10 Popular Children's Church Curriculum Options (2022)

How do you choose a children’s ministry curriculum that fits your church, especially considering there are hundreds of options available?

Each children’s ministry curriculum has its strengths, weaknesses, and style. As a church, you need to determine your children’s ministry goals and prioritize what you’re looking for in weekend experience and support for families.

Thankfully, there are tons of outstanding options for fun, biblically-based, and age-appropriate lessons for kids. To help you start narrowing down your options, we’ve compiled a list of 10 popular children’s ministry curriculums that will help your ministry thrive.

Estimated reading time: 11 minutes

Table of contents

  • 10 Children’s Church Curriculum Options
    • 1. Orange Kids
    • 2. The Gospel Project
    • 3. LifeKids
    • 4. Group
    • 5. Grow Kids
    • 6. ShareFaith Kids Ministry Curriculum
    • 7. Answers Bible Curriculum
    • 8. Awana
    • 9. Explore the Bible by Lifeway
    • 10. Truth78 Curriculum
  • Finding the Best Children’s Church Curriculum

10 Children’s Church Curriculum Options

Children’s church curriculum can encompass ages ranging from birth through high school. Although many curriculums extend into middle and high school, we’ll primarily look at preschool and elementary options. This list contains an overview and pricing, along with the digital resources and other perks each program offers.

1. Orange Kids

With over 10,000 partner churches, Orange is one of the most common curriculums used by children’s ministries. Orange is also known for its popular family ministry conference (Orange Conference), held annually in Atlanta, Georgia.

Orange has an extensive library of resources, including a life stage curriculum, kids’ music, VBS programming, and a parenting app. In addition, they supply free and paid resources for parents to engage the whole family in kids’ ministry.

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With a fun curriculum that is attractive and applicable, Orange works to develop relatable lessons and provides subtle adjustments from one age group to the next based on developmental growth and learning principles.

The kids’ curriculum from Orange includes:

  • First Look (Preschool)
  • 252 Kids Curriculum (Elementary)
  • XP3 Middle School Curriculum
  • XP3 High School Curriculum

What’s Included

  • Virtual experience materials
  • Large group materials
  • Small group materials
  • Media package
  • Environmental planning
  • FX: Family Experience Event
  • Volunteer resources

Key Features

  • The curriculum is set up in one-year plan cycles.
  • Includes a free parenting app for families connected to the Orange curriculum.
  • You can receive a free month of curriculum, access to a ministry specialist, a media package, and more with an Orange Kids curriculum trial.

Price

Pricing varies based on the curriculum package you choose and the number of kids.

  • First Look (Preschool curriculum) annual license $525 – $2,519
  • 252 Kids (Elementary curriculum) annual licensed $525 – $2,859

2. The Gospel Project

Gospel Project is a children’s ministry curriculum from LifeWay, one of the largest Christian publishers and retailers. The Gospel Project has a curriculum for preschool age through adults and offers extensive resources.

The Gospel Project takes kids on a Christ-centered, chronological journey through the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation. Each lesson points to Jesus as redeemer, teacher, Lord, and Savior.

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What’s Included

  • Starter kits – includes an activity pack, videos, music, and more
  • Leader guides
  • Kids resources
  • Small group resources
  • One-time purchases: posters that create a mural to show how the entire Bible points to Jesus
  • Quarterly digital products

Key Features

  • The Gospel Project curriculum is organized into three-year cycles, with new volumes released every three months.
  • A chronological study plan from Genesis to Revelation unites the big story and themes of scripture.
  • Each lesson includes an engaging activity, small group discussion questions, and a memory verse.

Pricing

Monthly subscriptions allow you to bundle Preschool and Kids curricula, and you can choose from a Basic Plan and Plus Plan. The Plus Plan includes worship videos, audio, guides, and resources for a midweek discipleship experience. You can also choose to purchase curriculum and resources a la carte.

We’ve included a sampling of pricing for both types of plans below. In addition, you can view complete pricing options here.

Preschool and Kids Basic Plan

  • $65 per month for 1-50 average attendees
  • $140 per month for 101-200 average attendees
  • $262 per month for 401-800 average attendees

Preschool and Kids Plus Plan

  • $111 per month for 1-50 average attendees
  • $186 per month for 101-200 average attendees
  • $308 per month for 401-800 average attendees

3. LifeKids

LifeKids is the children’s church curriculum from Life.Church. It’s available on Life.Church Open Network, which means (drumroll…) it’s FREE!

