Being “Good News” in our Neighborhoods

I liked Adam McLane the first time I met him. Adam’s hard to describe: tech geek, youth worker, heart for Christ, father, husband, thinker… all these descriptions probably represent him, but he’s way more than the sum of all the parts. What you get is a man of God who is knowledgeable, passionate and willing to take risks for the cause of Christ. Some might even call him edgy… I call him brother.

Recently Adam and Jon Huckins launched a new 6-week curriculum called Good News in the Neighborhood. This fun little resource packs YouTube videos, stories, Bible studies, small group questions and more to help young people think about what it actually looks like to live as a sent people being Good News in their homes, schools and neighborhoods. I like it, not only because it gives me a better glimpse into the heart of Adam, but also because it brings us back to the basics of what Jesus did.

A Timely Accident
Adam and I are both giggling. Neither of us knew about each others’ evangelism curriculum, and as it happened, they were both released at the exact same time. It’s funny to compare Adam’s curriculum with my brand new evangelism curriculum, REAL CONVERSATIONS. In short…

– Adam’s curriculum equips young people to seek relationships with the lost, and encourages them to have faith conversations.

– My curriculum encourages young people to seek relationships with the lost, and equips them to have faith conversations.

Both are so needed (It’s almost as if we planned the same week release).

Something Unique
Of all the numerous positive aspects of Good News in the Neighborhood, the facet I like the most is that it encourages students to do something that evangelism trainings often overlook: taking time to simply notice others. In the first week of the curriculum, after discussing what it would look like to be a light in our neighborhood, we’re assigned to go to a coffee shop with a notebook and a pen and write down what we observe–people watching 101. In week two we analyze the data we collected, sharing information, and asking questions like:

–       What are new things you learned about our community?

–       Looking at everyone’s observations, were there patterns that seemed important?

Eventually the curriculum proposes: “As we take the time to observe our neighborhood and train ourselves to take notice of our neighbors, it’s only natural to begin to ask how you can make things better.”

Instead of providing random theories from the author, the curriculum plops us down in front of scripture, and then prompts us to pull application from it to walk as Jesus walked and serve as Jesus served.

Here’s what I like about this curriculum:

  1. It’s “out of the box.” This curriculum isn’t your normal evangelism training. It asks questions that students haven’t been asked before and it stretches students in new ways.
  2. It’s grounded in scripture. Each week the curriculum has students digging through scripture studying Jesus and the early church. This training has Jesus at the heart of it.
  3. It bleeds missions. This is probably the exact kind of training I’d take students through before a missions trip, local or foreign. It trains students how to take notice of the needs around them and live like Jesus lived.

Great curriculum!

I asked Adam if he would discount this curriculum for you- my blog readers. He knocked off $10 if any of you buy it this week and use coupon code SOURCE12 at checkout. Here’s THE LINK at TheYouthCartel.com.

About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over twenty books including the brand new If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; Sex Matters; The Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket; and youth ministry books like Ministry By Teenagers; Connect; and the 10-Minute Talks series. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, TheSource4YM.com and TheSource4Parents.com. You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.
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3 Responses to Being “Good News” in our Neighborhoods

  1. Eric says:

    So you are saying we should do his first to get equipped to form relationships and then do yours so that the kids are equipped to have faith conversations?

    • It’s really up to you. His curriculum puts you “out there” initiating faith conversations (really great exercises). So maybe I’d do the I Peter 3:15-18 and “always be prepared to give an answer to anyone who asks you to give a reason for the hope that’s within you.” My curriculum is probably the “being prepared to answer,” and the encouragement to “live the hope within you.” His curriculum actually assigns you to go out and live it out. I talk a little more about preparing your students in DougFields.com blog yesterday and today.

    • adam mclane says:

      The central premise of the Good News curriculum is this. In a post-Christian world, someone needs to experience good news before they will hear Good News.

      So the curriculum teaches students how to get to know the needs of their neighbors.

      In my experience, when my life on my block becomes good news to my neighbors because I’m actually loving them just because they are my neighbors, the Holy Spirit will prompt them. Again and again I’ve had neighbors walk up to me and say, “I know you’re a Christian. But you aren’t like any Christian I’ve ever met. How can I learn how to be like that?”

      Essentially, that’s how Jonathan’s curriculum and mine could really be a 1-2 punch.

      Hope that helps!