One Size Fits All

Commander Bill Gunter —  October 21, 2010

We’ve all seen the ads for various items that state “one size fits all”. I’ve seen that in ministry related items as well. At a recent children’s ministry event, I walked from vendor to vendor and they generally had the same “sales pitch”. They shared about the benefits of their product and why they were better than the competition. As I explained that we are a small church, meeting in a movie theatre, with only about 40 minutes during the sermon to use the material, the next line I generally hear is, “that’s who we designed it for!” It is flexible so you can take and use what you need for your situation, i.e. “one size fits all”. Consequently, the larger churches with a lot of time get the benefit of the entire curriculum, where the more petite churches with fewer children, volunteers and less time, have a lot of unused material/content, yet the price is the same for both because “one size fits all”.

Now, I don’t state that to be critical of the various products, but to emphasize the point that one size NEVER fits all. Being bi-vocational, or volunteer, we may sometimes look for a curriculum in a box, something we, and those serving under us, can pull out on a Sunday morning (or weekday) and follow the script. We shouldn’t think like that. Each of our ministries and the children in our care are unique. We need to take a look at various products and see what works for us in our situation. Take the good, and use it, take the parts that don’t relate to your situation and remove, or revamp them.

In regard to pricing, I have evaluated products on their cost, how much of the product I would use and if it was cost effective to use only a portion of the product. We need to be good stewards of the resources God has given us.

So with the time constraints placed on us, may we never come to a decision about the material we use based on tradition, or quickly. Evaluate the many items available and find the one that fits your situation the best. There really is no “one size fits all”. What works for me, may not work for you and vice-versa. When I began, that was one of the criticisms I received, that people really couldn’t share because what may work in New England, may not work in Southern California. But I have seen different results and people are now working together, sharing ideas to help grow the kingdom.

So gather information, but don’t let the crunch of time have you getting something that will not reach the children in your care. Be diligent in seeking what God would have you use.

Commander Bill Gunter

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Bill is the Associate Pastor of Children & Youth at Hanover Fellowship in Hanover, Pennsylvania where his responsibilities include caring for children and youth from birth through high school. Along with his responsibilities in the local church, Bill is very involved in the Awana ministry, serving on the ministry teams of local Awana missionaries, providing trainings, leading workshops and helping run regional events.

3 responses to One Size Fits All

  1. It’s true, it’s tough to find a curriculum built for the smaller church, especially if you don’t want to pay full price. I often end up piecing stuff here and there, but then I feel like a disorganized mess! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  2. Very well stated, Commander!

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