by Jordan Davis Minister of Students & Children at Crosspoint Baptist Church
In the summer of 2010, I started at my church as the Minister to Students and Children. Soon after I got here, we began using XP3 Students in our Sunday School. Our Sunday School format has two separate hours. The first hour we have one class and the second hour, we have three. When I came on board, I saw that Student Sunday School needed much attention and refocus. And one of the main things I was looking for out of a new Sunday School curriculum was adaptability.
This is how I stumbled upon XP3 Students.
We have continued to meet in the two separate hours, but we are moving towards an all ages (6-12th) combined Sunday School with small group breakouts at the end. In the meantime, I have 9 teachers that are on a teaching rotation. Even though these teachers may not be the primary teacher for the week, they are present and getting to know the kids more intimately. This, I believe, is key to building unity and lasting relationships between the teachers and our students.
I realize it takes time to build (or rebuild) a student ministry. What I never realized was that I needed a strategy to guide me. Once I began to read about Orange and XP3 Students, I began to understand the need for strategy. I read everything I could get my hands on from Orange, went to the Orange conference, and emailed my XP3 specialist several times a week. Soon, I had people on my ministry team that felt the need for change and were ready to stand beside me.
I made the switch to XP3 Students in October 2010 and began to slowly make a few changes with our approach to training leaders. Within a couple months of teaching regularly, my teachers became interested in what they taught. Kids became interested in what was happening on Sunday morning. Parents began to ask questions and take interest in their kid’s faith. I never believed I would so quickly see the success I am seeing now. The Lord has truly blessed this church and I believe it is because we have yielded ourselves to His will. I love XP3 Students—and will probably never change to anything else as long as I live—because it seems that XP3 Students is designed to adapt.
On Sunday nights, two of our leaders,Thomas & Holly, meet with our 6-8th grade students and take the small group questions from that morning’s XP3 lesson, do some activities/games, and really make an attempt to get to know the kids. The reason I mention this is because of two words: investment and adaptability. Thomas & Holly are two of my most invested leaders but it would not be possible without the adaptability of the curriculum. My favorite part about XP3 Students is the fact that I can adapt it to the needs of my ministry and still maintain the integrity and impact it was designed with.
As our ministry grows, we are working toward utilizing XP3 Students in the way it was originally designed (large group to small group), but for now we are happy with the way it has fit into the ministry of our church.
If you are thinking about trying XP3 in Sunday School, let me encourage you to download the samples and give it a try. It may take some getting used to, but I think you will find that on Sunday morning it works well because the lessons are not taking a broad sweep across scripture. They focus on one scripture or one point that students can latch on to and apply to their lives. What I have found is that now, when parents ask their student, “What did you learn about in Sunday school?”, rather than mumbling “God,” “Jesus,” or “the Bible,” they can remember what they learned and answer succinctly.