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How To Help Your Young People Eat The Bible!

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“Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O LORD, God of hosts.” [Jeremiah 15:16]

We gotta get our young people eating the Word – lapping it up like a McD Big Tasty with extra special sauce!

Here are six important posts that tackle this head on:

  1. www.youthworkhacks.com/opening-up-the-bible/ – Video cast on an easy interpretation & exegesis tool
  2. www.youthworkhacks.com/first-question-youth-bible-studies/ – Nailing the first question every time
  3. www.youthworkhacks.com/6-ways-train-teenagers-read-bibles/ – 6 killer ways to help them read it themselves
  4. www.youthworkhacks.com/youth-bible-study-techniques/ – Easy study techniques that make awesome studies that are out of the box
  5. www.youthworkhacks.com/youthworker-bible-walk-bar/ – Getting their hearts to burn for The Word
  6. www.youthworkhacks.com/bible-young-people-stephen-hale/ – Great quote to end!

 

Youth Bible Study Techniques

There are Bible studies and there are ‘Bible studies’, the former are awesome – and the latter, perhaps not so much.

It looks to me pursuing the shelves of my local Christian bookstores, that the vast majority of youth Bible study resources on the market today are the prefabricated and pre-answered formulaic type. You don’t necessarily study any Bible! Instead you study somebody else’s thoughts on studying the Bible. Does anyone else feel cheated and cheesed by this? If we don’t it’s possible that we too were reared on these ‘prefab Bible studies.’

Tell me, does this excerpt look familiar?

Title: David, Giant Slayer!
Aim: To show that even the smallest person can knock down their giants with a little faith.
Read: 1 Samuel 17:31-50
Ask: Do you think David was afraid to face goliath? Why not?
Say: David had faith that God would fight for him!
Ask: A giant doesn’t have to be a real giant. A giant could be a school test or a bully. What giants do you face at home and at school?
Ask: How do you think having faith like David’s would help you face those giants?

Pray.

There’s nothing necessarily wrong with this short excerpt, but it’s not really a Bible study is it? It’s a thematic, application-driven chat bouncing around a couple of verses in a passage without cracking them open and getting to the goo-of-awesomeness inside.

How about approaching a question set like this instead:

Read: 1 Samuel 17:48 (in context of vv.31-50)

Ask:
– What did you notice in the verse – Anything at all?

– If you we’re leading, what questions would you ask from this verse?

– Who was ‘The Philistine’ and how did he compare with David?
– What is ‘the Battle line’ and why were only two of them on it?
– How did both of them approach each other?
– Why do you think Goliath first arose, then came, and then drew near? Why three stages?
– Why do you think David ‘ran quickly’?

– What or who was running with David? (Look back at v.47)

– What do you think this verse teaches us about God? (Don’t be satisfied with one answer).
– How does it teach us about people who follow God and people who hate God?
– What does it teach us about size?

– How about fear?

– When you face obstacles, how do you approach them?
– What things in your world mock God like Goliath did – how do you think David would respond to them?
– What ‘David qualities’ from this verse would you like to add to your identity?

– What Goliath qualities could you do without?

There’s some key differences in this approach:

First, the verse itself is dictating what questions should be asked.

Most people you work with are not going to be Bible scholars. Every other word is going to create complications and confusion. So why not let that be the way into reading the passage?

Second, the questions begin observationally, move onto interpretation and end with the application and reflection.
The train is led by what you see, how you read the passage then follows, which informs how you act on the passage. This is often the exact opposite to the approach demonstrated earlier.
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Third, this is question-driven not formula-driven.

Question-driven relies off who, what, when, where, why and how – whereas formula-driven relies on seeking exact answers to set up the teaching point that you (or your handy resource book!) need to make. Prefabricated studies are like knock knock jokes; the person hearing the joke needs to understand the joke formula or the punchline will fail!

Forth, the application flows directly from the passage it doesn’t have to be shoehorned in.

You might end up in a similar place application wise, but the grounding for it is much more secure.

