How VBS Success Inspired Group’s Newest Sunday School Curriculum

How VBS Success Inspired Group’s Newest Sunday School Curriculum
June 3, 2016 Kylee Beard
Group’s New Sunday School Curriculum

Years ago, Group developed a teaching approach that transformed VBS. In fact, it propelled Group to the top selling VBS in the world. How did we do it? Well, let me share a part of the secret…

Children’s ministry is not just for kids. Your ministry also touches the lives of adult volunteers—and keeping them a priority strengthens your ministry to children. This is one of the many things that makes Group’s VBS so impactful. The approach is simple and logical…with a station-based program, we allow teachers to teach in their areas of natural strength and giftedness. This, my friends, was a fundamental change in how VBS was done. By allowing teachers to teach in their areas of natural strength and giftedness, they will be more successful and the lucky kids in their class will benefit. Now, you might be thinking that we are taking our eye off the ball here. But, I beg to differ, and here’s why.

I’m a volunteer. I’ve served in numerous ministries. I’ve served under leaders who knew me, and those who didn’t. The leaders who tried to get me to lead worship because I took piano lessons once in high school (LOL, no thanks!) and the leaders who put crafts in my lap (I am of the Pinterest generation, indeed!) Any attempt I’d make at leading music is mostly awkward. It’s just not my favorite. When it comes to crafts though, the kids and I have a BLAST. I love being creative, working with my hands, and seeing Jesus in the art of it all – and because the kids can see that I thrive here, they love it and thrive as well.

Is it about me? No, it’s absolutely not. It’s simply a means to a very happy ending. It’s about Jesus, and kids getting to know Him. It’s about the fact that when I love what I’m doing, the kids love it too. This is why children’s ministry isn’t just about children. Volunteers are the ones who actually huddle with kids. In the midst of any given activity, they are the ones helping the kids to make the Jesus connections. Your volunteers are your frontline troops so doesn’t it make sense that when a volunteer is engaged and loving what they’re leading—kids perk up and get excited, too? The thrill is infectious. So there it was. We came up with a formula that resulted in happy, satisfied, sign-up again volunteers. Resulting in happy, fulfilled kids!

How this approach inspired DIG IN – This same teaching approach guides Group’s new Sunday school curriculum, DIG IN! The online, interactive lesson builder allows teachers to simply drag-n-drop activities into their lesson. One teacher may be skilled at crafts…another may not. One teacher may be musically inclined…another may not (remember my piano story?).

Getting practical. In VBS, it looks like stations. In DIG IN, it’s activity blocks. The important thing is that teachers have choice…each lesson has 11 activity blocks to choose from.

  • Opening (5 min)
  • Core Bible Discovery (20 min)
  • Life Application Wrap-Up (5 min)
  • Deeper Bible (15 min)
  • High-Energy Game (10 min)
  • Low-Energy Game (10 min)
  • Object Lesson (10 min)
  • Craft (20 min)
  • Music Video (10 min)
  • Talk-About Video (10 min)
  • Take-home

Dig-In’s drag-and-drop lesson segments let the director—or volunteers themselves—pick and choose activities that match their skills, play to their strengths, and increase their effectiveness. And because each segment reinforces the lesson’s Bible point, lessons are always strong and right on target—connecting with both the kids and volunteers.

What will DIG IN do for your ministry? Giving teachers a curriculum that allows them to teach in their areas of natural giftedness is just good common sense. Check out digin.group.com. You’ll see how DIG IN can help your Sunday school teachers achieve their potential, and create the best learning situation possible for your kids.

Delight your volunteers by setting them up for success. Free them to work in their unique areas of giftedness. Volunteers who feel satisfied and successful are fulfilled and willing to serve longer because they’ve built lasting friendships with their kids and one another and resulting in satisfied, “sign-up again” volunteers.

Kylee Beard
Kylee brings her fair share of energy (and cupcakes!) to Group's Children's Ministry Team. Ministry has taken her all over Latin America but now that she has settled stateside, she loves hanging out with her high school girls' small group. On the weekends, you are likely to find her either in the kitchen or at the local thrift stores. She and her husband secretly want to be just like Chip and Joanna Gaines.

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