by Kelly Soifer
Unexpectedly, I was asked to teach about Advent in two distinctly different contexts: to an adult Sunday school at my church, where the ages range from 40-75, and to the student body of a Christian high school where I was the campus pastor. I thought it would be a cool challenge to keep my lessons essentially the same for both age groups (either that, or I’m really lazy and didn’t want the extra work).
After only two weeks of this grand experiment, I have concluded that very few people outside pretty traditional liturgical churches, whether aged 14 or 75, knows much about Advent! What a sad state of affairs. Advent dates back to the fourth century and is a remarkably symbolic, powerful spiritual exercise. Before I started preparing these lessons, I thought Advent was about cute little kids, candles, and calendars with candy. So did a lot of others! Boy oh boy, are we missing the boat.
Advent is not only a reminder of how God-followers waited for Messiah 2,000 years ago; Advent guides us in our own wandering today as we wait for that dear Messiah to come again for us. In other words, it’s not just about the first coming; it’s about his Second Coming too. Advent is intended to be practice for an entire life of “Advent faith,” where we wait daily with hope and expectation.
Click the link below to download an introductory lesson on the power of Advent, in PowerPoint (MS) and Keynote (Mac). The lesson is purposely “non-Christmas-y” in its formatting and backgrounds in order to get your class or group to break Advent out of a solely Christmas mindset. Make sure you read the comments (MS Word version) or Presenter Notes (Keynote) to now how to guide the lesson.
CYMT is excited about its newest endeavor, Theology Together. Theology Together educates both teenagers and youth workers as they engage in theological reflection, spiritual practice, vital service, and vocational discernment. The Theology Together process produces reflective action that is embedded in the fabric of youth ministry in all of its contexts. We believe strongly that youth are theologians and belong at the center of tough, life-changing dialogue around faith, relationships, and life. We place teenagers in the driver seat alongside their youth pastors and leaders, equipping each individual to think differently about youth ministry, to provoke a sense of awe and wonder: a WOW moment.
Youth theology is theology built upon the simple doctrinal principle of the priesthood of all believers, and takes that principle right down to its natural conclusion: that all believers, including youth, teens, adolescents, etc. are theologians. It is theology that values all youth as theologians. Here we will share with you how to engage with youth theology in your own ministry.
A few weeks ago, we shared the launch of Theology Together 2.0. Today, Dwight (the director of Theology Together) will be sharing with us one experience […]