Lessons learned in creating your own cross- cultural children’s ministry curriculum

When writing your own curriculum for cross-cultural missions to children, it is wise to keep in mind that the most important goal of the exercise is to help children get to know God better, and to develop a genuine relationship with Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. To do so, know that you will have to hold it lightly, because you can prepare the content with absolute diligence and commitment, and then end up throwing most of it away! What’s more, even when you know a context fairly well or have been briefed on it to the utmost degree, the unexpected can and will happen on the day. When one is extremely limited in the spoken word as a means of communication in a cross-cultural context, the curriculum will benefit from containing clear, simple statements with lots of repetition and visuals. The point is to get enough of the understanding across of Jesus as a real and personal saviour.

Know that if a child bonds with you, you have won their heart, and then the truth of what you are teaching them has a place to land in their minds. One of the most important elements, and one which cannot be written into a curriculum, is the simple act of sharing time with the children –playing games, sharing smiles, giving them genuine attention and responses of affection – all things which can cross any language barrier.