The LifeKids team has created a curriculum for kiddos ages 2 through 4th grade. For preschoolers, there’s the Bible App for Kids Curriculum. Konnect is a program for younger elementary. You can also check out the Students category for more resources for older kids and students.

The early childhood curriculum is a 23-unit two-year program that family can reinforce at home through the Bible app. Now let’s talk about Konnect.

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What’s Included

  • Pre-experience music
  • Video message
  • Vide teaching segment
  • Emcee tech sheet
  • Small group guide
  • Materials list
  • Parent convo card

Key features

  • Open Source contains curriculum options on a variety of series topics.
  • You can find in-class training to learn how to implement the curriculum.
  • Multi-week series typically range from 3 to 5 weeks.
  • Find worship and curriculum from partner churches such as eKids (Elevation Church), NewSpring Church, Church of the Highlands, and others.

Pricing

The curriculum is free; just sign up for an account to access children’s church curriculum, training and leadership development, and a support community.

4. Group

Next on the list is Group Sunday School Curriculum. Group started as a magazine and developed into a provider for children’s curriculum, Sunday School resources, and small group studies.

The company offers digital and print resources for preschool through high school children. Plus, they have an adult Sunday School curriculum and tons of resources, including Vacation Bible School (VBS) series.

Group focuses on creating R.E.A.L. experience as Jesus did, which means:

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  • Jesus was Relational
  • Jesus created Experiences
  • Jesus’ teachings were Applicable
  • Jesus’ goal was lifelong Transformation

You can choose from one of their seven ministry programs, depending on the specific age, length, and scope you’re looking for. You can also take a quiz on their compare curriculum page to help you determine what’s best for your needs.

What’s Included

Although the features may vary slightly among the seven programs, most will include the following options:

  • Music and lesson video DVD
  • Movie files on USB
  • Audio files
  • Preschool options
  • Gizmos (interactive activities and learning enhancements)

Key Features

  • Choose from seven children’s ministry programs.
  • Digital and print resources are available for children in preschool through high school.
  • The company offers an adult Sunday School Curriculum, Vacation Bible School (VBS), and other resources.

Pricing

Pricing varies by program, and you can also buy the different lesson components and guides ala carte. For example, the FaithWeaver NOW Starter Set is $402.99 per quarter. FaithWeaver includes a curriculum for infants through adult levels, with a teacher pack and student book for each age level.

5. Grow Kids

Grow Kids Ministry is a children’s church curriculum provider that offers digital and print resources for preschool through fifth-grade children. They also provide Grow Students and Grow Groups for adults. The company was started by children’s ministry leaders who understand the challenges of leading a children’s ministry.

Their goal is to help churches grow kids spiritually both at church and at home, increase the level of parent engagement, and grow the effectiveness of your volunteer team.

What’s Included in “Grow Your Kids”

  • 12 months elementary large and small group
  • 12 months preschool curriculum
  • Series artwork and screen graphics
  • 24 memory verses
  • Monthly parent printables and emails
  • Prep sheets and shopping lists
  • Weekly coloring pages
  • Weekly teaching videos
  • Discipleship Tools
  • Programming

Key features

  • Comprehensive annual program for preschool and elementary.
  • Additional options are available with the “Grow Your Ministry” plan for equipping volunteers, communicating with families, and planning events.
  • Adaptable for online, in-person, or both
  • Free Vacation Bible School curriculum is posted every year

Pricing

Grow Your Kids includes everything listed above for one annual payment of $597. The “Grow Your Ministry” package of resources is $997 a year and has additional resources for volunteers, families, and events.

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Also, check out their free VBS curriculum.

ShareFaith offers a suite of connected technology tools, including church media, websites, connect ChMS, giving, live streaming, and Sharefaith Kids Ministry Curriculum.

The Kids Ministry Curriculum is a comprehensive on-demand digital library with over 150 Bible lessons. And new lessons are added monthly. Members can also access 5-Day VBS resources for marketing, preparation, and execution.

