Something Beautiful for Youth

BDLately I’ve been looking for user-friendly youth group curriculum.  By “user-friendly,” I’m talking…

... inexpensive

... no extra stuff to buy

... simple to prepare

It also has to very, very versatile. It has to work with 6th grade boys and 9th grade girls. It has to work with kids who have been somewhat “churched” and with kids who know nothing about Jesus. Finally - because I really trust young people’s capacity to encounter God - it has to have depth. It can’t be just fun or just informational. 

Would you believe that such a curriculum exists? I think I’ve found one, thanks to a recommendation from a congregation which recently received a youth ministry grant from the Center. 

Written by British author Martin Saunders, The Beautiful Disciplines offers a ten week (or year-long… it’s versatile!) curriculum to help young people develop their spiritual roots. Saunders is not concerned about whether youth remain simply church-goers or church-doers… too superficial. He wants them to experience the beauty and freedom of Christian life – one that is cultivated through the practice of the ancient spiritual disciplines: prayer, meditation, simplicity, celebration, to name a few. 

His curriculum is available in one book, which can be photocopied without permission. Written in simple, compelling language, it contains tips on how to adapt to all kinds of groups. It has lesson plans, activities, discussion questions, stories and clear presentation points. And it has nice big print and lots of white space. There is nothing overwhelming about this curriculum.

It would work in evangelical, non-denominational, multi-ethnic or mainline Christian traditions. The only outside resource it uses is the Bible.

This one is a treasure.

Katie Lindberg
Northwest Director