Fuller's Center for Youth and Family Ministry is offering a free draft version of Deep Justice and Short-term Missions Curriculum, by Kara Powell and Fuller's Center for Youth and Family Ministry, for a limited time. There are three downloads available: BEFORE with leader's guide (pdf), DURING (pdf) and AFTER (pdf). I downloaded the draft of this curriculum to see if we can use it with a team of youth that we are taking to Mexico this summer, and it looks promising.
When I saw that the Before file was an intimidating (at least for this time of year) 72 pages, I almost decided to wait until next year's trip. We are currently planning VBS, co-coordinating a large local outreach, beginning training for the missions trip in July, and trying to finish up homeschooling for the year. If you have read Deep Justice in a Broken World, by Chap Clark & Kara Powell, however, you will probably understand why I wanted to at least skim through this to see if we could use some of it.
The Before portion of the curriculum begins with an eight-page introduction that includes convincing reasons to use the ideas presented in this curriculum, along with an overview of the three-part model it promotes.
"If we want greater transformation, we need a completely different timeframe for our service. Perhaps instead of viewing an inner city trip as just three days, we need to view it as a 3 month process. Instead of looking at a week in the Dominican Republic as seven days, we need to think of it as a seven month journey."
The remaining 62 pages include seventeen 20- to 40-minute "before" activities broken into three different categories. You choose which activities to use. This is doable; there is no pressure to use all of the activities and we can tailor it to our group.
The During portion of the curriculum includes seventeen activities broken into the same three categories as the Before segment. These activities are intended to guide the team towards reflection on what they are experiencing on the trip.
This is the largest team of youth that we have ever taken on a trip, and we really want to take advantage of its long-term growth potential. I was excited to see that the After portion of the curriculum includes 10 initial debriefing activities using the same three categories and 14 activities to help facilitate "ongoing transformation."
This curriculum is intended for use in any short-term missions setting, whether it be a local 1-day service project or a 10-day short-term missions trip. We have not used it yet, but we do plan to incorporate it into our training for the upcoming Mexico trip. We will probably also try to use at least one of the activities with our whole youth group before VBS and the local outreach I mentioned, as most of our youth serve in one or both of those outreaches. If anyone is interested, I will try to keep you updated on how this works out for us.
If you are interested in downloading Deep Justice and Short-Term Missions, you will find it here. The authors are requesting feedback if you decide to use the draft of this curriculum.