Claim the Life is a six-year, comprehensive spiritual formation plan for youth Sunday school. The annual themes are Journey, Word, and Faith for younger youth; Promise, Story, and Call for older youth. Each year is divided into two 16-week semesters.
Each lesson begins with Tending, an intentional ritual that helps youth develop closer relationships through tending to one another and tending to God at work in their lives and the world.
The planned Teaching content is focused on one word (or phrase) that is significant to the Christian faith (Commitment, Suffering, Simplicity, Blessing, Peace, Abundant Life, for example).
Each lesson concludes with Sending, an intentional ritual that helps youth create SMART goals, ways in which they will practice some element of being a disciple.
* The weekly pattern of Tending, Teaching, and Sending is an intentional plan for spiritual formation, learning, and discipleship.
* Churches, parents, teachers, and youth will have a sense of progression and intentionality in teaching material that is important to the faith. In six years students will encounter 192 words and Scriptures.
* Sunday school classes will be able to complete the annual material and still have weeks they can fill with seasonal, timely (LinC, for example), or local-interest lessons.
* Youth will experience Christian community and participate in practices of the faith.
* Each youth will make the lessons relevant to him- or herself through the practice of developing his or her own SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Revealed, and Time-Limited).
* Teachers will have access to images, additional activities, training, denominationally specific material, additional background, and links to music at www.abingdonpress.com/claimthelife
*Teachers will be able to choose a lesson plan that suits them from the two provided.
Claim the Life: Journey
In this first year of study for younger youth, the words (topics) focus on loving God, making faithful decisions, loving others, dealing with life’s difficulties, and developing Christian character—all hallmarks of the Christian journey. Semester 1 and Semester 2 have the same categories, but use different words and Scriptures. Sample words: Worship, Commitment, Temple, Forgiving, Disciple, Love, Generosity, Courage, Simplicity, Light.
Claim the Life: Word
In this second year of study for younger youth the focus will be on “words for life.” Of all the Bible passages, these 32 Scriptures are ones youth should understand and know “by heart.” In Semester 1 the words are from the Old Testament and include the Ten Commandments, the Shema, Psalm 23, and other memorable passages. Semester 2 words come from the New Testament and include the Beatitudes, the Lord’s Prayer, the Great Commandment, the Fruit of the Spirit, for example. Sample words: God, Sabbath, Choose, Shepherd, Steadfast, Justice, Prayer, Good Shepherd, Believe, Abide.
Claim the Life: Faith
These two volumes of the third year for younger youth introduce them to the nature of faith, God, in whom we have faith, being saved by faith, living as a community of faith, living faithfully, and faith eternal. These categories are the basis of both semesters, but the words and Scriptures are different from one semester to the next. Sample words: Authority, Doubt, Trinity, Confession, Salvation, Communion, Kingdom, Lord, Second Mile, Eternal Life.
Claim the Life: Promise
In this first year of study for older youth, the words come from the categories of the nature of promise, God’s promises, Jesus’ promises, and our promises. Both semesters follow this structure, but the words and Scriptures are different for Semester 1 and Semester 2. Sample words: Belonging, Judgment, Providence, Blessing, Abundant Life, Hope, Community, Incarnation, Vow, Test.
Claim the Life: Story
The second year of study for older youth will be an encounter with the larger biblical story as told in the Old Testament (Semester 1) and New Testament (Semester 2). Through the telling of the stories that move along The Story, youth will put together bits and pieces of Bible stories they have learned in the past into a coherent and grand story of God’s amazing love for humanity. Sample words: Creation, Sin, Grace, Deliverance, Exile, Savior, Remember, Resurrection, Church, New Jerusalem.
Claim the Life: Call
The third year of study for older youth challenges them to respond by who they are and what they will do with their lives. The categories are the nature of God’s call, gifted and called, called to follow, and called to bring change. The categories remain the same for both semesters; the words and Scriptures are different. Sample words: Vocation, Ministry, Spiritual Gifts, Obedient, Freedom, Serve, Countercultural, Prophetic, Righteousness, God’s Will.