I have been in Kids Ministry for 15+ years and have used a small variety of curriculums. The thing is once you find a curriculum that works for the lead and the kids, you stick with it.
Over the past 7 years, I have used a popular curriculum that I have loved with our elementary aged kids. I also noticed over the past three or so years, it was not being updated. The videos were dated, the content did not create new ideas, yet as with any business the price continued to climb and I continued to pay it, being disappointed with the outcome. If I am being honest, I could use this curriculum in my sleep. It is very user friendly and worked for me for a long time.
Fast forward to this year, I had a new leader come on board who was a previous user of Orange curriculum and she found a way to convince to me jump ship. I need to say, our preschool ministry has used Orange (First Look) for several years in terms of content only and it has been successful.
I have attended Orange Conference a handful of years and have been using their small group leadership curriculum (lead small) for years and I believe there is nothing better out there. But I have been resistant to jump into Sunday morning elementary curriculum (252). It seemed awesome and well done, it also seemed production oriented and overwhelming due to the amount of content.
However, I can say after being almost four months in I am very thankful this leader encouraged me to take the leap and give it a try. I thought one year, I can do that; I will give a try for one year. And it has changed the course of our Sunday mornings.
The reality is it has required more effort on my part to engage the curriculum and I couldn’t do this in my sleep. It has required more planning. It has required more leaders to step up and own their part. It has required more supplies (although most are on hand already or cheap and easy to buy). But I will say the gains have far outweighed the increased needs.
Kids are excited to walk in each Sunday to see who is leading that morning. Kids are excited to engage in games each week. We have made the jump to video based worship instead of live worship and the kids are jumping and moving and worshipping their hearts out each week. And they are taking those songs home and singing along to them.
As the Kids Minister, I am excited for Sunday mornings to get here and I walk into church each week with a renewed pep in my step. You know the reality of doing a ministerial job for any length of time is that burnout is legit. And Orange curriculum has revitalized our Sunday morning programming and brought life back into our ministry.
What I love most about Orange is that is takes relevant and accessible values and teaches truth. Our kids spend a month grappling with the value of contentment or cooperation or compassion and they intake that information through creative storytelling then head off to small group where they learn to apply God’s truth to their life.
I am seeing life change within our kids ministry. One 5th girl went home after week one of the contentment series. She asked mom and dad for something and then followed the statement with but if not, I will choose contentment.
Teaching truth is important. Having kids apply truth to their life creates life change. I am thankful that Orange is helping us live this out in Kids Ministry.