Today’s teenagers won’t accept merely being told information or the party line. They want to wrestle and explore—they want to be contributors and help develop their own set of beliefs. So rather than leave this process of exploration until their young adult years, a time when many of them will have left the Church, what if we purposefully came alongside our teens and helped them explore and own their beliefs while they’re still teenagers? That’s what THINK is all about.
THINK, Volume 1: Culture explores six divisive cultural topics from a biblical perspective: science versus creation, tattoos, alcohol and drugs, media, abortion, and tolerance/absolute truth. THINK is different from other curriculums because the goal is not to teach teens the correct answers. Instead, the intention is to invite your youth into a discussion with Christ, the Bible, and other people (including their peers, leaders, and parents) that will result in the best sort of spiritual wrestling match.
We can’t continue to spoon-feed our youth the answers they “need” to survive college or be a good person. Instead, we have to make the shift toward helping them own biblically informed views and opinions. THINK will deepen and personalize teens’ faith and give them the tools and resources they need to engage issues from a biblical perspective.
THINK, Volume 1: Culture includes:
- A detailed overview of how to use THINK, as well a short leader video to frame your thinking
- 6 lessons that each contain— A leader’s guide with a list of resources and Scripture passages you can use to prepare, Sample emails to parents, Social media blurbs to promote the topics with your teenagers, Multiple options to start and end each lesson, Thorough discussion guides with multiple questions and resources for each Scripture and subtopic, A handout (which you can revise so it better fits your group) that will help teens continue exploring the topic on their own, A short video that provides insights and tips for how to facilitate the discussion of each lesson
I hate it when I read a book that I absolutely love and wish I’d written it myself. This was my experience when I read THINK, Volume 1: Culture. Not only is it full of real-world issues, but at the heart of the teaching is a thoughtfulness that meets a felt need in the lives of today’s students. I highly recommend this book and the whole THINK series. In fact, I’m ordering copies for my team, and we’re going to be using this material with our youth group!Brock Morgan Author of Youth Ministry in a Post-Christian World
Jake Kircher has done a masterful job of exposing the weakness of a teaching model that relies solely (or primarily) on the presentation of a series of beliefs that are to be taken at face value, rather than discussed, chewed on, and argued about. Jake offers us a better alternative in the THINK curriculum. Granted, the facilitator model of teaching is often more uncomfortable and definitely not as “neat and tidy” as a more traditional style. But, as those of us who’ve been in youth ministry for many decades can attest, teenagers who haven’t been challenged to think deeply about their personal beliefs and struggle with them on some rational level probably won’t hold on to them very tightly—or for very long. THINK will help them do both!Mark Orr Founder and Executive Director, REACH Youth New England
Co-Founder, FrontLine Urban Resources
Coauthor of Urban LIVE Curriculum (Simply Youth Ministry)
THINK is a much-needed resource for working with today’s teens. It gives youth leaders direction in discussing some of the hard questions our students ask, and how to do it in a way that gets them thinking about their faith and why they believe what they believe. Teenagers are grappling to know how to live for Christ when some issues seem hard to discuss. THINK provides ideas for how to show teens what God says in His Word about these tough topics, while providing the space they need to hear Him for themselves.
About Jake Kircher
Jake Kircher has been working in youth ministry for 13 years as a pastor, writer, and speaker. He is the coauthor of 99 Thoughts on Marriage and Ministry and currently serves as the youth pastor at Grace Community Church in New Canaan, Connecticut. He is married to Melissa, and they have two kids: Sean, 2, and Nora, 1.