More than likely, it’s been many years since your youth group days of Sunday school, discipleship training, and midweek groups. For some, many more than you’d care to admit. If you can even remember what resources your leaders used back in your day to help teach God’s Word to you, it’s probably not even available anymore, let alone should be. As with every generation, today’s youth learn differently than the previous, and more than with any other age group in your church, it can’t be overstated how important it is to continually revisit and update the curriculum you use in your student ministry. As with many areas, there are no shortage of options, which doesn’t always help you to narrow it down. So here are five resources available today to help you lead the students in your church.
Sticky Faith – http://stickyfaith.org/student-curriculum/
At all times in their writing development, Sticky Faith keeps in mind the unsettling stats that tell us that almost half of church-involved graduating seniors struggle deeply with their faith in college. Recently, this has led to their resource Can I Ask That? which deals with questions like “Does the Bible contradict itself?” “Is Jesus really the only way to God” and “What does the Bible say about being gay?” Their resource 10 Lessons to Nurture Faith Beyond High School deals with topics such as “How can my struggles help my faith stick?” and “How will I respond to the party scene in college?”
LIVE – http://live.simplyyouthministry.com/
LIVE is a one-stop resource for all your student curriculum needs. With multiple age groups, including a detailed specific four-year plan for high school, as well as topical studies, including apologetics and leadership, LIVE’s intention is to serve you the leader in the best way it knows how—by not replacing your or speaking for you but by coming alongside you and strengthening your own voice while teaching the students only you know best and providing many online features you and your leaders and students will love.
Lifeway – http://www.lifeway.com/n/Ministries/Youth
Lifeway has come a long ways in recent years, providing perhaps the most options of any single ministry. From traditional Sunday school studies such as The Gospel Project and Bible Studies for Life, to student devotions like Essential Connection and EC: 365—The Character of God, to several male- and female-specific small group studies, you will not find a better selection of materials and a more affordable price for your student curriculum needs. And the best part is that the student resource ministry at Lifeway is being added to constantly.
Elements – http://youthministry360.com/elements
Have you noticed that today’s kids desire more depth to what you teach them? After all, they’re not only students but future leaders, teachers, and theologians. They need solid food out in the real world, not merely milk. Elements offers them the mature, challenging studies that will satisfy that hunger for more. Made up of twenty-five 3-lesson studies that you can teach in any order that you desire, the short but solid topics include God’s judgment, God’s sovereignty, God’s knowability, and God’s righteousness. Included with each study are leader’s guides, student devotions, parent pages for at-home discipleship, and teacher prep videos to help you prepare.
Uncommon Youth Ministry – https://www.gospellight.com/youth-ministry/uncommon-youth-ministry
From Gospel Light ministries, these youth studies have been separated into both middle school and high school appropriate studies. Topics include parents and family, the armor of God, winning spiritual battles, and resisting temptation. The studies are adjustable for groups of any size, and their flexible formats work well for multiple settings, including Sunday school, midweek studies, or camps and retreats.
Kevin Harvey is the author of two books, his most recent being All You Want to Know about the Bible in Pop Culture. He also writes at BibleInPopCulture.com and can be found on Twitter under the handle @PopCultureKevin.