You really need some talented people in order to create Youth and Children’s Ministry’s study materials that precisely follow the reading plan. When you develop a meaningful 6-week course through Isaiah for 1st Graders, please share it with us. [Insert big grin here.]
Teen ministries are less challenging and, in fact, have proven to be able to follow the exact reading plan as adults, especially when implemented in small groups is tailored for them. But the point to consider here is close to the one made for adult Sunday School: Rather than invent materials, be flexible and work on coordinating the materials you plan to buy or use. In other words, already published materials can be loosely tied to the reading schedule so that entire families are basically going through the same portions of Scripture at the same time.
Just the benefit of the family driving home together Sunday and being able to relate different aspects from the same portion of Scripture cannot be understated. Parents and children are bonded through their sharing of what they each learned from the same reading. What occurs in children’s and youth ministries is no longer considered by adults to be disconnected or detached from their own experience each Sunday.
You’re already securing materials for these ministries so this isn’t a huge change. It’s really a matter of matching the schedule and content of those materials with the reading plan. This small effort yields a tremendous pay-off as it not only connects many different ministries together, but builds a natural thirst for a deeper commitment to God’s Word as children transition to adulthood.