Just Launched: Raising Young Philanthropists with Global Philanthropy Leaders Program

We just launched Raising Young Philanthropists with the Global Philanthropy Leaders Program For Individuals and For Groups.

Teaching kids about giving to nonprofits is important step for their journey to adulthood. Global Philanthropy Leaders, a project that originates from St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Ridgefield, Connecticut, teaches youth not only to give, but to invest in people across the globe through lending.

This course is an introduction to the Global Philanthropy Leaders program. The program teaches kids how to loan money responsibly, evaluating investment choices according environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) factors, which measure an investment’s social and environmental impact. It introduces them to a website that facilitates loans to small businesses across the world and funds high school students who want to participate. The students decide where and how to loan the money for which the church has made them responsible. The program’s goal is to help teach skills that build toward the elimination of global poverty.

In addition to teaching responsible giving, this course discusses other benefits of the GPL program: life skills, leadership skills, and reliance on scripture that make a real difference in the faith lives of participants. How can your church teach kids to put money to work that makes this profound change, not only in the world but in the faith lives of teens? That is the question this course seeks to answer, based on St. Stephen’s success with the GPL program.

This course is ideal for churches looking for new ways to incorporate teens into the life of the church.

UPDATE: We have launched a curriculum for people who take this course and want to start a GPL ministry at their churches. Check it out here.

For a preview of the course, please click below.

Just Launched: Using Minecraft in Christian Education with Elizabeth and Joseph Brignac

We just launched Using Minecraft in Christian Education with Elizabeth and Joseph Brignac For Individuals and For Groups.

Minecraft is one of the best-selling games in the history of video games. (Some put it at the top of the list; others, second.) It has been available to the public since 2011 and is still going strong, with 126 million people playing it monthly as of May, 2020. In the world of video games, where games become obsolete within a couple of years, that’s like a 100-year-old athlete winning the Boston Marathon and getting ready to run it again next year.

Minecraft is unique in a number of ways beyond its exceptional, long-lasting popularity. Few games allow for as much freedom of creative exploration as Minecraft. Creative mode in Minecraft allows people to build anything from simple structures:

A simple Minecraft house.

to more elaborate ones:

Imperial Summer Palace in Minecraft. (You couldn’t make anything this elaborate without great expertise and many, many hours to devote to it but it’s fun to see what people can do.)

In this class, Elizabeth Brignac, Senior Course Designer at ChurchNext who has both used and written about using Minecraft in Christian education, and her son Joseph, who has used Minecraft to learn about the Christian faith, demonstrate creative ways in which Christian educators and parents and guardians can use Minecraft as part of a Christian education experience. In the first lesson, Elizabeth goes into the benefits of using Minecraft in Christian education. In the second lesson, she discusses and Joseph demonstrates how to use Minecraft to teach about churches. She goes on to talk about what Christian educators need to get started teaching with Minecraft. In the third lesson, Elizabeth discusses and Joseph demonstrates ways to use Minecraft to build structures and tell stories from scripture. The fourth lesson goes into other ways to use Minecraft to teach about Christianity. An optional fifth lecture talks about using Minecraft in remote learning for Christian education.

This class is ideal for anyone interested in learning new ways to teach kids about the Christian faith.