Monday, November 22, 2010

Advent Conspiracy 2010

For the past three years, our junior high group has participated in Advent Conspiracy in the weeks leading up to Christmas. [AC] is a grassroots movement of churches who are choosing to spend less money on material stuff, instead choosing to give that money to those without clean drinking water and focusing on relational gifts over material ones. Last year, our students raised enough funds to build a fresh water well for a community Uganda. (You can see the results of their efforts here)

This year, we're doing something a bit different. I felt a tension last year; that Advent Conspiracy had become more about me and my agenda instead of allowing students to initiate change on their own. While it was a great experience and students genuinely gave from their own sense of generosity, it still felt too top-down for me. So this year, we're breaking up the generosity through our small discipleship groups. Each group will have to find a need on their own--I've provided one significant resource in KnowThinkAct--and, as a D-Group, meet that need on their own by the end of 2010. We also began the week before Thanksgiving, because Black Friday represents everything that [AC] is not, and we wanted to address issues of generosity and justice before everyone bought new flatscreen TVs and XBoxes at Walmart.

I'm convinced that junior highers, with a bit of accountability and support from their loving adult mentors and parents, can take the initiative to change the world in the name of Jesus. They did it for the past three years; I think they're up for it again. For the teaching aspect of the series, I'll be using Tim Keller's Generous Justice as an inspiration and guideline. (Look for my book review of Generous Justice later this week).

I'm excited for this season of conspiracy! Anyone else done [AC] with your church or youth group? Share about it in the comments.

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