Holistic Student Ministry Curriculum
A Teaching Strategy To Produce Gospel-Focused Students
Produce Gospel-Focused Students
In student ministry, we’re all trying to accomplish the same goal: lead students to live a life focused on the gospel of Jesus Christ. Every week we have the opportunity to shape our students’ worldview from the stage. Does your approach to teaching help your students develop a holistic view of Christianity? Or could your teaching strategy be unintentionally leading your students’ toward a broken understanding of Christianity?
STUDENTS SEE THROUGH A BROKEN LENS
Scripture is clear that sin has fractured the way we see the world. We don’t see things as we were created to. That’s a problem. And Jesus explains why in Matthew 6:22-23.
22 “Your eye is like a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is filled with light. 23 But when your eye is unhealthy, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is!
In other words, the root issue of what we do isn’t what we do. It’s how we see. And our students see themselves and the world around them through a fractured lens. So as youth workers, we work hard (by God’s grace and the power of the Holy Spirit) to help fix what sin has broken. To that end, many great student ministries develop teaching strategies comprised of helpful, biblically accurate series on PRINCIPLES and PRACTICES found in the Bible.
But The Problem Is…
PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICES LEAD TO A BROKEN UNDERSTANDING
When we teach only biblical principles and practices, our students wind up with a fractured understanding of their faith. The teaching strategy of many churches leads students to learn true, but disconnected ideas on love, respect, spiritual disciplines, friendships, influence, identity, etc. Consequently, churches are producing students who…
…know what the Bible says but not how it all fits together
…try to live as Jesus lived without becoming who Jesus was
…know what to do but not how to see (and, as Jesus said, that’s problematic)
Students see through a broken lens. And teaching them from the Bible is indeed the fix. But principles and practices are just parts of Christianity. The best way to fix a fractured worldview is NOT to teach fractured parts of a better worldview.
At G Shades, We Believe…
THE WHOLE IS GREATER THAN THE SUM OF ITS PARTS
It’s fine to have a teaching strategy focused on biblical practices. It’s better to have a teaching strategy focused on the biblical principles behind those practices. But ultimately, a holistic approach to the Bible points to one thing: the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The gospel is the foundation, and it ties everything together. It is the why behind every biblical mandate. It is the lens through which Jesus saw the world. When we anchor every principle and practice down to the gospel narrative, the fractured sum of parts become a holistic belief system.
The best way to fix a fractured worldview is to teach students to look at every problem, tension, and question the way Jesus did.
G Shades Student Curriculum is a holistic teaching strategy designed to help you produce gospel-focused students while still teaching helpful, topical series that will hit your students right where they are.
GET STARTED FOR FREE!
This free, downloadable four-part series on seeing God, yourself, people, and purpose through the lens of the gospel is the absolute best way to introduce the G Shades teaching strategy to your students! It’s formatted to work well as a retreat theme but can easily be turned into a regular four week series as well!
Our curriculum comes in series sets. The first set is called "G Shades: Base Camp"
What's Included In G Shades: Base Camp?
Teaching Series For G Shades: Base Camp
4 Weeks on Seeing God Differently
This series addresses the problem of evil through the lens of the gospel.
4 Weeks on Seeing Purpose Differently
This series helps students see their gifts and talents through the lens of the New Covenant.
4 Weeks on Seeing Yourself Differently
This series addresses our culture's performance mentality through the lens of the gospel.
Bring The Series To Life with G Shades Sunglasses!
Students love swag. That’s why camp t-shirts are a thing. Youth pastors like us love take-home reminders. That’s why WWJD bracelets were a thing. When you add G Shades sunglasses to your purchase, everyone wins!
Your students will love wearing these awesome, aviator-style G Shades as a reminder to see life through the lens of the gospel! You can give them away as take-home reminders, prizes for games, or you can even resell the shades for a few dollars to recoup your investment! Seriously, your students are going to love these.
Mike Haynes has been in student ministry for over 8 years. He currently serves on staff at Christian Fellowship Church in Ashburn, Virginia. In addition to founding G Shades, Mike has written for XP3 Middle School Curriculum, XP3 High School Curriculum, Grow Curriculum, and the DYM Store.
He and his wife Anna have 3 beautiful kids named Aiden, Liliana, and Kyra. In his limited free time as a Student Pastor and father of three small children, Mike likes to watch Dragonball Z, lose in NFL fantasy football, and cheer for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Mike has spent the last few years teaching his students to see through G Shades, and he’s so excited to share this unique angle on teaching students with the rest of the youth ministry community!
Frequently Asked Questions
How does G Shades cater to Generation Z?
Gen Z is the first post-Christian generation in our nation’s history. That means they are the first generation likely to walk into our churches as blank slates when it comes to Christianity. That’s a good thing. It allows us the chance to start fresh and focus only on what really matters. Because Generation Z is growing up in a culture not too unlike the one the Early Church began in, our best bet at influencing them is to do what Paul and the other Apostles did back in the 1st century: stay laser-focused on the life-giving implications of the gospel.
The Early Church didn’t have all of the tools we do to mature as believers. They didn’t have “the Bible”, they varied greatly in cultural experience, and their church communities were far from homogeneous. It was messy. But in the face of governmental oppression, societal opposition, and violent aggression from those who still wanted to do things the old way, the Church flourished. And it will flourish again when we raise this next generation to see life as Paul did–through the lens of the gospel.
How will this curriculum feel different from others?
The goal of each series is not just to teach biblical principles and practices, but to attach those principles and practices to their root, which can be found in an aspect of the gospel. Every series is structured to answer two questions:
1) What does the gospel prism reveal about this topic?
2) What will happen when we see this through the lens of the gospel?
Does this teaching strategy limit the topics I can teach on in my youth ministry?
No! Since the gospel infiltrates every aspect of life, there are very few topics that can’t be taught on from a gospel lens. We plan to create series that help students see everything from sexuality, race relations, purpose, friendship, identity, mental health, and even politics (no, we’re not going to take sides) through the lens of the gospel! In the Good News, we discover how to navigate any and everything!
I’m subscribed to a different curriculum. Should I stop using my other curriculum?
If you feel like that’s the right move for your ministry, go for it! But it’s not our heart to compete with other organizations. While G Shades approaches curriculum differently, we do so in an effort to link arms with other organizations who are also helping the Church. Part of the reason we deliver our curriculum in flexible sets rather than a 12 month subscription is that it allows you to substitute a series here and there if you’re working with another curriculum.
Our church has a limited budget. What can I do?
We totally get it. And we want to support churches with limited budget capacity! Money is NOT a good reason for any church’s students to not be equipped to see life through G Shades. So we’ll do our very best to make sure money isn’t a limitation. Fill out the contact form below and let’s begin a conversation on how to make it happen! We’re on your team!