Over the past few years I’ve been on a journey; a Jesus journey. Specifically, a journey to keep Jesus as the focal point of the ministry I lead. I noticed that in my desire to expose students to, and help them experience, a broad range of important “stuff” I had somehow managed to squeeze Jesus out! Of course, it wasn’t on purpose. And I was operating under the assumption that Jesus somehow leaked into everything we taught. But when I took an honest look at a few year’s worth of weekend and small group lessons the harsh reality was that Jesus-centric lessons were largely absent. Embarrassing, I know.
So we set out to change that. Specifically, we decided to dedicate our ENTIRE small group curriculum to helping junior highers learn about Jesus Christ. Now if a junior higher spends two years in a small group, he/she will be immersed in Jesus. At first, that felt like an over-correction…that we swung the pendulum too far. But is that possible? Is it possible to have too much Jesus in youth group? We decided not. So we wrote, bought, stole and compiled two years worth of awesome lessons about Jesus Christ that we thought were perfect for our students. And they were pretty good!
And then…Simply Youth Ministry released an entire “Year With Jesus” edition of LIVE! It’s fantastic, and if you are looking Jesus-focused curriculum, this is it! Of course, they released it AFTER we labored and labored and labored to develop our two year plan. So now, we provide our leaders with three years worth of Jesus curriculum for them to choose from.
I often feel odd promoting resources from Simply Youth Ministry because of my close relationship with them…I fear it doesn’t seem authentic to people. But I’ll take that chance this time because the Year With Jesus curriculum is something that I believe every youth group needs.
Is an entire year’s worth of Jesus too much? How can it be!