Teaching Passion, Wonder and Discovery To Your Youth Group

(pic of Passion, Wonder & Discovery taken from the Move Book pg 109)

by Terry Davis

All of the Orange Conference attendees last year were given a copy of the book MOVE by Reggie Joiner (an overview of the Wonder, Discovery and Passion strategy). After thumbing through it, I immediately went and bought copies for my entire student ministry team. My thinking at the time was that it was essential to our ministry that the leaders of our teens had read and processed this material. Then a few months later I had another thought; if this material was so important that my adult leaders should know and process it, wasn’t it also essential that the students in our ministry know it as well? Since realizing this, I have found myself in the middle of one of the best seasons of ministry in my 20 plus years of working with students both for me, and all who are involved.

What we have done in our student ministry this fall is take the XP3 core insights that are outlined in the MOVE book and on the XP3 website and worked through each of these Core Insights systematically. Starting with Wonder then Discovery and finally Passion, spending four weeks on each component. Sure it has created more work for us, but it has been worth every minute. I now firmly believe there is great value in walking your students through the entire strategy in this way. Here are a few of the things I have learned through this process.

1.     Each element of the strategy builds upon another.

Most of us seek some degree of balance in our programming. We would probably not choose to pick an entire year’s worth of series from only one of the three elements. Nor would we completely ignore one of the three for an extended amount of time. That being said, I have not always done a good job of communicating how wonder inspires discovery or how wonder and discovery together fuel passion. If you are currently using the XP3 curriculum your students are getting a healthy dose of each element. But probably not in a systematical step-by-step format that communicates to them how each element builds upon the last. It is important to communicate this to our students because I have seen it magnify the impact of this strategy in their lives.

2.     Wonder, Discover and Passion are foundational.

Once we have systematically walked through the strategy, it provides us with a frame of reference to call students back to. This is the basic framework of what we are doing and why we are doing it. We want our students to live lives that are fueled by passion, but that passion is only fully realized when we understand who God is (wonder) and where we find our true identity (discovery). I believe that it is important to first give our students this overview, then build on this foundation with the specific topical series.

3.     It provides context.

Because each element builds upon the other, this process is providing us with context that I believe will strengthen our teaching over the next months and years. So later when we do a specific series we can refer back and show them how each element works together. Each XP3 series has a very specific focus on one of the three elements. In the months to come as we teach these lessons our students will have a better understanding of how it fits into the overall strategy.

4.     It’s a really good series!

I love XP3. It is the best curriculum that I have found through my years of ministry. This fall has been amazing! Wonder is all about apologetics, Discovery is a study on the importance of God’s Word and Passion focuses on serving others. What a great way to start the year and lead into the XP3 curriculum beginning this winter.

This fall has been refreshing and empowering. Each week I am excited to give our students the next piece of this awesome strategy. I cannot wait to see how this series impacts the months to follow! I am planning on doing a series like this every few years to kick off the fall so that each generation of students has the Wonder, Discovery and Passion foundation.


Terry Davis graduated from Florida Christian College in Kissimmee, Florida with a Bachelors of Science in Preaching and Youth Ministry.  He is the Family Minister at Journey Christian Church in Greeley, Colorado and has been working in Student Ministry for over 20 years. Terry and his wife Tammy have four children. He loves U2, The Choir and all things 80’s.

Connect with Terry at terry@enjoythejourney.us or find him on Facebook 



If you want to learn more about Passion, Wonder and Discovery we would highly encourage you to get the MOVE book.  This easy-to-read book is a great resource for volunteers and staff members to walk through the nine core insights that define the end in mind for the Orange Strategy.

Orange Conference 2018