Earlier this week, I was gushing about the 7 reasons I’m obsessed with Never the Same Summer Camp. And I kind of left you hanging on Reason #7, where I said that I love them because of “their post-camp discipleship resources.” I had to hold off on telling you more about it because their brand new resource is so stinking good that it deserved its own post.
So, today, I’d like to introduce you to a new tool from our friends at Never the Same. It’s called Don’t Climb Alone.
WHAT IS IT?
The folks at Never the Same created Don’t Climb Alone out of a desire to see students read, understand, and engage deeply with the Bible – at their pace, on their level. So they developed a series of 28 booklets that take students through the entire Bible. Some of these booklets are exegetical, focusing on a specific book of the Bible or two (like David or Soul Exercise), and others are topical (like Relationships or Radical).
For each series, there are 3 components:
- The student booklets ($2 each).
- Leader Guides (free with the purchase of 10 booklets).
- The Training Guide (a binder filled with ideas on how to use Don’t Climb Alone in your ministry, videos to help your students understand some basic principles of studying the Bible, and a really funny series of videos featuring a fictitious pastor named Pastor Buck Yancey who can’t seem to get his Bible stories straight.)
HOW DO YOU USE IT?
There are three ways we’ll be using Don’t Climb Alone in the new school year:
- As our PRIMARY CURRICULUM. This school year, Don’t Climb Alone will be the foundation for all of our Sunday morning teaching series. We’re kicking off the school year with Radical, a 6-week study on what it means to live a radical life of faith in God.
- For SMALL GROUPS. As we go through each Don’t Climb Alone series, the booklets will be available for any small group that wants to utilize them. Booklets will be $2 each for students and free for Small Group Leaders. Students won’t have to purchase the booklets in order to participate in the conversation, but it’s way cooler if they do. And if a kid really doesn’t have $2 to buy a book, we’ll of course make sure they get one anyway.
- As a PERSONAL DEVOTIONAL. On top of the books we’ll be using for teaching and small groups, we’ll be promoting the other Don’t Climb Alone booklets to students and families as a tool to help them spend time with God on their own.
WHY IS IT SPECIAL?
There are three things, I think, that make Don’t Climb Alone really unique.
- IT OFFERS 8 DIFFERENT LEVELS OF ENGAGEMENT. If you’ve ever been a Small Group Leader, you know it’s really annoying to organize any kind of coordinated group book-reading or Bible-studying. Most of the time, the interest level in your group is all over the map. Some want to go deep and be challenged. Others couldn’t care less. Some could spend hours a week reading a book or studying the Bible. Others might spend 5 minutes – on a good week. So how do you such get a diverse group of students reading and studying the same stuff, on their own time, at a level that they enjoy? I think Don’t Climb Alone addresses this issue really creatively by offering 8 different reading plans for each booklet. One student in the group might choose the 101 level, where he’s reading only once a week and answering just one question, while another student might choose the 801 level, where she’s reading and answering questions every day, plus memorizing Scripture, journaling, and even fasting. With this approach, these two vastly different students can come together in small group and still be able to have a conversation about the topic they studied in God’s Word that week. Oh and another cool thing – the Leader Guides have a little page on the inside cover to help Small Group Leaders track each student and which level of engagement they’ve chosen. I love that.
- IT TEACHES BIBLE STUDY PRINCIPLES. There are a lot of resources that get students reading the Bible, but there aren’t a lot of great resources that teach students how to read the Bible. Woven throughout Don’t Climb Alone are some really great principles about how to study Scripture, explained with cool visuals really simply and creatively. Like how we need to always keep what we read in context. Or how we need to examine God’s Word with both a “telescope” and a “microscope.” The video components you receive with the Training Guide do a great job of communicating these ideas.
- IT’S REALLY AFFORDABLE. Don’t Climb Alone is ridiculously affordable. $2 per student booklet (with each series lasting six weeks) and a free Leader Guide for every 10 student booklets. These guys aren’t in this to make money. They’re just trying to be helpful. And what they’re creating is really, really good stuff.
So there you have it. Don’t Climb Alone. We’re super pumped to use it this school year. And if you’ve had a chance to check it out, I’d love to know what you think!