Sometimes "one size fits all" just doesn't work for you. So what do you do if you haven't found a curriculum or program that fits your group? Put one together yourself.
If you haven't already, please look at the "Curriculum Page" on this site.
Include in every class
Our Sunday morning worship has a very set structure, one we can emulate in our classes and programs. If you have only one piece, you aren't showing the interconnectedness of our lives and God.
Studies have shown that news need to hear, reflect, and report. Here's the simple breakdown of a 30 minute lesson.
1-3 minutes - the Grab
This can be a poster, a quote, a short video clip. Something that will introduce the topic and entice people to want to learn more
5-7 minutes - the Meat
This is your lesson. Only 5 minutes? Yes. A short, sweet, and impactful lecture
10-20 minutes - the Project
Create something. This is the time when people need to work individually or in teams to unpack the lesson. They could produce an art project or answer questions.
5-10 minutes - the Production
Once the students have completed their project, they need to show it off and explain it. Basically, this is a "debrief." It's this last piece, being able to explain what they did and why they did it, that drives home the lesson and helps students remember it and incorporate it into their lives.
The outreach portion could be an ongoing activity, or something that goes along with the theme of your day.
The best way to teach outreach is to connect it to their families and the wider church. So if the class comes up with its own project, make sure they come up with talking points so they can teach the congregation and also get the support at home.
Click here for more outreach ideas.
Worship can be twined around the time together. Begin with prayer and close with it. Have the prayers written out so the class can take them home and tape them to their mirrors, inviting the entire class to pray the same prayer until they meet again. Invite the priest in to lead the group in Eucharist together. Open the Book of Common Prayer and read some of the individual prayers together, or say Compline or one of the prayers for individuals and families.
Teaching prayer and spiritual practices is also important. If the group is together for even 3 hours (a long class) a week, they're at home for the rest of the time. Give the students tools. Click here for ideas of spiritual practices.
4. Fellowship and Fun
Fellowship and Fun are important, but if your entire class or group is based solely on that, it will lose its enjoyment after a while (I think of that as bubble gum ministry). And, when you're planning your fun activities, please try to make sure they match up with your beliefs (for instance, I won't bring a group to paint gun - as I don't believe in teaching violence, even in a "fun" atmosphere).
With fellowship within the class, teaching how to "welcome the strange" is important. The class should never become a closed community, even if newcomers only show up once a year.