Why You Shouldn’t Write Curriculum

During college, I served in a fantastic youth ministry run by a great youth pastor who always wrote his own curriculum.

I adored this youth ministry and its curriculum. It was solid theologically, incredibly creative, and designed specifically to meet this specific group of teens where they were. In short, it was amazing.

When I entered youth ministry, I wanted to run an amazing youth ministry, too. So, naturally, I set out to write my own curriculum. I wanted to give my students a solid theological base; inspire them to grow deeper in their faith with my amazing creativity; and meet them exactly where they were at it.

I failed… on every level.


Because no one ever told me how hard it is to write curriculum. No one ever told me that as a 21-year old rookie youth pastor the last thing I should have been trying to do was write my own curriculum.

Maybe no one has ever told you that, either. So, let me be the first.

If you’re a rookie youth pastor (of any age), or new to your church, don’t write your own curriculum. Here’s why:

Read the rest of this article here. 

Jen Bradbury on Youth Ministry

Jen serves as the Minister of Youth and Family at Atonement Lutheran Church in Barrington, Illinois. A veteran youth worker, Jen holds an MA in Youth Ministry Leadership from Huntington University. Jen is the author of The Jesus Gap: What Teens Actually Believe about Jesus (The Youth Cartel), The Real Jesus (The Youth Cartel), Unleashing the Hidden Potential of Your Student Leaders (Abingdon), and A Mission That Matters (Abingdon). Her writing has also appeared in YouthWorker Journal, Immerse, and The Christian Century. Jen is also the Assistant Director of Arbor Research Group where she has led many national studies. When not doing ministry or research, she and her husband, Doug, and daughter, Hope, can be found traveling and enjoying life together.

More about Jen

Jen's Books

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A Mission That Matters: How To Do Short-Term Missions Without Long-Term Harm

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Now Available!

Unleashing the Hidden Potential of your Student Leaders

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The Real Jesus

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The Jesus Gap

What Teens Actually Believe About Jesus

Based on National Research

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