Kingdom Come: Living What Jesus Taught (Irwin, Ohio: Conservative Mennonite Conference, 2014). $35 Can. Reviewed by Lisa Schau (St. Vital), homemaker and educator.
This 13-week curriculum would be fascinating to do with older teens or adults. The lessons start with the history of God’s covenants with his people and move through the development of group identities (us versus them), to biblical view of lifestyles and relationships, and then the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.
The lessons are interactive, mixing video clips (of songs, interviews, man-on-the-street, story-telling), role-play, choric readings, trivia games, and scripture readings with group discussions and prayer.
There is far more material available than could be covered in one session, which allows the leader the freedom to choose activities suitable to the group’s interests and comfort-level. This requires more preparation on the part of the leader, since simply pressing “play” will take you to a menu of very different options. Depending on the group, certain options will be more appropriate and helpful in stimulating discussions than others.
The content of the stories told comes from across history to current day, in North America and around the world. Expression of the concepts comes not only in the didactic style of definitions, doctrine or theory, but also in the form of art, poetry, and music.
The best experience would certainly be to go through this curriculum as a group, because the variety of media will touch different people in different ways, and so the discussion portions of each lesson will allow for a richer interaction with the material for all.
A great strength of this material is that the wide cross-section of personal experiences explored makes it necessarily deeply personal for the participants. This is no theoretical exercise; this study is meant to evoke change in the attitudes and actions of those who engage.
Note: This is a teacher led curriculum with more than 70 video clips. The topics are:
- Fill’er Up: Covenant—Old to New
- Free at Last: Righteousness—Law to Grace
- Pledge of Allegiance: Identity—Nation to Church
- Away from Home: World—In It but Not Of It
- The In-Group: Belonging—Bloodlines to Choice
- Give It Up: Posture—Self-Ambition to Servanthood
- Real Simple: Lifestyle—More to Less
- Peace on Earth: Relationships—Enemies to Friends
- Blowing in the Wind: Empowerment—Flesh to Spirit
- Appetizers: Epilogue—From Earth to Heaven