You can also connect parents and other family members with online family devotionals featuring the in-class lessons with additional discussion and reading options.

The entire resource library includes fun elements like worship videos, Bible quizzes, PowerPoint games, and digital comics to up your fun factor.

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What’s Included

You can sign up for a free 7-day trial to view:

  • Preschool and elementary lessons
  • PowerPoint game
  • VBS content bundle
  • Worship video
  • Bible comic

Key Features

  • The Bible Is Trustworthy
  • Apologetics
  • Chronological & Historical
  • God’s Redemptive Plan
  • God’s Attributes
  • Life Application
  • Gain instant access to tons of digital resources
  • Partner with families with integrated online family devotionals
  • Get organized with Sunday School Scheduler and Planner

Pricing

Pricing is not available on the website, but you can sign up for a free 7-day trial to receive more details.

7. Answers Bible Curriculum

The Answers Bible Curriculum (ABC) is a chronological, Christ-centered Bible study series covering all of Scripture (Genesis to Revelation) in four years. It’s adaptable for all ages and can be used in Sunday School, children’s church, homeschool, and family devotions.

The Answers Bible Curriculum includes lessons, memory verse songs, devotionals, and helps children understand how the Bible applies to their lives.

What’s Included

  • Teacher guide
  • Take-home sheets
  • Lesson theme, memory verse, and classroom posters
  • Student guide
  • Downloadable resources (video clips, songs, PowerPoint)
  • Family devotional
  • Memory verse songs
  • Flip chart and Justin & Jessie stories (PreK-1st kit)

Key Features

  • Choose from ESV or KJV Bible versions.
  • Synchronized lessons across all six age groups ranging from preschool to adult.
  • Emphasis on Whole Bible, Whole Family, Whole Truth.

Pricing

Get a one-month free trial. You can purchase a 1 unit plan that includes ten weeks/lessons or five units covering one year/50 lessons. Each 10 lesson kit costs $29.99, and you can save by ordering multiple kits simultaneously.

8. Awana

Awana has existed for over six decades with a mission to reach children, youth, and families for Christ. Right now, Awana serves over 120 countries, empowers leaders, and reaches kids with the Gospel and discipleship.

The goal of Awana is to develop spiritually strong children and youth who faithfully follow Jesus Christ. And they accomplish this goal through weekly clubs offered throughout the U.S. where children and youth learn biblical scripture through games, handbooks, and other activities.

Awana also offers resources for families, children’s ministry leaders, and churches. Awana Brite is the discipleship curriculum for churches, which is designed for weekend services.

What’s Included

  • Large and small group welcome activities
  • Videos for the intro, Bible story, and conclusion (includes a memory verse and gospel presentation)
  • Small group application activities
  • Challenge experiences
  • Lesson training resources

Key Features

  • Leader training and resources are provided.
  • Gospel-focused teaching, engaging media, and guided conversations.

Pricing

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Pricing is based on the number of children in your ministry ranging from $600 per year for 1-25 kids to $2,000 per year for an unlimited package. Awana also provides a scholarship opportunity for churches needing financial support.

9. Explore the Bible by Lifeway

Explore the Bible is a Sunday School curriculum that takes your group on a journey through all 66 books of the Bible. The goal is for children, youth, and adults to know God’s Word completely.

This curriculum is adaptable for any size group and offers flexible options for large and small groups. The Explore the Bible curriculum can also be used as a family devotional. The only downside to this option is that it’s confusing to figure out the pricing and materials needed, but if you contact Lifeway they can help you put together a package for your church.

What’s Included

  • Leader guides, including session plans for large and small groups
  • Activity pages with Bible activities
  • Tool Kits include one leader guide, a set of activity pages, a leader pack, a CD, and a DVD
  • Family card for discussion and devotionals

Key Features

  • Champion biblical literacy and learn skills to apply God’s Word.
  • Understand fundamental truths and takeaways in every book of the Bible.
  • Have fun in God’s Word.

Pricing

You’ll have to do some research as the resource pricing is based on the number of students and classes. Leader Guides are $8.49 each, activity pages are $3.75 each, and tool kits are $59.99 each.

