Wednesday, April 02, 2014

DISCIPLESHIP Resources, one day someone will pick up one of the suggestions and try...

   I'm asked from time to time about 'discipleship resources' for young people and the answer will always start in the same place while this particular one exists.
1st thought: Christian discipleship is by definition based on relationship... following Jesus.... a shared journey with others. So any structured exploration will be helpful but just getting the story right, memory verses and any 'working through the Bible' approaches that are built on or update things done prior to 1969 don't take much account of how young people interact with the world or learn or ask ethical questions or act like young people.
   As well as that many ways of approaching this were designed for young people with a grounding in the stories from the Bible. That's mostly not the case now. That said, any material can be helpful and effective if shared in positive, mentoring and exploration based relationships with leaders or a faith community. For example, many Alpha programs I've been aware of over the years have all said 'the meal together' made the program. That's not a critique of the material, it's just a comment about the way a community learns [and always has I contend]... anyhow don't be sidetracked by an example...
   When I write about 'relationship' I'm talking both about authentic, positive, creative, mentor, friend relationships but I'm also talking about relationship where together we are trying to discover the identity of Jesus Christ with us and answer the 'who do you [you as a community or group plural as intended] say that I am?'
   BUT when you ask me about resources you're not asking any of that.... here's [6] and the first one works for any group, few take it up, but it's still my answer... written by youth and youth ministry people, daily reading, themes over time, expanded material on weekends... kids explore no matter how frequent or infrequent you gather. 
BUT it's even better if you 'go over stuff' together when you do meet. There's the magazine and in recent years, the website. Churches baulk at the cost... that's right young people aren't worth that...


[2] Animate Faith
An adult program that would work with High Schoolers with minimal adaptation

Some of the videos are a bit corny but the methodology is about visual engagement and discussion

[4] 'Way to Live'
Built on 'Christian practices' so it's praxis based and kids respond in action

[5] Simply Youth Ministry
I don't believe there's anything simple about ministry with young people but these US focused resources can help with a leader/group building relationship in discipleship alongside the resource

and REFLECT on the action, experience and relationships built... using SCRIPTURE e.g. join Hunter 'Habitat for Humanity', work out where God is working in your community and join in, see a global need and design a local response...

The first [5] are available to borrow from the Presbytery Resource Library or have a 'course' led by the Presbytery Youth Ministry Development Worker over a few weeks at a time tba. The sixth one is on your local doorstep...

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