A group of 10 young adults in João Pessoa, Brazil–the “Builders Group”–is building God’s kingdom and building up themselves and their peers to stand in truth against the surrounding secular-humanist culture.
Earlier this year, these 17- to 20-year-olds met once a week to discuss and draft a curriculum for students in their last year of high school or first year of college. The goal is to equip these young people as they launch into the university environment with a solid biblical worldview and the understanding of their roles as agents of transformation in whatever vocation they pursue.
“I believe this curriculum is actually something that is essential to teenagers and young adults for many reasons,” says Gabi Monteiro of the Builders Group.
“In Brazil, as in the whole world, I feel that young people have lost their ability to believe in anything bigger than what they see, and this makes it especially hard for them to let God do his work through their lives. Also, the education system together with society has contributed to setting young people’s minds to think through a secular worldview. And even teens who have gone to church their whole lives find themselves lost when they reach university, because they are not firmly grounded in their beliefs.”
This curriculum will be spread through Instituto Um27, led by DNA Local Network Leader in Brazil, Nelson Monteiro. Instituto Um27 (named after James 1:27) helps children, teens and families in vulnerable communities reach their full potential as image bearers of God and agents of transformation. For three years already, they have been equipping university students and young professionals with a biblical worldview, but the goal now is to go further upstream and help young people build a solid foundation earlier in life.
The Builders Group comprises two of Nelson and Lisa’s children and other young people from their local church. As members of the audience the curriculum will reach, their ownership of the curriculum’s design was invaluable. Nelson also gave suggestions throughout the design process, but the youth took the lead in identifying topics of focus.
“I believe this curriculum is a great tool,” Gabi says, “to pour God’s kingdom into a generation that has been trapped in a society that has lost most of its Christian values, and also to help them understand how God works, who he is and how we have a purpose in his kingdom.”
Their first draft of the curriculum includes these modules:
- Definition and presentation of the problem. How do you keep your faith in university?
- What is a worldview?
- What is the biblical worldview? Include teaching on the kingdom of God.
- Ideas have consequences. Discussion on truth and lies.
- What is the kingdom of God, and what are its characteristics? How do we create kingdom culture?
- What is vocation? How can I glorify God and build his kingdom through my vocation?
- How does Jesus show us to live? What is his model for sacrificial service?
- What is God’s intended role for the Church in society?
- How do science and faith fit together?
- How can we live out of God’s truth in the areas of personal identity and sexuality?
- The Discipline of Love and Seed Projects
These modules are meant to be studied once a week over the course of three months. Presently, the curriculum is being put into digital format, and a pilot study group is expected to begin in February 2016–the first semester of the school year in Brazil. About 12-15 young people will compose this pilot group, accompanied by the Builders Group.
The tentative name for the curriculum is “Beyond National Exam” since the national exams are a priority for students in their last year of high school. Ultimately, the students will determine the final name for the program.
To learn more about this new initiative, contact Nelson Monteiro.