I just started reading the book Simple Church last night, and I’m fascinated by it. I’ll write more when I finish it, because I’m obviously not far enough along to give a good overview of it. I had spent a couple of hours at our local Christian book store (well, not so local – it’s about forty miles away) with the intention of finding some youth curriculum. We’ve got a need for better youth ministry at our church, and I had hoped that the selection might be better at a store that carries things from a variety of publishers. What I found were slim pickings indeed, including some discussion-starting worksheets that were dated 2001. I’m sorry, but I have trouble believing that curriculum written pre-9/11 is going to be even remotely relevant to today’s youth. In 2001, this group of high schoolers were still in grade school. They didn’t have iPods or cell phones, texting was still something you did on the computer, and terrorists were far away from their consciousness until September.
I realized in the midst of my searching that I am going to need to work on writing curriculum for the youth in our congregation. I also need to spend some time sitting in on their classes to see what the trouble is. Some of our long-time member kids (like since birth) are complaining that the class is boring. I need to go see what’s happening. I struggle with this, because the teacher of the class has a heart for youth but doesn’t always know the best way to reach them, and I think she’s fearful of letting them discuss and share their thoughts. She wants to equip them with information, but what they need are skills in finding the information for themselves and how to apply the Scriptures to their lives. Oh, the joys of working in church. Believe me, this is a problem that I am energized to deal with, even though I have no idea what to do yet. It reminds me of why I am working for the church, why I have been pursuing DCE certification.