Fifth, this teaches a method of reading the Bible that doesn’t rely on you – it relies on the text.

You and me – we’re fallible; shock, horror. The Bible? Not so much! Young people will be able to use this Bible reading technique on their own, carry it with them to university and help them spot Bible loving churches throughout their life.

Sixth, the Holy Spirit has more room.

The Holy Spirit is never divorced from the Bible itself, so you are allowing the Holy Spirit to speak more clearly because you are allowing the Word to speak more clearly. You also trusting conversation and discussion to the Holy Spirit for guidance and quality.

Seventh, the young people are directing the discussion.

Particularly in the early and late questions. This allows you to know much more about the young people that you’re working with, it helps them feel like they’re being heard and it develops you as a family, a team and a community.

 Youth Bible Study Techniques

A Youthworker and a Bible Walk Into A Bar…

Culture and the Bible. These are the two indisputable pillars of effective youthwork. If you don’t get the former you can’t communicate the latter, if you can’t apply the latter you will make no difference to the former.

“There are two fundamental necessities in Christian Communication. One is that we take the world we live in seriously; and the other is that we take God’s revelation to us in the Bible seriously. If either is missing, the communication will be ineffective.” [Christian Youth Work, Mark Ashton & Phil Moon]

There is a youthwork culture in the UK that is really starting to push the envelop, dig deep and get innovative in cultural relevancy. This is absolutely fantastic! I fully embrace and stand by this.

I fear, however, that the Bible is taking more and more of a back seat.

The Famine of God’s Word in Youthwork Culture

I’ve been to almost every major, mainstream Christian youthwork gathering in the UK this year. These were amazing events with great people, and mostly solid, encouraging teaching. Most of all they were a showcase of good ideas to learn from! However they were also symptomatic of a serious famine of the Word of God.

I can count on one hand how many talks I’ve heard at Youthwork gatherings this year that genuinely opened up the Bible.

“Opening up the Bible means swimming around in its depths and drawing us into those hidden truths.”

This spills over to published materials too. Bible reading resources are driving further down the lane of ‘prooftext with reflection’ often without any discernible link between the passage and the attached thoughts.

If we don’t open up the Bible we lose perspective, focus, authority and foundations. What are we playing at?

We Don’t Know How To Open Up The Bible

Let me clarify what I mean by ‘opening up’ the Bible. Just reading a standalone verse and paraphrasing it a few different, interesting ways is not opening up the Bible. Reading a verse, picking a word from it and giving a talk on that word is also not opening up the Bible.

Opening up the Bible means swimming around in its depths and drawing us into those hidden truths. It means exegesis, context, study and clarity. It means bringing a passage to life by using the passage itself!

I’m becoming increasingly concerned that we don’t know how to do this.

My wife, an editor, is currently trying to re-write someones Bible Study that is trying to teach that David defeated Goliath because of his own prodigious experience and skill; not because he trusted in God despite his lack of experience and skill. How could we get a passage so dramatically wrong?

The Bible Makes Our Hearts Burn Within Us

Read Luke 24:13-35

How did Jesus reveal himself to the two followers walking to Emmaus? “Beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself” v.27.

And how did they respond? They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” v.32.

“If you want young people’s hearts to burn within them in response to meeting with Jesus Christ, then you must, must, flippin’ must open up the Bible to them!”

If you want young people’s hearts to burn within them in response to meeting with Jesus Christ, then you must, must, flippin’ must open up the Bible to them! Yes, please be culturally relevant, but if you’re not going to bring God’s Word with you, you’re better off just staying at home!

If you want to communicate God’s heart, use His own words! There’s nothing wrong with the material – we must teach it until it burns within the hearts of this generation.

