“You were made for more.” I longed to hear those words as a teenager. I’ll go out on a limb and guess that you did as well. Seven years in student ministry has shown me that today’s youth have the same desire.
I created the Abundant Life: You Were Made for More web-based curriculum because now, more than ever, our culture is lying to our teens about what that “more” is. Satan continues his efforts to make sin less offensive, Heaven less appealing, hell less horrific, and the Gospel less urgent. The Church must tell them the truth: they were made for an Abundant Life.
Abundant Life uses biblically-based teaching to engage teenagers, partner with parents, and equip youth leaders to navigate relational and culturally-relevant topics. I believe that educating teenagers about who they are in Christ, the purpose of relationships, the value of life—their own and others–and how the Gospel interacts with all of this is essential in the Kingdom of God. Why?
If we don’t give them something to live for, someone else will.
It is no secret that students are inundated by the cultural narrative about sex, dating, and relationships. The topics are difficult to address, so they remain taboo in many congregations.
The narrative around sex, dating, and relationships in the Church needs to be reframed—especially for middle school and high school students. But students aren’t the only ones who need to hear this. By reshaping the relationship narrative with our youth, older church members can be transformed too.
Abundant Life enables you to make these types of conversations a normative, Gospel-centered, and regular (ie., not an “It’s that time of the year”) discussion.
Abundant Life premiered in January 2019. The curriculum featured four modules comprised of 12 teachings, complete with large-group messages, marketing graphics, supplemental resources, and small group questions.
This year, we released Module 5 of Abundant Life: We Were Made for the “Not Yet.”
- How Does Trauma Affect Relationships? Traumas shape our perspective of the world – which is why we don’t live like we are fearfully and wonderfully made.
- Attractions, Orientations, & Identity: The biblical view of sexuality does not call us to be straight – rather, it calls us to be holy.
- Fostering Friendship & Why the Gospel Demands It: God made us to be in relationship with each other, and it’s about time we really understand why.
Admittedly, the topics in Module 5 are more controversial in the Church; however, their cultural relevance is beneficial to the youth ministry community. The three videos in this module are designed to ignite conversations about sin’s impact on our earthly life. Teens need to recognize that our souls will always yearn for the “not yet,” even when we know and love Jesus in the “now.”
This resource has been used inside and outside of the ACNA—in youth groups, in small groups, and in the homes of both middle and high school students. Here are some testimonies from leaders:
- “The strengths of the curriculum are the topics covered and how they connect to Scripture. The subject matter was on point and the scripts were well written.”
- “The content of Abundant Life: You Were Made for More was solid theologically.”
- “I definitely would recommend Abundant Life: You Were Made for More to another youth leader or parent—the teaching videos included were a blessing to my small group leaders and parents at home!”
For more information about the Abundant Life curriculum, visit http://youweremadeformore.org/curriculum/.
Sammie Gallo is the author of the Abundant Life curriculum and serves as the Coordinator of Ministry Outreach for Anglicans for Life. Abundant Life is an initiative of Anglicans for Life and is designed to fulfill AFL’s commitment to valuing life as God created it. The truth of one’s identity in Christ is at the base of all of the teachings, which makes it applicable for any youth ministry or family.