Like most of you, we kicked off our ministry year this past Sunday. It was bittersweet for me. I’ve loved having Sunday nights to spend with my family. It will be hard to not see them on Sunday nights from now until Christmas. The “sweet” part is that I get to spend time with the youth of our congregation. I miss spending time with these kids. I miss watching the light bulb go on in their heads when they make a spiritual connection. I love watching them grow in their faith.
Many people have asked what curriculum I use for our Sunday night Bible study. I’ve used boxed curriculum in the past and was never fully satisfied with what my money got me. These days, I write my own.
I know what you’re thinking! That sounds so scary and time consuming, but it really doesn’t have to be! Yes, there are times when I plan “themed” months and toil over a message. But when the group is smaller, I’ve learned to rely on the original Bible study curriculum…the Bible.
Our theme this year is “Echo Christ.” For those that attended the LCMS Youth Gathering this past summer, that theme may sound familiar. So what’s the best way to learn how to “Echo Christ?” Probably reading through his life. So that’s what we’re doing. Each week, we’re taking a section of Luke and discussing Jesus’ ministry. We’re looking at how He treated people and how He handled certain situations. Essentially, we’re going verse by verse through Luke and discussing it. No budget needed. No fancy graphics. No “frills.” Just Jesus.
As we go verse by verse, the students relate the material to their daily lives. It’s not some theme from a box that you have to stretch and take massive leaps to make connections to your specific students. It’s their experiences and thoughts being applied in their spiritual lives. The students own the lesson. They are able to actively participate in their spiritual growth. Also, it’s extremely cost effective.
If you’re looking for ways to cut cost and up the spiritual content of your ministry, give it a try. You don’t have to pay publishing companies and famous speakers half of your yearly budget. God’s already given you the curriculum.