“However, if we have to err on one side or the other, we must not lose our hold on Christian truth. The simple message of God’s love for sinful humanity and of his forgiveness of our sins for the sake of his son has extraordinary and immense power: our incompetence as communicators is not able to destroy its ability to reach non-Christian young people.” [Christian Youthwork, Ashton & Moon]

Also See…

6 Ways to Train Teenagers to Read Their Bibles

Great Resource to Start Doing This…

  Dindexig Deeper: Tools for Understanding God’s World by
Andrew Sach & Nigel Beynon

A Youthworker and a Bible Walk Into A Bar…

6 Youth Group Tactile Discussion Activities

Starting genuine conversations in a youth group can be a nightmare! Keeping them rolling while staying on track doubly so. Small group conversations tend to oscillate between pulling teeth and taming out of control petrol fires.

One of the best ways to engage different personalities and create real dynamic conversation is to use tactile (hands-on) activities. These can also be useful or easily adapted if your group contains young people with additional learning needs.

Here are some easy activities that create conversation on spiritual topics with an element of hands-on fun.

1. Story Cubes.

A brilliant invention that encourages you to make up your own rules. You start by group members choosing a cube and creating a story based off what’s on those cubes. You can get more specific by introducing a particular theme or topic for them to keep to.

This works best when you break into the story to ask the golden questions: who, what, when, where, why and how to get the group to elaborate and clarify the story they are telling.

Buy story cubes from here and follow them on twitter.

2. Question Jenga

Find a cheap Jenga set and, using a sharpie, write simple questions on each brick. Take turns to pull out a brick and ask a question to the group.

The questions can be as simple as ‘what’s your favourite colour?’ or as controversial as ‘can gay people go to heaven?’.

3. Collage Clips

Cut out quotes, words, colours, pictures and textures from a bunch of different magazines. Make sure you have lots and lots. Display them by tacking then to the wall or laying them out on the floor or a table.

Set the group the challenge to find a picture each and to explain to the group why they picked that picture.

You could ask them just pick one they like, or one that explains how their day went, or one that best describes who God is to them.

Another option is to use art postcards that you buy from galleries, artcards on specific God and ethics ideas from Youthscape or perspective cards available to buy from Agape.

4. Values Pyramid

Create 10 values on a theme or a topic and have the group rank them from most important at the top of the pyramid to least important on the bottom row. If you have enough people have several sets of this around and brake the group up.

Once you’ve done this ask the golden questions again (who, what, when, where, why, how) to challenge their answers. Compare the different pyramids and give people the opportunity to remove a row and re-rank the remaining.

Once finished you can give them a white piece of paper each and encourage them to add or replace a value with one of their own. Two sets available for free to download below. Just cut them out and if you want, laminate them.

Relationships And Sex Values Pyramid

Worldview And Ethics Values Pyramid

5. Values Washing Line

This effectively works the same way as the values pyramid however instead of moving around a hierarchical triangle you have a washing line stretched across the room with the values pegged to it.

Get a group to rank them most to least important left-to-right and explain why. Keep moving and dropping some off.

Free Download: Relationship Stages Washing Line. Enlarge, Print, Laminate & add Peggs!

6. playing cards

The best examples of these are made by Youthscape and specifically Romance Academy on the theme of sex and relationships.

You can use them just like regular playing cards, however each card comes with its own unique discussion question.

These are also easy enough to make your own.

 

 

6 Youth Group Tactile Discussion Activities

Your First Question at Youth Bible Studies

So you’ve had some food, played a game, prayed and read your passage – now it’s time for the study. What do you do? What’s the first question? How do you start off in a way that sets a direction that will bring these young people on in their walk with God and their relationship with the Bible?

This first question should 1. draw them back into the passage not away from it, 2. leave room for misunderstanding and vulnerabilities, 3. give space for different opinions, 4. not be an excuse for the opening portion of a sermon and 5. simply get them talking as a group.

“This simple question is your chance to establish Bible, group, individuality and agenda – on their terms – in one swoop!”

My first question is always, without exception the same: “What did you notice?”

I might milk it a bit: “So what did you notice, anything at all, what did you like, not like, what sounds cool, what doesn’t make any sense … what jumped out at you, for any reason whatsoever?”

