It's late August, and if you work at a church or school, you're gearing up for what you know is the real New Year. So, first off... Happy New (ministry/school) Year!
Now, if you're a youth worker looking for a curriculum to use at your youth group or school this ministry year, you're in luck, because you've stumbled upon the blog of a girl who happens to know of a great resource that was created just for you.
Last summer, I had the absolute privilege of working with a fantastic team from Compassion Canada to develop True Story: What God Wants Us To Do About Poverty, a youth curriculum video series about poverty, injustice and our part to play in God's story of redemption in the midst of it all.
It's pretty fantastic, and I think True Story would make a great addition to your curriculum line-up this year.
So, I give to you...
8 Reasons Why You Should Use True Story: What God Wants Us To Do About Poverty
1. Let's get this out of the way: It's FREE. Like for reals, no-hidden-fees-and-no-strings-attached, zero-dollars free. Why? Because at the very core of who they are, Compassion is passionate about reaching youth through the local church, and that passion isn't limited to the youth and the Church of the developing world. So, True Story is Compassion's gift to the Church, because we know that today's youth, no matter where they're from, will accomplish great things for the Kingdom.
2. True Story is easy-to-use, adaptable and all available online. True Story comes with an incredible Leader's Guide that is designed to support you and your small group leaders every step of the way as you make this conversation about poverty and justice fun, personal, engaging and real. It's also super adaptable to fit the needs and structure of your group. Finally, it's all available online. We are so excited about True Story that we don't want anything to stand in the way of your group getting started!
3. Youth groups urgently and desperately need to have this conversation - because young adults are leaving the Church because of the lack of compassion- and justice-related conversations. I think most youth workers in the church can recall Hemorrhaging Faith. One of the biggest reasons youth left the church? The lack of compassion- and justice-related conversations and action. Christian youth (myself included) want to believe in a gospel that is about bringing hope to the darkest places of this world with both words and deed... so let's start talking about and acting upon the Gospel that is just that!
4. Is your group headed on a missions trip? This is a great prep course to do together as a team. Prepare your group to serve in the most broken places in this world by looking at God's heart and story of redemption behind it all... The story in which we get to play a part.
5. Is your group of young Christians looking for "What's Next?" Maybe you just finished Youth Alpha or a similar course, and now that your youth are excited about Jesus, they're wondering what it looks like to follow Him in practical ways. What kinds of things is Jesus all about? Why is our world broken? What can we do as the Church? True Story is a natural next step in discovering some answers to those questions.
6. Week 5 is a serving-together opportunity, and it's gold. A whole bunch of head knowledge is useless if it's not put into practice, which is why on Week 5 of this 6-week journey, you and your group will roll up your sleeves and serve the poor, marginalized and oppressed in your community. Whether this is something you do together all the time, or you're terrified by this foreign concept, from my humble experience I personally think there aren't many things that strengthen faith, unite groups and deepen relationships with Jesus and each other more than serving together.
7. You get to listen to my voice for 6 weeks! Just kidding. But seriously, I got to work with the most talented (and awesome) creative team on True Story's video segments, which are pretty sweet and are sure to engage your group with footage from all over the world.
Want a taste? Check out our promo video:
8. Compassion and Justice issues are central to the Christian faith and they mean a lot to Jesus. And that's the bottom line here. Justice, compassion, serving the poor... This stuff is some of the most-mentioned stuff in the Bible, and stuff that Jesus preached and lived and simply assumed to be a part of every Christian's life. And I mean, if it means a lot to Jesus, I wanna take a good hard look at it, you know?
So now that I've convinced you, you're left wondering, How can I get my hands on True Story? Remember that "available online" bit (see: Reason #2)? You can get your copy of True Story at www.compassion.ca/truestory, where you'll find the entire leader's guide and 6 video segments available for download, plus a whole bunch of extra resources designed to make True Story the best possible experience for you and your youth group.
I will be praying lots for you as you start this conversation about poverty, injustice and God's invitation to the Church in the middle of this messy world, and I hope that True Story is just the beginning of a conversation, and eventually, a lifestyle of compassionate living.
There's a nifty little Contact Us button at the bottom of the True Story website.
Personally, I would love to connect with you on Twitter and hear all about your True Story experience!
I would also love it if you would hashtag all your True Story photos and experiences as #TrueStorySeries.