We are convinced that middle school and high school are some of the most formative years of our lives. The habits we create, the things we learn, and the priorities we make will all have a direct impact on who we become. Knowing this, we desire to prayerfully and thoughtfully partner with parents to do the best job of equipping and training the youth God entrusts to us. To that end, here is our plan:
A 3-year study that works through the Bible in chronological order. Over the course of middle and high school, our youth will work through the Bible two times.
Over the course of a fall semester we will explore who this God is that Christians worship. Since worshiping God involves knowing God, we believe this is a wise first step. Some of the characteristics of God that we will cover are: God is holy, God is love, God is sovereign, and God is slow to anger.
The Grand Story
During a spring semester, we overview the overarching storyline of the Bible moving from creation to new creation. One of the goals is to make the Bible more accessible. The Bible is a big, intimidating book but, if the basic story is understood, we believe it is much more approachable and enjoyable.
The Apostles' Creed
The following fall we will ask the question: What do Christians believe? For over 1500 years the Apostles' Creed has served as a useful and memorable summation of central Christian beliefs. It is laid out in Trinitarian fashion with a paragraph on the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
The Fruit of the Spirit
After considering what Christians believe, we will ask the question: How should Chrisitans live? For, as the Apostle James has said, 'Faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.' And dead faith is surely no faith. Christian ethics then is of central importance. We will alternatively use Galatians 5.16-25 and Jesus' Sermon on the Mount.
The Lord's Prayer
Not only do Christians believe certain things and live in certain ways, Christians also pray. And this praying looks quite different than we might originally imagine prayer to look. But that is no surprise, for our God is a God who is quite different than one that we could bring to life in our imagination. We will use Jesus' example in Matthew 6.5-14 as our starting point.
In addition to believing certain things, having a certain life ethic, and praying for things that align with God's character, Christians also read certain things. We will focus not just on what Christians read (the Bible) but also how Christians read. Since the beginning, Christians have made it a priority to read together so we will practice that by spending an entire spring gathering together and simply reading Scripture together!
All told, this track will take us three years. This allows for two things. First, since we never remember everything the first go round, each youth will get to make this journey twice. Second, for those youth who have committed to following Jesus and are maturing, we desire to establish them as group leaders for some of the middle school discussion groups. This is especially valuable not only for the middle schoolers, but also for our high schoolers who will soon graduate to gain valuable experience serving and teaching.