Tag Archives: Youth Worker

Finding the Right Youth Curriculum

Last week, I wrote a very convincing blog on why you should consider using curriculum. This week is a brief list of websites that will help you find the right curriculum. Even if you already using a year-long curriculum like XP3 or LIVE, you most likely have other teaching times. So, you inevitably have the daunting task of searching the internet for curriculum that will fit your topic, your teaching style, your group size…and the list goes on. Below is a list of websites that I have used in the past.online support

Quick tip: Open all websites, type in the topic or Book study in the search box provided, and compare the products found.

Youth Specialties. What is nice about Youth Specialties is explained in their organization’s name. They specialize in youth ministry material. Several of these other companies have a wider range of material, which does not make them any better or worse, but I feel Youth Specialties garners trust with their focused material on youth. You will not have to worry whether the material is designed for older or younger audiences, but is tailored specifically for youth ministry.

Group. What I like about their website and curriculum is it is tailored for a specific program. Whether it is a small group setting, mission trip training, sermons, or even junior high or high school material, the resource organization on their website is very helpful. Group also provides a LIVE curriculum that will last the entire junior high and high school years – 72/144 weeks respectively.

Regular Baptist Press. This one might not be as well-known, but it happens to be my favorite. Out of all the curriculum I have used, this is the most user-friendly and creative. If I ever have a guest speaker for a series, I typically will try to give them this curriculum. The only downside is there typically is not DVD-based curriculum, if you are into those, and also the topics are somewhat limited. But if you find something that fits your topic, I would strongly recommend purchasing or at least using it as a supplement material to your lessons.

Simply Youth Ministry. See Youth Specialties description. This is essentially the youth department of Group. So much of what is on this website overlaps with Group and their products. But I still go here to make sure I didn’t miss any resources.

Zondervan. This may have gone under the radar to many of you, because Zondervan is often viewed as a publisher or regular books, not necessarily curriculum. I’ve found some great material here, including some incredibly creative DVD-series that my student have enjoyed. Worth a look.

Word of Life. When a youth worker or a new youth pastor is looking for a curriculum that is already designed, planned, and much of the pre-work is done already…this is where I point them. Word of Life has done a great job at providing curriculum that saves the teacher time in lesson planning, but also provides quality teaching and material for the lesson prep and study time.

What say you?  What curriculum websites do you use when you are searching for the right curriculum.  searchconfusion

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5 Reasons to Use Youth Curriculum

  1. Time.  Don’t think of curriculum as cutting corners. Think of it as being a good steward of your time. Curriculum will often provide you with a lesson plan to eliminate time in planning out each individual lesson topic. Also, curriculum speeds up the lesson prep process, without sacrificing the depth of the material.4_2_09_karl_lagerfeld06407-290x289
  2. More Depth. Speaking of depth, I have found using curriculum allows my teaching to be even more in depth. With the extra time and often discussion questions already built-in, I am able to do additional research and provide a more in-depth learning experience than I could have without the use of curriculum.
  3. People Are Smarter Than You. It’s true; there are people that are smarter than you. First step is admitting it. The second step is allowing other people’s work and study to benefit your teaching. Curriculum provides additional insight that you may not have come up with on your own.
  4. Creativity.   If you are youth pastor, youth leader, or work with youth, chances are you are creative. But with curriculum, you can be even more creative. Good curriculum gives you various options for opening illustration, lesson options, and closing takeaways. Teens desire hands-on, interactive, visual and aesthetic learning. Curriculum provides you with additional and creative options to provide a greater learning experience for your students.
  5. Variety.  Curriculum provides variety. Some curriculum is DVD-based, some uses video intros, and some is more interactive teaching. With each curriculum comes variety. If it was up to you, chances are you will most likely end up teaching to your strengths and according to your methods. Variety provides an excitement for each series, and you know what they say “variety is very spicy”…I think that’s what they say, something like that.social-media-curriculum

So what about you? Why do you use or not use curriculum? Feel free to comment below.

Stay tuned for next week, where I will reveal some of my favorite curriculum that I have used in the past, and will look forward to your comments on what curriculum you have used as well.

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Book Review: Disciplines of a Godly Young Man

Disciplines of a Godly Young Man – By Hughes & Hughes

The Good

If the purpose of the book is to lead a young person through the disciplines of the Christian life, and use this book for the purpose of discipleship…then this book hit the ball out of the park.  There is another version for adult discipleship (found heredailydisciplines), but for mentoring or discipleship of young men, this ranks at the top of my list.

Not only does it provide a great tool in discipleship, it also is challenging for the reader as well.  It provided Biblical and practical methods for achieving the disciplines of the Christian life.  It leaves very few stones unturned and is not afraid to challenge the reader to reach for greater heights in their spiritual walk.

If you are a teacher, preacher, parent, or mentor…this book is loaded with illustrations that drive the importance of daily disciplines.  I was constantly underlining the stories and illustrations.  If anything, that is worth the price of admission.

The Bad

There were some demonstrative and wide-sweeping statements that were made a few times.  Although, for the most part I agreed, it was a little dangerous.  For example, words like “never” and “no way” come often and with great weight.  I would take note of this in discipleship, and talk over these absolute statements together.  You may find they need to be stated this strongly to drive home the importance.

The Grade:  A.

You heard me.  I give it the highest grade besides perfection.  For discipleship, there are few better.  If you are a youth worker, parent, mentor, teacher, aunt, uncle, grandparent (do I need to keep going) of a young person, buy it and use it to disciple.  Many chapters can be used for young women as well.

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Encouragement for the Youth Pastor – Part 2

That parent just slammed the door after letting you know how horrible a job you are doing.  That student you thought would lead your praise band next year just got busted at a party.  That event you thought would attract hundreds ended up attracting less students than adult volunteers.

Any of these sound familiar?  Are you wondering if there is any hope out there for the youth pastor or youth worker?  Well, your encouragement can be found here.

2 John 1:4 tells us one place youth pastors can find joy is seeing children walk in the truth.  You see, youth or student ministry is unique.  Oftentimes, you do not see the results right away.  You may struggle with a student, pour your life, energy, heart, & soul into that student and they may walk off to a university only to make horrible decisions.  But, if you endure, if you persevere and stay true to God’s Word and continue fighting for the spiritual growth of these young people, the day will come where you can rejoice.  The tears from your prayers, the frustration of bad decisions, and the heartache over rebellion…that will fade away when that one student comes to you later in life and says “Thank you for believing in me, for caring about me when no one else did, or pushing me to Jesus.   I’m now a youth leader in my church (or I now serve in an inner-city mission or I teach 5th grade Sunday school).  But even better, you helped me realize I need Jesus in my life.  I’m following Him now”.

Those hard times will still be there.  But take heart youth worker, because there will be a day when you find a student on Facebook, or you hear from their parents, or they show up outside your office door…and they are walking in the truth.  And what joy that will bring.

Encouragement for the Youth Pastor – Part 1

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