10. Truth78 Curriculum

The Truth78 Sunday School Curriculum name is inspired by Psalm 78, which is a signature text tied to the mission of this non-profit. The curriculum is designed to be taught over 40 weeks and includes church, school, and home resources.

Truth78 provides a broad range of resources, including Sunday School, midweek Bible, intergenerational studies, and Backyard Bible Club. The curriculum is designed to teach the Whole Counsel of God, covering Bible survey, biblical theology, systematic theology, gospel proclamation, and moral and ethical instruction from an age-appropriate perspective.

What’s Included

  • Classroom kit
  • Teacher’s guide
  • Student books
  • Growing in Faith Together (GIFT) Pages
  • Visuals packet
  • Verse cards

Key Features

  • The Growing in Faith Together app is available for parents to access the additional curriculum with in-app purchases.
  • The curriculum is also available in Spanish.

Pricing

Forty lesson curriculum packages are sold by grade level. For example, you can order a classroom kit for $130-$165, additional teacher guides for $85-$110, visual packets for $74, and student notebooks for $6-$10.75. You can also order additional resources such as verse cards and booklets.

You can try ten lessons for free on their website.

Finding the Best Children’s Church Curriculum

Although Orange and the Gospel Project are two of the most popular options out there, you can’t go wrong with any of the ten options on this list. It’s important to find a children’s church curriculum that is biblically-based, engaging, and fun for both kids and volunteers. With so many great options available, you’re sure to find the perfect fit for your church.

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Which children’s ministry curriculum do you use at your church? Let us know in the comments below!

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FAQs

How much is the orange curriculum? ›

Orange is an excellent curriculum that uses the advantage of a joint force to reach children both at home and in church. A one-year subscription for it starts at $510 and it has a two-year cycle with four streams based on the age group and class size.

How can I improve my child's ministry? ›

Set objectives you'd like to achieve.

Take time to discuss what specific things you'd like to see improve this coming year. For example, “Clear a space outdoors for children to explore. Create opportunities for children to see and appreciate diversity. Spend more time with children's families.”

How can kids make their church fun? ›

Make It Fun!

When you play games and do crafts, use the lessons to reinforce an atmosphere that makes kids look forward to church. Additionally, play music regularly and let the kids sing or play their instruments. Worship songs are a great way to get kids engaged, regardless of their age.

Who owns Orange curriculum? ›

Reggie Joiner is founder and CEO of Orange (The reThink Group, Inc), a nonprofit organization whose purpose is to influence those who influence the next generation. Orange provides resources and training for churches and organizations that create environments for parents, kids, and teenagers.

Why is Orange curriculum called Orange? ›

We originally chose Orange as a name because we were looking for a way to illustrate the power of combining two things to get a different outcome. We say this all the time: “Two combined influences make a greater impact than just two separate influences.”

How can I be a good children's pastor? ›

Here are five characteristics of highly effective children's pastors:
  1. They are a leader of leaders. ...
  2. They are creatively resourceful. ...
  3. They understand their role as discipling the entire family. ...
  4. They prioritize scalability. ...
  5. They utilize safety best practices.
9 Jun 2015

How do you grow Sunday school attendance? ›

Have a bulletin board in a busy place at church. Include different things like focusing on different ages, focusing on teachers, focusing on a big event, advertising a big event, or pictures of a very exciting activity. Update this monthly. Keep your teachers and volunteers that help you promote Sunday School!

What is the purpose of children's church? ›

It's helping children become more like Jesus over time. It involves a series of actions or steps that children take to achieve the desired end. The process begins when we invite children to connect with Jesus and His Story. It develops as the grace and glory of Jesus are revealed.

What are some fun church activities? ›

25 Church Small Group Icebreakers and Activities
  • Bible Squeeze Relay. Have participants get into two teams, form a line and hold hands. ...
  • Photo Scavenger Hunt. Divide into groups with at least three people who have phones. ...
  • Team Balloon Race. ...
  • Bible Brains. ...
  • Twizzler Tie Up.

How do I attract children to my church? ›

Invite children to read scripture, talk about their experience of God, how they're loving others in their lives. If your church is one that uses Godly Play, invite one of the children to be the preacher for the morning by telling their favorite story from the curriculum.

