We are excited to announce that we will be adding a new introductory course to the Crossroads Tier 1 program in the early part of spring 2018. The course is called Who Are You? It will serve as an introduction to studying the Bible and will provide the tools and confidence for students to tackle the current curriculum.
Over the past couple years, we have discovered the need for new course material that is more accessible to students of all reading levels. There is also a need to provide lessons that teach basic Bible study skills and that introduce students to the overarching narrative of the Bible. Who Are You? is the first course in a series of courses that we will be adding to our curriculum to address these issues.
Who Are You? introduces students to God and to Jesus through three lessons. The lessons are designed to help students discover who they are in God’s eyes and understand that God loves them and cares for them. The questions ask students to reflect on their lives, giving mentors a glimpse at their students’ world and faith journey.
The lessons are written at a third-grade reading level, but the content is designed for adult learners of all capacities. The goal is to ease low-level learners into the Crossroads program while also giving upper-level students the ability to share what they see God doing in their lives. Both new Christians and longtime believers can answer the questions and learn from the material.
Who Are You? has been tested in a pilot program with over one hundred students scattered across the United States. The response from students has been encouraging. Students are consistently sending in their lessons. Their answers come from the heart. They share how they see God working in their lives. They write about their struggles and ask for help and prayer. Most importantly, they are interacting with the Bible in ways that challenge them to reflect on God’s love, grace and purpose for their lives.
We are thrilled with the level of student participation in the creation of these materials. We conducted focus groups in local prisons to receive feedback on the material. A student writing team is helping to add prison-specific content to the material. The team consists of Tier 3 graduates and exceptional Tier 2 students who were recommended by their mentors for the team. They have been instrumental in helping us make the material more applicable to people in prison and jail.
We also asked students to submit artwork for the curriculum expansion project. The art they have created is incredible. Many of the pieces will show up in the lessons very soon.
We are excited to see both mentors and students draw closer to Jesus as they experience this new material! Mentors will be receiving a copy of the Who Are You? answer key in early April.