In finding youth Sunday school curriculum, many people are unsure of what they should get. By saying this I am not dealing with the idea of choosing between publishers but instead with knowing what is included in a good curriculum package. In this article I will help guide you into developing a good checklist of what to expect in any good Sunday school package.
The number one thing you should look for are bible study lessons. This is a given but I add it into our checklist because I want you to know that this is the number one priority. There are a lot of other factors to consider but the number one thing that will make or break the youth sunday school curriculum that you choose is the quality of the bible study lessons it contains. Deciding the quality depends on the needs of your students, there level educationally and spiritually, and the direction you believe your student ministry needs to head in. Deciding those factors is up to you so take some time and put some thought into this portion of the process. Another decision that is up to you is how long the study should be. You can find a bunch of four and five week studies and piece them together but I suggest trying to find an eighteen week curriculum. This will allow you to cover a full semester, give your semester continuity, and save you a lot of time and work.
The next thing you want to look for in a youth Sunday school curriculum is commentary. Your leaders, regardless of their knowledge, will need some commentary and biblical background to prepare to teach the lessons. A good curriculum package will include this with each lesson. This is important because the majority of your leaders do not have a resource library and you do not have time to write commentary for them each and every week. Some studies will make this a separate section within the lesson but ideally it will flow nicely throughout each lesson for easier study and communication of truth.
Finally, as you choose your youth Sunday school curriculum you want to see if your package includes discipleship materials. Your students' spiritual growth does not end on Sunday mornings so you need some materials to help them grow throughout the week. Why not get these included into something you are already buying and, as a bonus, that align with what your students are already studying. There are two ways this can happen. Some studies include daily devotionals with each lesson. Others will have extra material in the lesson that you will not have time to cover. This is often done intentionally so your students can take that extra stuff and go dig into the word on their own throughout the week. Regardless of the format, look for a package that includes ways for your students to grow in their faith beyond their Sunday morning small groups.