How do you make a Sunday school program? ›

HOW TO teach Sunday School in Church | Sharefaithkids.com

What is the Orange strategy? ›

Orange is a strategy for combining critical influences in life to fuel faith in the next generation. Orange is a path, a strategy that combines the strength of two—yellow and red—to create the brilliance of another, Orange.

What is the orange curriculum for church? ›

Orange is a unique approach to curriculum. The Orange curriculum is always relevant, biblical, engaging and experiential, but there are also six additional distinctives of all our resources. PERPETUALLY INNOVATIVE – Orange curriculum is known for innovation and creativity.

Who founded think orange? ›

Reggie Joiner is the founder and CEO of Orange. He also co-founded North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, Georgia, with Andy Stanley. During his eleven years as the executive director of family ministry there, he developed a new concept for relevant ministry for children, teenagers, and married adults.

What is gospel project? ›

The Gospel Project is a weekly Bible study that helps kids dive deep into the big story of the Bible—God's plan to rescue His people through His Son, Jesus Christ.

What is the reThink Group? ›

The reThink Group, Inc. is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to teach Biblical principles of marriage and family life through providing curriculum, videos, books, music and other resources to its customers, primarily in the USA.

What is needed for a childrens ministry? ›

The qualifications needed for a career as a children's minister include a bachelor's degree in either religion or children's ministry. Depending on your denomination, you may need to attend a specialized college, known as a seminary. Experience as a Sunday school teacher is also helpful.

What does a children's pastor do? ›

A children's pastor is a clergy member who leads religious services and activities for children. They may also be responsible for teaching Sunday school classes, providing spiritual counseling to children and their families, and other duties as assigned by the senior pastor or lead minister of the church.

What does a children's ministry director do? ›

Provide supervisory leadership and oversight of the children's ministry team, ensuring each member's consistent execution of vision, values, and programming to ensure the creation of a vibrant ministry environment that allows children to learn and experience the gospel of Jesus on a weekly basis.

How can a Sunday school teacher improve? ›

3 Tips for Maintaining Attention | Sunday School Solutions - YouTube

What are the duties of a Sunday school director? ›

Lead in planning and administering the total work of the department. Meet regularly with teachers for prayer, planning, and making assignments related to evangelism and outreach, fellowship, ministry, and Bible teaching. Serve as a greeter or host for the department.

How do I get people to come to church? ›

Tips for Increasing Church Attendance
  1. Create a Welcoming Environment. ...
  2. Offer Online Services. ...
  3. Ask Your Congregation for Feedback. ...
  4. Encourage Church Members to Bring Friends. ...
  5. Share Videos on Social Media. ...
  6. Promote Small Groups. ...
  7. Challenge People to Serve. ...
  8. Focus Your Church's Programs Around the Mission.
9 Jun 2021

What does the Bible say about children ministry? ›

Children's Ministry in the Bible

Jesus called the children to him and said, 'Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it'” Luke 18:16-17.

What is the philosophy of children's ministry? ›

Based on our theological commitments, Children's Ministry exists to prepare and train children to be lifelong followers of Christ, trusting in his atoning sacrifice, serving in the church faithfully, and eagerly evangelizing the people the Lord has put around them.

Why do you serve in kids ministry? ›

We Need Children's Ministry Because Children Matter to God

He values them not only for what they will become in the future but for who they are today. Jesus even recommended to His grown-up, self-important disciples that to understand God's Kingdom, they needed to observe, learn from, and imitate young children.

Why is children's ministry so important? ›

Providing a moral pillar of support can transform the way that the future world looks. Children's ministry curriculum teaches many things about the Bible, Jesus, and God, but it also teaches fundamental life lessons and guidance on how to navigate the tougher days of life.

How can I encourage my child to go to church? ›

5 Tips to Help Children Going to Church Understand Why They Go (and get excited about it!)
  1. Set the Tone. Play soft inspirational music on Sunday. ...
  2. Prepare for the Church Meeting. Bring quiet activities for your children to do while they are at church.
22 Sept 2016

How do you minister your toddler? ›

Ministering to Children and Youth
  1. Get to know the children and youth. It's difficult to support others until you know what support they need. ...
  2. Share your talents and look for connections that could involve others. ...
  3. Be interested and give encouragement. ...
  4. Follow the Holy Ghost.
13 Oct 2019

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