Finding a clear direction for the spiritual formation of a student is anything but easy. We have to wrestle with hundreds of biblical topics, thousands of instructional verses, and fight against the culture of political correctness. When shaping our philosophy we had to ask the age old question, “What would Jesus do?”
The good news (pun intended) is that that answer is found nestled in the Gospels.
Matthew 22:36-40 (NLT)
36 “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”
37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
Love is the filter through which we shape all of our curriculum. Although this sounds to simple to be true, we find that it’s consistent with the teachings of scripture.
1 Corinthians 13:1-13 (NLT)
If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. 3If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.
4Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
8Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! 9Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! 10But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless.
11When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. 12Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.
13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.
It’s our conviction that helping a student learn to love God is the foundation to all other spiritual growth. We find that this happens best when we:
- Engage students — relationally
- Educate students — biblically
- Empower students — experientially
- Encourage students — through discipleship
These four pillars aid us in helping students establish roots into the foundation of God’s love.
Ephesians 3:17-19 (NLT)
17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
One of the biggest hurtles we see when it comes to youth pastors and youth leaders engaging with students is time. Youth Pastors who use the Multiply Curriculum report saving on average 10 hours a week. Anyone can create custom artwork, anyone can do social media but only you can relationally engage with your students.
When writing the Multiply Curriculum we started with the Bible first. It’s easy to look at the problems surrounding our students and jump to solutions backed by scripture but we decided to take a higher approach. Let’s search the scriptures for what matters to God, align our hearts with His values, and see how that can help us navigate the cultural issues at hand.
One of the biggest problems we’ve seen in resourcing is that we can lean on education and never “practice what we preach.” The Bible says, “faith without works is dead” which is why each week we include practical next steps for students to be able to live out the scriptures rather than just learn them.
The Multiply Curriculum works best in the context of community. Every message comes with small group questions to help engage students deeper into a strong spiritual community. Furthermore, we’ve introduced our new Small Group Builder curriculum to take the same spiritual truths taught in our regular curriculum and formatted it to be entirely discussion based.
This is just an overview of the heart behind the Multiply Curriculum. We believe that when we partner a strong strategy with biblical truth that our students will leave in a more vibrant relationship with God.