With so much Sunday school curriculum available, choosing a curriculum for 1st–6th grade can be overwhelming. Where do you go? How should you start? Wading through all the options can be difficult and confusing. But I’ve got to let you in on a little secret: you can’t go wrong with TruStory.
The Tru difference is seen in their ministry philosophy. Tru believes that ministers help facilitate the relationship between a child and the Holy Spirit. As they say in their materials, “it is the Holy Spirit who makes spiritual growth and formation happen when and as He chooses.” What a refreshing perspective that takes into account the holy and awe-inspiring work of a minister, while releasing them from the need to make spiritual formation happen.
(By the way, if you are looking at this review because you’re trying to choose your next Sunday school curriculum, you might want to check out my complete guide to making that decision.)
What makes TruStory great
The materials list is a lifesaver
One of the great things about Tru is the way it’s tailor-made for Disciplr’s user-friendly format. Each element of Tru’s curriculum is augmented by Disciplr’s power and usability. You can clearly see this synergistic relationship displayed in elements like the Materials List.
Available for every curriculum in Disciplr, the Materials List gives you a customizable shopping list for everything you’ll need for the activities, crafts, and games in each lesson. You can check off items you already have, and add extra items you may need. The list can be printed off when you’re ready to shop for those needed objects.
For Tru, the Materials List isn’t one long running list for the whole lesson. Instead, it’s broken into multiple lists for the lesson’s individual sections. If you’re going to cut a section for time, or supplement it with something else, you don’t have to sort through a long list of materials to figure out which items to leave out—you can just check off the items from that section. Tru has been laid out in a way that allows it to capitalize on the strengths of the Disciplr platform.
Dr. Michelle Anthony’s spiritual development work is astounding
Dr. Michelle Anthony is the Pastor of Children and Parents at New Life Church. The passion and spiritual discernment found in her books Spiritual Parenting, Becoming a Spiritually Healthy Family, and 7 Family Ministry Essentials is also evident in Tru’s curriculum.
Instead of learning a bunch of Bible stories where they’re encouraged to emulate the behavior of the hero or internalize a moral lesson, kids learn to know and hear God’s voice and to obey it in the power of the Spirit. Dr. Anthony’s fingerprints are all over this curriculum, and that really sets it apart.
In addition to the curriculum, Tru subscribers also get access to the first video session and digital leader guide from Dr. Anthony’s Spiritual Parenting DVD series.
Children are recognized as individuals with their own relationship to God
It’s easy to approach ministry as a one-size-fits-all endeavor, especially when it comes to children. We tend to teach the Bible as if every child should have the same understanding and experience with God. In reading a particular Tru lesson, I came across this note to leaders:
“Help children understand that God speaks to us in many ways— through His Word, prayer, people and a variety of other ways. Encourage the kids to ask God for the ability to hear His voice, but also give them the freedom to know that it’s okay if they don’t always experience Him in the ways other people do.”
It’s this kind of sensitivity that makes Tru so valuable. I wish many adults had a handle on this concept, and it’s wonderful that it’s being communicated to children. This further reinforces the overarching strength of Tru’s curriculum. It recognizes God’s autonomy and sovereignty in the way he interacts and guides people of any age. And it honors the uniqueness of every individual—even the youngest—to hear and respond God in different ways. The value of this instruction has the power to follow children into adulthood.
What you need to know
TruStory is best for:
Age range: Grades 1–6
Bible translation: NIV
Publisher: David C Cook
Format and media:
Class formats: Large group/small group, classroom
Material format: Disciplr
Includes video? Yes
Scope and sequence duration: 3 years (13 weeks per quarter)
Average lesson time: 60 minutes
Follows ISSL? No
Mid-Week/Supplemental available? Yes: HomeFront Weekly
Want more? Try free sample lessons of TruStory on Disciplr.