you use in your student ministry?

  1. Good Morning Josh! I use student life because I find it to be fairly comprehensive (in 6 years the student will go through the Bible 2 times), easy to use (every teacher logs on and accesses the info online and Student Life keeps everyone on track), adaptable (you have options on how to teach, you can use the info from SL, you can modify it, or you can use it as a springboard and do your own research and write it yourself), and thorough (each lesson has about 15 pages of info and ideas and suggestions on how to adapt it to different age groups and use different illustrations). The one negative is that it does not come in KJV as our church mandates, but we get around that by making sure the teachers use KJV and read out of it so it is not a problem. Hope this helps!

    1. Joshua, that is what our church mandates as well, and it is tough to find. We are open to others obviously, but try to be consistent in which version we use for teaching. I appreciate the input. I am very interested in student life to be honest with you. I have been checking it out.

  2. Recently I have heard a few guys asking this question. “What curriculum should our youth ministry use.” I wonder a bit about the ability of other people to answer this question. Only a youth pastor and his lay leaders know their students on that deeper spiritual level that a Shepherd would have to in order to prescribe just the right combination meat & milk, exegesis and topical study. Could you enlighten this old guy to this new way of thinking that “the majority opinion has merit,” in this discussion. I am sure I am just missing something.

    1. I see what you are saying Shean, and appreciate the input. One thing about curriculum that is great is that it gives our leaders consistency. We have 5 Bible fellowship classrooms that are teaching the same thing on different levels depending on the age/gender of their group. One thing that we try and do is not be attached so deep to a curriculum that we put that ahead of the Spirit leading us in a different direction. They can interrupt our curriculum, and go a different direction if the teacher feels led to do so. It is nice to have curriculum to fall back on though for sure.
      We are looking for something new and fresh. Our students are ready for something new and fresh.

  3. Good evening Josh, I currently use Lifeway KNOWN, but have also used Vital Truth and Vital Character also by Lifeway. Each of these are biblically sound, well written, and easy to use by teachers. They also go on a two year cycle to cover the Bible. KNOWN is targeted at middle and high school students and is based on issues that our youth face. We just completed Deconstructing Media and currently are discussing Purity. Each topic is covered for four consecutive weeks. The other thing I like about KNOWN is that is provides a midweek study to use for midweek study. I highly recommend the KNOWN series for any group.

  4. We use Word of Life at our church and our students love it. One of the newer features that they like is the Online Quiet Time. This allows our students to add and to be accountability partners to hold each other to studying the Word of God. It also has a daily prayer chart as well as a Bible Reading plan chart. In addition, you’re able to add your own Christian Disciplines that you are personally working on. My challenge this year is to read more books and I put that on there so my accountability partners can see my progress on something that I am working on.

    Another recent change that has been made is modules of lessons that focusing on one particular subject for 4 weeks.

    1. jbwhitley,

      We use Word of Life for Wednesday nights, and for Sunday mornings. We enjoy the program, but are looking at changing up from the lifesteps program. We love their Wednesday night curriculum, and are very pleased with it.

      Good thoughts man, thanks for sharing. Do you use Word of Life for Sunday mornings?

  5. In the interest of full disclosure, I should probably tell you up front that I work for Word of Life. My first question would be about the purpose of that meeting and how it differs from your mid-week meeting. If I had to guess, you’re looking for something with a bit more depth on Sunday morning, which makes sense why you’re going with WOL (our Lifestep Curriculum for Small Groups & Sunday School, right?) I don’t know that you’re going to find another systematic, exegetical curriculum like Lifestep.

    You mentioned wanting to do something fresh. What do you mean? Do you want something deeper? easier? more flexible?

    If you’re using WOL in your mid-week meeting, your students are already getting systematic theology, so you have a solid foundation on which to build the rest of your ministry plan. You really do have a ton of options. Do you want the two meetings (mid-week and bible fellowship time) to work together, or are you thinking they be independent?

    My objective isn’t to talk you out of making a change, just asking a few qualifying questions.

    1. Ray, thanks for stopping by man! Glad to hear from you. Great series of questions that you bring up. We love Word of Life, and are pleased with their material completely. We use them on Wednesday night’s, and use their lifestep program on Sunday morning.
      The purpose is Biblical teaching and fellowship. That is why we call our Sunday school, Bible fellowship. I want it to have a Bible basis, and bring fellowship. Our mid week is the same purpose, but it also carries on a great deal of discipleship. Also, in Bible fellowship, I have several different teachers teach the lesson whereas on Wednesday’s, I am the consistent speaker most of the time.

      When I use the word, “fresh,” I am speaking directly to the word, new. They have used this for some quite time, and I am afraid that the students and leaders tend to be a bit burnt out with the lifestep program. Honestly, I kind of want something a bit more practical for Bible fellowship at this point. I want something to hit students with their questions about God, and about playing their faith out in every day life. The Wednesday curriculum uses this more than lifesteps in my opinion.

      I am not displeased with Word of Life. In fact, we love Word of Life, but just wondering if we need to make a change considering we are struggling on Sunday morning. Thanks for the thoughts man, and feedback is always appreciated.

  6. I understand what you mean, Josh. A rut is hard to escape, especially in that sunday-am time slot. Below are links to a few things that I have used in my small group. None of them are long-term solutions, but work great as a change-of-pace. Maybe you want to use lifestep as the backbone and mix in some of these modular studies to keep things fresh.

    The 4:8 Principle by Tommy Newberry — http://www.amazon.com/The-Principle-Secret-Joy-Filled-Life/dp/1414313047
    Gospel by JD Greear –http://www.bhpublishinggroup.com/gospel/
    The BASIC Series by Francis Chan — http://basicseries.com/
    The Gospel Centered Life by World Harvest Mission — http://www.whm.org/gcl

    All of these have really awesome content. 4:8 & Gospel are both in my top 10 favorite books of all time. GCL is a phenomenal study that I’ve done 4-5 times with different groups of people. I just finished BASIC, and liked it very much.

    I can’t wait to hear what you land on. Looks like you’re getting lots of input here.

    1. Yeah, I am still praying about the direction right now, but hopefully soon, the Lord will give me clarity. I appreciate the resources, and will begin checking them out.

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