Starting with this question has often meant totally abandoning the rest as we have been jumping around the whole passage through what they noticed well into the evening.

There are some important followups that keep things moving and opening like: ‘why did that jump out?’ or ‘so what do you think that means?’ or ‘how would that look today?’ or ‘can you see anything else in there that points to that? And of course each time something is noticed, you can make it communal, ‘so everybody, what do you think that means?’ or ‘turn to someone else and explain that in your own words’ or ‘does anyone know the answer to that?

This simple question is your chance to establish Bible, group, individuality and agenda – on their terms – in one swoop. Don’t underestimate it’s power and always give it room. Youth Bible Studies are always worth it!

6 Ways to Train Teenagers to Read Their Bibles

(edited from an earlier post)

Youth work models need to firmly stand on the Bible. God’s word needs to be sewn into the very fabric of discipleship that we are developing. This means helping young people engage with the Bible for themselves. We need to train teenagers to read their Bibles fully.

Getting young people to independently open the Bible and read it is a great victory, but only half the battle.

The second half is to help them independently examine and understand the Bible for themselves – and this is frankly where most of us wimp out!

A Generation Bought Up on Spoon Feeding Notes

I was struck recently when reviewing some popular Youth Bible study notes by just how proof-text-with-explanation based they were. Spoon fed, on a plate with little or no reference to how, who, what, when, where and why. No need to think or examine the verses whatsoever. Really no need to read them. What they did most clearly was help young people examine themselves as a person and apply new things to their lives. This begs the question though; if that application is not being built from the Bible passage, where is it coming from?

“Getting young people to independently open the Bible and read it is half the battle, but this is far from the whole battle!”

This, of course, is the method of Bible study most of Gen Y and the Millennials have been bought up on; the soundbite and the blog. An interesting read that demands little if any independent thought.

My wife works in a Christian bookshop, and by perusing the Youth Bible studies section you can see that in the last decade this is a pretty standard pattern. For many of us this is Bible study, we’ve never known anything different. Our Bible study notes include a passage to read, a proof-text (‘key verse’) taken out of context and a basic thought from it explained and opened up – with a couple of challenges thrown in for good measure.

This isn’t Bible study though. Bible study is having a conversation with God through the text. Reading it properly, asking it questions, looking for patterns, relationships, correlations and hidden gems is Bible study. Exegesis (to use the proper term) is getting into the nitty gritty, learning how to read the Bible independently and hear it’s challenges without the need for supporting notes.

Why Is This So Important For The Next Generation?

Not training young people to exegete-read the Bible (that is seek to swim in it’s depths and find treasure) is like buying them a guitar in order to introduce them to Brit-Pop; it’s only going to go so far!

Young people need to know how to read their Bibles so that they:

  • Can develop a personal relationship with God that’s independent of their youth group, church community or Bible notes
  • Have more to offer in their youth group and church community life
  • Will grow in their personal holiness and faith and will challenge others to do so too
  • Can keep a growing check their own sin and personal habits
  • Will learn to recognize and discern God’s voice more clearly and notice when it’s missing,
  • Won’t fall victim to spoon feeding and won’t be dependent on fallible teachers and notes
  • Will know how to pick a healthy Church when they are at uni etc.,
  • Can survive when not able to find good Bible teaching.
  • Will simply live life to its fullest the John 10:10 way!

We need to teach young people how to read the Bible – not just to read it.

How do we do this?

For a basic way in I offer a mix of five random things to help us teach Bible study to our teenagers:

  1. Learn to do it ourselves!!!
  2. Model it in Bible studies
  3. Get them to do it in breakout pairs/groups when in Bible studies together
  4. Help them one-to-one
  5. Get them to read a book like ‘Dig Deeper’ by Nigel Beynon & Andrew Sach
  6. Teach them to get messy!

