Updated: Dec 30, 2020
It's a thing, and we can teach you!
2020 was full of eye-opening moments. It shed light on dark places and monsters hiding in systems and friends. It was...scary...and bound to happen. And it happened in our lifetime. It stirred up history and demands for explanations. Fires burned, signs painted, windows broke, businesses closed. Fists and voices were raised in a shout for justice!
But what would God think about the ways we looked for justice? What if justice started within us?
I have to say that wasn't something I was looking to do. I wanted to march. I wanted arrests made. I wanted Pastors to speak out. And I never once asked what God wanted from me to see justice. His kind of justice.
Just Another Curriculum Review
If you're a teacher of any kind, Biblical or not, you are always looking for a new way or better way to share information with your students. However, no matter how good a curriculum is, you NEVER teach it right out of the box. You review it first. Can you imagine some of the weird things people slip into what should be pretty benign lessons?
I am part of a youth ministry Facebook page called Stuff You can Use: Youth Ministry from #GrowCurriculum. I don't usually purchase curriculum, but then the world erupted with the devastating loss of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd (to only name a few). I was impressed with how ready the group administration was at providing our teenagers a practical, accessible, God-centered way to respond. They shared two free series one of which was called More Than a Hastag (the other we'll keep you posted on as we are studying it really soon). It's all about taking a Biblical look at justice and the Christian response to injustice. And let me tell you: Whew! There were more introspective, spirit filled conviction moments in there than I'd like to admit! Wait, God values mercy in justice?! Whaaa....? I had to share this with my Leaders.
Then they needed to share it with others! Ok, I needed my Leaders to share it with others. And the Lord opened up an opportunity to do just that with the Adult Bible Study.
I said it.
It sparked our first and Citadel of Faith's first Student-Led adult bible study series! The teen ministers were not only allowed, but were anticipated in the adult Bible study group. #Citadeloffaith Covenant Church in Detroit, Mi. The adults came with pens and paper, ready to hear the word of the Lord spoken from teenagers! It was divine.
The Leaders met by Zoom twice a week after a full day of school. They studied, came up with talking points, and shared their own experiences within the lessons. They created Slides presentations and annotated lessons. They shared moments where they marched and how they were frightened to march. They shared vulnerable moments about when they'd gotten in trouble and when God spoke to them. And each Wednesday night, they showed up ready to teach. You could see they understood how important this was! They had integrity. They showed off their preparation. It was a blessing to every person there.
" I loved how they provided practical ways to live out Biblical justice. I liked the way they gave us examples to follow that we could actually use," said Lara Overy, the Bible study facilitator over at Citadel of Faith.
Their first experience truly being seen as Leaders in the Body of Christ was full of hiccups (technical and literal). It was also another way God showed His power in even the most unexpected.