When it comes to kids’ ministry curriculum, I am pretty critical. As a former educator and youth minister, I’ve seen many highly-detailed curricula with theology that stretches far beyond my seminary work, yet is dated and uses worst teaching practices for kids’ developmental ages. I’ve also encountered “cool and flashy” curriculum that lacks any depth, or, frankly, purpose. This is kids’ souls we’re talking about hear! Can we get some good material and tools that are up to date, developmentally correct, theologically excellent, AND cool?
When I came to Victory Church to be the Kids’ Pastor and heard we used a “canned” curriculum, I thought to myself, “I wonder how long I can wait before I throw it out and write my own that will be a good fit for our kids.” Then I read my first lesson plan and my mind was blown. Orange had a solid educational strategy and it was challenging, Jesus-centered curriculum. I continued to research the philosophy and strategy of Orange and I was even more floored. This stuff is good.
Orange gets its namesake form the idea that if the church was yellow and our families are red, then orange is the perfect nexus of family and church coming together to advance the Kingdom of God in children’s hearts. It takes both. I love that.
The key for VictoryKids is that Orange is our strategy, but it’s not our script. Orange is used by churches across many denominations so it lacks the Victory church “flavor.” But that’s our job as VictoryKids leaders. We read the lesson plan each week and then we invite the Holy Spirit to help us. VictoryKids values sharing the Gospel with each child and praying with expectancy the God will move, heal, and change us. As I read the lesson plan, I often ask myself, “when should we pray?” or “how can we talk about how Jesus shows up in our life today?” When we treat Orange lesson plans as a tool versus a script that I need to follow verbatim, it really bolsters our Sunday experiences and helps us to lead children in experiencing God deeply.