1. Learn to do it ourselves!!!

This is the key bit, and without it the other four bits won’t work. As I said before, many of us don’t realise that what we’ve been doing for the last who knows how many years isn’t really Bible study. It came as a huge shock to me when at 18 I went to Bible college and realised I knew spotty things about God without any reference to why, and when I discovered passages I had been using to prove certain ‘truths’ just didn’t teach them. I’m definitely not saying that we all need to go to Bible college, but we do need to make some serious effort – you won’t regret it!

– Find decent Bible teachers and stick to them
– Listen to amazing Bible unpacking talks (desiringgod.org)
– Find mentors or mini classes
– Read good Bible teaching/explaining books
– Read your Bible slowly with highlighters, pens, paper, margin mess… whatever you need

2. Model it in Bible studies

Leading decent Bible studies as a group has got to be the linchpin. It’s the key place that they will pick up and learn how to do it and it will give them the overviews and anchors they need, along with an accountability space to check up on how they’re doing.

“We need to teach young people how to read the Bible – not just to read it.”

– Teach and display where and how you made points from the Bible when you make them
– Ask questions that make them look at the text itself, even (sometime especially) if the answers are obvious
– Ask them to summarize main points, identify characters, examine the context etc.
– Print out copies of the passage for them to go through highlighting things like verbs, nouns, speeches, connectives, etc. that might be useful in the study
– Get them to ask their own questions of the text itself and answer those together first (my first question after reading every passage is ‘what did you notice?’)

3. Get them to do it in breakout pairs/groups

The next zeroing in step to independent Bible study after the small group, is getting them to help each other – without relying on you the teacher. This givens them a chance to adapt what they’ve learned, try their strengths, push their confidences, work on their community interaction and help each other out!

– Give each breakout pair/group a section of the passage to study together then summarize their findings to the whole group
– Make sure they’ve got space to write, scribble, & highlight (printed off passages are great)
– Give them specific questions to answer in their group from the passage like ‘what is the main point,’ ‘what shocked you the most,’ ‘what did you learn that you didn’t know before’
– Allow them the option of feeding back in creative ways (pictures, drama, song) as long as it communicates the actual passage itself
– Give them enough room and time to complete the task well, but not so much time that they can wander. Knowing that they will need to feed back is usually encouragement enough to stay on task

4. Help them one-to-one

The final step to independent Bible study after group and small group work is getting alongside them to mentor, teach and role model what’s in the word. This is important for a whole world of stuff – and teaching Bible reading (overtly or not) is invaluable for all of it.

– Get alongside them for 20-40mins JUST to read the Bible with them. Pick a book and go through it verse by verse, word by word
– Start each new meeting with them summarizing the passage from the last meeting
– Get them to delve into why specific words we’re chosen etc.
– Look at tools like ‘context’, ‘purpose’ and ‘order’ in the passages you choose. (N.b. I usually find 1-2 verses a week works well for most growing Christians)

If you would like a free downloadable crib sheet that I’ve used before click here.

5. Get them to read a book like ‘Dig Deeper’ by Nigel Beynon & Andrew Sach

Rather than buying them Bible reading notes, buy them an easy usable how to manual that will help them read the Bible itself without notes. Dig Deeper is an epic example that I highly recommend. It’s great for independent work, or one-to-one, but can also be a good group study tool and it’s useful training for Bible study leaders.

– Buy the book for them as a gift, and make sure you’ve read it yourself!
– They should read a chapter a week & do the examples
– Ask them questions on it & ask to see their examples
– Give them new verses to work on that need the tools explained in the book to understand

6. Teach them to get messy!

Teach them to get messy! I don’t care if they need to underline every single word in a different colour, allow them to draw in their Bibles – or if that’s a cultural no-no where you are, print out passages for them!

– They should do whatever helps them s l o w  d o w n , ask questions of the text, and highlight key sections. I’d rather a young person come with a tatty, Biro-blessed, dogeared Bible than a pristine one that’s obviously never been touched.
– Teach them to get personal with the Bible and get messy with it. Bring out the highlighters in droves (you can always buy a new one for them!)

