Teens are very teachable. The Bible is a book many teens want to investigate. And, that’s exactly what we want to occur in our teen Bible studies. An old friend of mine encouraged me in my early days of youth ministry to never tell a teen something from the Bible that you could help them to discover for themselves. I still value that advice.
An effective Bible study with teens will have three major elements. The first is motivation which we addressed in the previous blog. The second is examination. The third is application.
- Motivation helps the teen find interest in the passage under study so that it draws their attention.
- Examination helps the teen learn what the passage said to the original readers and then what it means to us today.
- Application is the action teens decide to take in living out the truth of the passage.
Let’s focus on examination.
In examining the passage, teens take to time travel. They go back in time to ancient Israel to see what the passage meant then. Then they come to the present to determine what that passage says to us in our times. Finally, they look to the future to see how they can live out the meaning of the passage. Giving them questions and helping them search for answers are keys to teaching them Bible skills.
Help teens ask three basic questions and other supporting questions:
- What did this passage mean to the original readers?
- What does this passage mean to us in our culture today?
- What did you learn from this passage?
- What does this passage teach us about God (or Jesus)?
- What does this passage teach us about humans?
- What truth do we find that we should believe and obey?
- What sins do we find that we should avoid?
- How can we live out the truth of this passage?
- How can we practice this truth in our community?
- How can we practice this truth with our families?
- How can we practice this at school or work?
- How can we practice this in our church?
Many different teaching methods support examination. I encourage you to read the book listed below to find great suggestions for guiding examination. The book was written by a friend, Karen Dockrey. She knows how to teach teens! You will get great ideas.
Scripture: Read Isaiah 28:9-10. How can you teach teens line by line?
Dig Deeper: Read The Youth Worker’s Guide to Creative Bible Study by Karen Dockrey.
Now It’s Your Turn: What are some ways you help teens examine Please share your ideas so we can all grow together.