The Journey to Adulthood (J2A)
Journey to Adulthood is a complete youth ministry program of spiritual formation for 6th - 12th grades. It uses Bible study, prayer, rites of passage, outreach ministries and both serious and playful activities to underscore its core principles:
1) Manhood and womanhood are free gifts from God.
2) Adulthood must be earned.
* The program is designed in three two year segments:
Rite-13: The first two years (6th & 7th or 7th & 8th graders) that focus on celebrating the individuality of each young person and their creative potential. The Rite-13 liturgy (A celebration of Manhood and Womanhood) is the community expression of this.
J2A: The middle portion of the program (8th & 9th or 9th and 10th graders), engages youth with the skills and critical thinking involved in adulthood. The youth plan and embark on a pilgrimage together at the end of this segment.
YAC: A mentor-based program helping older teens (11th and 12th grade) to discern and carry out a ministry within their church or in the larger community. Vocation and development of a personal credo are also emphasized.
The Journey to Adulthood program attracts, instructs, and nurtures 11-18-year-olds who are at the ages when they are most likely to drift away from the Church.
* The curricula for the three sections has a focus on the unique needs of each age group.
Rite 13, the first two-year segment, is designed for sixth and seventh graders, and celebrates the gift of gender and creates a safe haven for youth to explore their creative power.
The second section consists of the Journey to Adulthood curriculum, designed to teach eighth and ninth graders the basic skills of adulthood while helping them grow in their understanding of Christian living.
The third section, Young Adults in the Church, encourages older teens to take on adult responsibilities in all aspects of congregational life and community building.
This program offers rites of passage to mark the transition between childhood and adulthood. Instead of a one-size-fits-all set of workbooks that teens look at on Sundays, curricula provide a structure of how to relate to young people.
For any youth program to be effective, it must take teenagers seriously and make good use of their talents, ideas, questions, ambitions and spiritual awareness. The Journey to Adulthood program involves the entire congregation in the lives and celebrations of their young people.
Teachers or mentors are not recruited or strong-armed, but are prayerfully called into a new ministry. Teens are not entertained or babysat, but rather are given opportunities to stretch and grow as they develop a faith that will last them a lifetime.