Review of Smashed: a curriculum addressing binge drinking

smashed series graphic

Chad Swanzy is hands down one of the sharpest tools in the ministry shed. His blog, is filled with every thing a ministry would need; great games, funny videos, and compelling curriculum. He is by far one of the best resources on the net, and his latest curriculum does not disappoint. Binge drinking is a complex issue and one that touches the lives of just about every student in our ministry in one way or another. It is part of the real life of students and as youth workers, we are called to walk with them in their real lives as we help them encounter Christ. If we simply close our eyes and pretend it isn't happening we are abdicating our responsibilities as the church, and if we lay down some simple black and white, right and wrong explanation, we miss an amazing opportunity.

Smashed! is a a compelling curriculum that takes binge drinking seriously while taking the truth and grace of Jesus Christ seriously as well. Chad addresses the underlying issues surrounding this issue, the real life problems that come out of it, tools for students to stand up to peep pressure, and resources for students who want to help their friends get out of this dangerous cycle.

Throughout the entire curriculum, Chad presents the truth with out condemning. In fact, I was impressed with the grace that is poured out and the hope that is offered. The scriptures he chooses to address this topic are not your standard getting drunk is a sin scriptures. He uses scriptures like the prodigal son, Jeremiah's words on identity, and the rich young ruler. He also allows students to wrestle with the outside issues of drinking such as excitement, identity, false hope, authority, rebellion and habitual sin.

This resource is balanced in its approach and has something for everyone. From the kids way out there on the edge, the double life church kids, perfect home schoolers, and for your students who are really going after their faith in Jesus. This curriculum is written in a way where everyone can identify and participate. There are also clear plan every week with action steps students can take.

For $9.99 this is a bargain and an incredible resource. For this price you will get:

  • Detailed notes: Whether you are a compelling speaker in your own right or couldn't structure a talk to save your life, these notes have something for everyone. Every word is spelled out, including transition sentences. If you just need bullet points and a scripture, those are easy to find without having to read through a ton of text. The notes come as pdfs and as word documents.
  • Graphics: This series has a number of slides for you to use to "brand" this series. There are slides for notes and for the opening. Like all of Chad's work, they are slick and relevant.
  • Small group questions: It is obvious that Chad has put a lot of work into these questions. They are written in a way that allows your small group leaders to succeed with feeding them with key points, transition questions, and reminders of how to handle this delicate topic.

I am glad to have Chad as a resource and as a friend. If, and when, you decide to tackle this topic, I would encourage you to take a look at this curriculum. And while you are there, take a fresh look at for other great resources and tools.


hands down the best free resource on the web

youth leader stash

Ok, this may not be hands down the best free resource on the web, but it is pretty amazing. Most of the freebies on the web are put together by web professionals, publishers, and for sure by people who have not done hands on ministry in years. This is not the case with Chad Swanzy is a creative and passionate youth worker. His stash is not just a collection of games and images gathered from the far reaches of the web, they are his games and images. He may not have originally come up with the game, but he has spruced it up and made it compelling for the digital generation. Everything on this page has been used in an actual ministry context and has worked well enough for him to pass it on to us. How cool is that?

I love when talented people are secure enough in their call to be gracious with the gifts and talents to bless the body of Christ and help those of us who struggle to put together events that are compelling and relevant.

Besides being a fantastic resource for cheep skates like me, he also has a compelling blog. I hope you have a great weekend and are inspired to keep your ministry fresh and creative. And if you don't have a creative bone in your body, I hope you are inspired by somebody else's amazing gifts and abilities to put a little more effort into it. But, no matter what your niche is in the body of Christ, I pray that you would live more fully into the unique gifts and talents that God has blessed you with, and to not just be a consumer of information and ideas, but to also be a contributor.

Happy Friday!