For the last whole-bunch-of years, we have been convinced of something.
The middle school phase is unique.
The middle school phase is pivotal.
The middle school phase matters.
Middle school is a time of change. 6th graders are typically navigating a new school. 6th, 7th and 8th graders are dealing with hormonal changes, brain changes, body changes, and emotional changes. Socially their friend groups are changing, their interests are changing, and their involvement in sports and activities are changing. Generally speaking – the middle school years are less stable than any other time in a person’s life.
Plus, the way middle schoolers learn and think during this phase is unique. Talk to any middle school educator and you’ll see that this is true: middle schoolers don’t learn or think like you do as an adult. But they don’t learn or think like children, either. They don’t even learn or think like high schoolers. They learn and think like middle schoolers. So our challenge, as ministry leaders, is to teach, love, and lead our middle schoolers like they are middle schoolers. Because they are.
That’s why we’re convinced that, if we really want to introduce middle schoolers to a loving God and teach them in a way that inspires them to follow Jesus with their lives, then we’ve got to do it in a way that’s appropriate for their life phase.
So for the last whole-bunch-of years, we’ve been asking ourselves this question: How can we help churches make the most of the middle school phase?
Well, friends, we’re happy to announce that we finally (finally!) have an answer to that question.
Say hello to XP3 Middle School!
A brand new curriculum and strategy designed with middle schoolers in mind.
We are so excited. And we hope you are too. We’ve assembled a brand new team, rounded up a bunch of brand new writers, and consulted with as many middle-school-minded experts as we possibly could… and now it’s here. XP3 Middle School is live.
If you’ve used XP3 in the past, you’ll see some pieces of XP3 Middle School that you might be familiar with… but we think you’ll also see that those pieces have been written from start to finish with a middle schooler in mind, by a team of people who really get middle schoolers. Because, remember, it’s a pretty unique phase.
If you’re familiar with XP3 High School, here are the features you’re familiar with that have been designed uniquely for middle schoolers:
- TEACHING SCRIPTS: they’re shorter, simpler, more interactive, and written just for middle schoolers… plus they have new features to help your communicators be more awesome at engaging kids in this phase.
- TEACHING VIDEOS: they’re short, fun, fast-paced, and they feature brand new formats designed to engage a middle schooler.
- XP’S: you’ll get new ideas for helping middle schoolers experience and apply what they hear.
- SMALL GROUP GUIDES: completely redesigned with brand new features, just for middle school small groups.
- SERIES GRAPHICS: they’re new and they’re very middle-schoolish.
- LOOP VIDEOS and BUMPER VIDEOS: yep, these are new, too.
But that’s not all. We’ve also got a few brand new features that are exclusive just to XP3 Middle School…
- A LIBRARY OF GAMES: an ever-expanding library of brand new games, complete with screen graphics, instructions, and extra images to help you pull them off.
- MIDDLE-SCHOOL-SPECIFIC TRAINING: you’ll receive an email every week with a short video for your staff to help you better understand and lead the middle schoolers you influence.
- MORE OPTIONS FOR YOUR CHURCH: for the first time at Orange, we’ll let you choose between two different curriculum packages so you can choose what’s right for you and your church.
But maybe you’re wondering, Do XP3 MS and XP3 HS work together at all? The answer is YES. There are a few things that XP3 MS and XP3 HS share, strategically…
- SCOPE & CYCLE: We’ll (mostly) talk about the same issues at the same time, for the ease of your staff and your parents. We say mostly because, well, there are certain topics or times of the year where middle schoolers and high schoolers really do need to strategically hear something different.
- PARENT CUES: We’ll keep these the same, too, so you don’t overload parents with too many different or competing messages.
- Plus, you’ll continue to get the same core strategy, resources, and components with both XP3 MS and XP3 HS. Because we might be two different curriculums, but we’re one team with the same strategy.
For all the details on XP3 Middle School, check out our website. Look around. And let us know if you have questions.
We really hope you like it.
We can’t wait for you to see it.
Because the middle school phase is unique. And it matters.