Our youth ministry does not often use published curriculum, opting most of the time to create our own. But I recently came across a resource that was too good to pass up: The Kingdom Experiment, Youth Edition: A Community Practice on Intentional Living. This little book invites youth to explore the beatitudes by living them out together. Each short chapter provides some background on the scriptural text, a quote from a famous person, questions for discussion and then a set of "experiments" -- ideas for putting the beatitude into practice in the coming week. For example, in the chapter on "Blessed are the poor in spirit..." two of the experiments include:
SHUT YOUR PIE HOLE: Fast from food for a short period of time as a way of making yourself aware of its physical and emotional ownership over you (afternoon snacks for a few days or a lunch or two. Do this not for diet reasons but to center your body on God). Think about how important food is to us; then reflect on Christ’s suggestion that life is more important than food.
ROUGHING IT. AIR MATTRESS NOT INCLUDED: Sleep on the floor for a week. Think about how life might be Different if you didn’t have a comfy home. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, take a few showers without warm water. Remember, with less of you, there is more room for God.
We've been working our way together through this book with each chapter providing excellent opportunities for rich discussion and the experiments offering a way for the youth to apply what we've discussed. We open our weekly meetings by sharing which experiment we each tried and what the experience was like. I'd recommend this text for anyone looking to help their youth gain a deeper understanding of what it means not only to study the gospel but to live it out intentionally in daily life.