Hey fam! If you haven’t already heard the news, Stuff You Can Use just announced a brand new resource called Grow Youth Ministry Curriculum and Strategy. We are super excited about it and are spending a ton of time having conversations about what’s coming. So while we wrap things up, and you wait for this baby to release, we thought we’d answer a few of our most frequently asked questions so far.
CAN I CUSTOMIZE GROW TO FIT MY CONTEXT?
Absolutely! That’s kind of our #1 goal, actually. We want Grow to work for you, no matter your size, your format, or your calendar. To make it super flexible for you, we . . .
- Give you editable files in Photoshop and Microsoft Word.
- Leave space for your logo on any resources you’ll give to students, parents, or volunteers.
- Provide an entire year of content up-front so you have plenty of time to plan ahead, see what’s coming, and switch up our suggested calendar to fit your needs.
HOW IS GROW DIFFERENT FROM OTHER CURRICULUM?
Well, for starters, Grow isn’t just a youth ministry curriculum. It’s actually a strategy for your entire ministry. The sermons and small group conversations are just one part of that strategy. With Grow, you’ll get a complete annual TEACHING strategy, but you’ll also get a whole year’s worth of resources for DISCIPLESHIP, GAMES, EVENTS, VOLUNTEERS, and PARENTS.
IS GROW FOR MIDDLE SCHOOLERS OR HIGH SCHOOLERS?
Every resource included in Grow is designed for both middle schoolers and high schoolers. But since we know middle schoolers and high schoolers are kind of different, every teaching series (and select additional resources) comes with a full page of helpful Middle School Hacks and High School Hacks to help you better contextualize Grow to work for your unique audience.
Oh, and pssst . . . we’re also working on developing some Special Needs Hacks to help you better engage, and understand, the teenagers in your ministry with special needs.
WILL GROW ACTUALLY WORK IN MY CONTEXT?
We sure think so, and we are working hard to make sure it will! That’s why we’ve assembled an incredibly diverse team of writers and contributors to help us create a resource that is truly flexible enough to work in your context . . . and that actually represents the full Body of Christ. Our team is filled with real youth workers doing real ministry in a variety of contexts. Rural, urban, and suburban churches. Small churches, medium-sized churches, and big churches. They represent a variety of denominations, cultures, and ministry styles. Thanks to their help and feedback (and yours!) we think Grow really is flexible enough to fit in your context.
SHOULD I DITCH MY CURRICULUM AND USE GROW INSTEAD?
Well, sure, you can if you want. But if you love your current curriculum, stick with it. We’ve tried to make Grow affordable enough that, even if you do use another curriculum for your sermons or small groups, Grow could still be a valuable addition to your youth ministry resource arsenal.
Now, since some of you know Kenny and I spent a couple of years working with the folks at Orange, we specifically get asked this question a ton: “Should I leave Orange and switch to Grow?” Good question. Here’s our answer. Nope. We love Orange. We love the resources and we really love the people. (And no, they didn’t ask us to say that. It’s just true.) Orange is a great option if you’re looking for a curriculum that offers options for all age groups, if you’re looking for separate middle school and high school curriculum, or if you’re looking to attend an annual conference for your entire family ministry team. If that’s you, Orange is probably the best fit for you. So stick with them!
Obviously, we really love what we’re putting together with Grow. And we hope you like it, too. But if you’ve already found a teaching curriculum you love, stick with it. We’re big believers that the Church is big enough for a whole bunch of voices and a whole bunch of approaches to ministry, and we want you to choose the curriculum that’s the best fit for you.
We’re not interested in trying to convince you to choose us over another curriculum or resource. We’re just trying to meet some needs that youth pastors have told us haven’t quite been met yet.
So if you already have a curriculum you love, cool! We hope Grow can help meet any needs you still have outside of your teaching strategy. But if you don’t already have a curriculum you love, we hope you fall in love with Grow!