The team at Stuff You Can Use have just released what I believe is hands-down the best tool for Youth Workers! It's called:
Grow Youth Ministry Curriculum & Strategy
As a former Youth Pastor, I can only dream of what I would have been able to accomplish in our ministry with this resource at our fingertips. In all 14 years of local-church Youth Ministry leadership (from volunteer to full-time), my goal was always the same - What Can We Do To Help These Students and This Ministry Grow?! Though, for much of my time I was more focused on growing our numbers than growing our relationships.
But here it is friends, a resource that understands the messy reality;
our ministries will grow in size BY growing our relationships.
Here's three things I love about Grow Youth Ministry Curriculum & Strategy: It's better than free pizza, better than YouTube, and it's better than most trips to DisneyWorld!
Grow is Better than Free Pizza
Let's face it, one of the few methods to connect with teens in just about ANY context is to offer free pizza! "Teens will show up wherever the free food is, surely..."
While there may be (a lot of) truth in that idea, it can be difficult to find resources that will fit any Youth Ministry context - Grow is just that.
Grow gives you everything to allow you to actually focus on ministering to youth and their families in YOUR CONTEXT of ministry. The beauty about Grow is the diverse group of people that came together to create it (different countries, communities, and denominations).
Grow is made BY Youth Workers FOR Youth Workers.
Grow is Better than YouTube
I love to create sermons. Yet, as much as I love it, I ignored teens that came to hang out early because I would often be in my office 15 mins before the program began still putting the finishing touches on my notes. I missed relationship-building moments while I was focused on creating a 'new' message. Sometimes we would default to putting on a teaching video from YouTube if I couldn't come up with something. The reality is, youth don't want to hear from another voice, they want to hear from the people they trust, that are here with them.
With Grow, you have a full year of teaching content! Yet, in fairness, that's an offer that is only as good as it compares with other curriculum or my own sermons I could create - I would never be satisfied with speaking someone else's thoughts, I would always edit material I purchased.
With the Grow MESSAGE BUILDER you can edit the content so stinkin' easily! Gah, I love it. AND each message comes with a bunch of pre-made ideas to make speaking magical.
Grow is made to allow conversation, discussion, and discipleship to thrive.
Grow is Better than MOST Trips to DisneyWorld!
It can be so easy to be overwhelmed in Youth Ministry without a Strategy. Like the first time I went to WDW, we didn't know what was important to see and do so we wandered around. It wasn't until it was too late that we realized we had missed some of the best parts. The next time we went we had a strategy - we knew what was important for our family to see and do, and allowed space for improvisation as we went.
The Grow Strategy is what truly makes this such a valuable resource for any Youth Worker, whether you're brand new in your ministry or you've been there for 20 years. With GROW you aren't just given a teaching plan, but a detailed plan for Events, a plan for connecting with Parents (!!), a weekly Programming plan, and a plan for Growing your Volunteer Leaders!
Grow is made with a plan to allow you to focus on people.
Yes, I'm excited about this. And you should be, too.
This is an absolute game-changer for Youth Ministries & Churches trying to find a program that will grow relationships between Youth and Adults on a journey of Discipleship. It is worth every penny, because it allows your mind to focus on what matters most.