If you are aware of the statistics that have gone around the last few years, you are probably as troubled by the Church drop-out rate as we are. Our students are finding that the local body of believers is often at odds with their rapidly shifting culture. Once they begin to experience life outside the Christian “bubble” of their childhood, they begin to realize that the world is a diverse and highly relational place. This section of curriculum tackles two issues for our students: The relational realities of their world which is in seeming conflict with the Church and the purpose of the Church community in their lives.
First, our students actually know someone who is gay, they are friends with someone who is Muslim, they are smart enough to see what war does to entire people groups. They have relational skin in this game and are becoming more and more aware of the lack of compassion that seems to spew from those who speak for the American Church in the news.
The second issue many of them face is that their church does not usher them into adulthood, but rather ignores them and relegates them to the youth ministry. They do not feel part of something bigger than themselves, with purpose and meaning they can buy into. As a result they are not seeking to be a part of a Church community until years after high school graduation or sometimes not at all.
We hope that the scriptures found in these lessons will bring about a counter-cultural revolution in your group. The teachings of Jesus were revolutionary in his own day and carry the same weight in these uncertain times. And, let’s face it, loving God with our whole being and loving others well is stinking hard. But we believe our students are up for the challenge and the Church should be both the launching pad and home base for those desiring to live a flourishing life in Christ.
We know that there are no pat answers that will satisfy students long term. The most effective way to answer them is to allow students to experience the truth for themselves through a number of means. We strongly recommend that the curriculum prompts that include scripture, prayer, and discussion be utilized, but all that is up to you.
We strongly recommend that you create a box where students can write down and submit questions as you go along. It’s very likely they will be addressed at some point in the series, but this way you will know where your students are at in the process and you can tailor the lessons to them.
One of our foundational beliefs is that the Holy Spirit does the work of convincing. We encourage you and your team to lean into that belief as well. Our job is not to argue anyone into the Kingdom or to berate another’s beliefs, but to present better questions, the testimony of people, and the scriptures.
This packet includes:
• Student Leadership Meeting
• Four Topical Lessons with Small Group Questions
• Slide templates for PowerPoint, Keynote, ProPresenter, MediaShout, etc