 

A Biblical Mandate For Youth Ministry

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If you’ve seen parts 1 & 2 you’ll know that I’m on a study week looking through the most resent, top scoring dissertations from probably the most academic, Bible-driven Bible College in the UK. Today I’m highlighting and summarizing the important argument in favour of Youth Ministry from the Bible in:

‘A Biblical Mandate For Youth Ministry’, by Andrew Cook.

This short thesis is broken into three parts:

1stan opening discussion of adolescence
2ndan outline of the argument against doing Youth Ministry
3rda Biblical defense of and model for Youth Ministry

I will go through each.

 

Adolescence

Andrew looks at both the sociological and Biblical approaches the adolescence question.

Sociologically Andrew points out, adolescence as a transition from childhood to adulthood has always existed in some form and is often referred to as ‘storm and stress.’ This term, coined by the largely discredited work of G. Stanley Hall has nevertheless been a useful term to describe this often tumultuous time of transition. The massive changes both socially and biologically during adolescence makes this transitional age group a very distinct people.

Although their is much disagreement, Andrew suggests a broad age group surrounding (just before, during and just after) puberty to be our focus.

Biblically, we find few places speaking directly to this transitional time, however historically they do exist. The Jewish education system celebrates times of transition for instance. Further, in passages such as 1 Chronicles 23 and Leviticus 27 we find that the age of 20 is a significant time for adult value and responsibility.

A category of ‘young men’ or ‘young adults’ also exist in places like Deuteronomy 32 and Jeremiah 6 – where such a group is seen as a sub-category of Children. In 1 John 2:12-14, categories include ‘children’, ‘young men’ and ‘fathers.’ ‘Youths’ is another term found many places such as Job 31 and 1 Timothy 4.

The adolescent ‘youth’ or ‘young adult’ stages of development Biblically are seen as time to grow away from youthful sin and temptations (1 Cor. 6; Prov. 5:3, 8; 1 Tim. 5:11; Prov. 1:10-19) and grow into wisdom and maturity (Prov. 1-9; 1 Kings 12:8; 14:30; 1 Pet. 5:5; 1 Tim. 5:1-2).

 

The Argument Against Youth Ministry

Instead of segregated youth ministry some say that we should look to integrated and inclusive whole family ministry.

Those supporting this argument (Andrew notes particularly the online film, ‘Divided’ by Philip Leclerc) say the crisis of young people leaving the church is largely the fault of what they call the ‘godless, pagan, Darwinian’ invention that is age segregated youth ministry. They note that only age-integrated worship is seen in Scripture where the youth-specific ministry and discipleship is given through parents alone.

They see age segregated youth ministry as undermining corporate worship and undermining parental ministry.

It’s worth saying, that even though the Biblical arguments presented by advocates of this argument are pretty weak they do raise some important challenges about integration and parenting.

 

The Biblical Basis For Youth Ministry

Andrew starts this section by helpfully saying:

“The argument against youth ministry cannot be supported biblically, but this does not in itself ratify all approaches to adolescent discipleship.

The spiritual poverty of some approaches is obvious: the gospel is not proclaimed, the Bible is not taught, young people are not included in the community of faith, there is little if any spiritual growth, and the only legacy seems likely to be some very high scores at Mario Kart and a few broken church windows.”

Andrew outlines (very basically) three of the most frequently used youth work models in the UK and their drawbacks:

Incarnational model – prefers sharing stories to preaching the gospel.
Worship model – encourages faith based on subjective, emotional experience not propositional truth.
Funnel model – prefers entertainment to Bible study and content.

This is a useful set of thoughts to have in the backs of our minds as we continue.

Andrew finds Biblical examples of ministry happening with adolescents outside the nuclear family but within the church family. For instance in Deuteronomy 29 there is a communal approach to sharing responsibility for each other – specifically the elders for the young people in the whole community. Also, in Nehemiah, Ezra groups people according to their ages in order to teach God’s word (Neh. 8). Further, in Proverbs there is a communal nature to teach wisdom to youths outside the nuclear family unit. Finally, in the New Testament there is a big push towards shared community life and specifically Andrew gives us Titus 2 as an example of the young being taught communally and Luke 2:41-52 where the 12 year old Jesus is sitting with the elders – away from his parents – discussing God’s word.

All this said, there is a prominent push in Andrew’s model to integrate young people into the church and support parents as much as possible – not exclusively (like the proponents against Youth Ministry might say), but heavily.

Andrew therefore goes on to find a prime but not sole responsibility on the parents to disciple young people (Deut. 6; Prov. 1-9; Eph. 6) and some age-specific applications of Biblical truth outside the sole parental structure (Eph. 6; Col. 3). Finally Andrew demonstrates how Church is family just as important as the nuclear family (Mark 3:31-35; Luke 14:26; 1 Tim. 5:1-2) and shows how special space is given to ‘youths’ (1 Cor. 12:21-26).

 

Concluding Thoughts

All this goes to show that youth ministry within a inclusive church family structure is a Biblical model for Youth Ministry. Youth Ministry should never be solely segregated, divided or exclusive – and the parents should not be undermined. However the growth of adolescence is the responsibility of the whole community with a Bible-driven passion for youth discipleship. This vital for the health of the whole church – and vital to the health of successful youth ministries.

Thank you Andrew! Lots of helpful things in here and a wonderful grasp of the Bible’s role in defining what youth ministry actually is.

I would love to see a longer thesis with room given for models of general discipleship, spiritual healing, sanctification and growth and how they would apply to this model – and I’d really value a look at culture differences and how these application might look in today’s unique world. Finally I’d also like to see what role Bible-drive, but culturally specific young people’s mission looks like in this church-integration model. My suspicion is it would struggle somewhat without some more cultural wiggle-room.

Well worth the time in the Word! Cheers.

Youth Bible Study on The Church from Acts 2 (free download)

This is a straight forward ‘say what you see’ youth Bible Study on Acts 2:42-47. It’s designed to open up discussion on the nature of the Church contrasting our ideas with the Bible’s.

Obviously add your own intro/ice-breakers yarda yarda!

Download here: Acts 2.42-47 bible study

Video in the same theme: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ly_qKAbBjCQ

Advent in the Youth Group.

advent-wreath-80114_640

Every week I run a small group of between 10-25 young people called ‘Redefine.’ It’s aim is to disciple believers to embrace seekers and grow seekers into believers. It’s a group made up of young people from 8 or so churches in North Wales and has a strong family ethic. Each session includes food, Q&A time, Bible-Study, ice-breakers, worship through music, prayer, reflection and response.

What makes Redefine slightly different from many other Christian small groups is the broad age range, a peer-mentoring model, a mix between Christ followers and seekers, and a high focus on participation and serving. This group regularly designs and leads services and events in Churches locally.

As my background pre-YFC is Church of England youth ministry I thought this year I’d have a stab at Advent. The aim is to learn from the first people who worshiped Jesus in the flesh, and see what each set of worshipers revealed about the nature and character of the Jesus we worship today.

Broken up it’ll look like this:

Week 1. The Magi.
Week 2. The Shepherds.
Week 3. The Angels.  (Special ‘invite a mate’ worship driven night).
Week 4. The Parents.  (Hopefully some kind of ‘midnight mass.’)

What makes Advent slightly different from other weeks for Redefine will be some focus on ritual (lighting candles, communion on week 4) and some Christmas ‘class’ with a weekly Christmas toast and souped up carols. There will be a strong focus on application, particularly how we can make Christmas a time of lifestyle worship.

So I will be blogging-up each session breakdown on here to say how it went and give some idea how this can work. These will not be Bible Studies per-say, but with some ingenuity I’m sure you could adapt them if you wanted.

Also – I’d love to hear how you play Advent with your youth group – or why you don’t. Send me a message, or leave me a comment.

I’ll bob the first session up tonight. Thanks 🙂