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Monday, October 27, 2014

Six Practical Ways to Share Bible Truth with Teens

Photo by: Ambro

Now that we’ve loved, laughed with, and listened to our teens, here are a few helpful ideas for teaching them Bible truths:
  1. Show Them the Bible Verses--Instead of a list of do’s and don’ts, show your teens from the Bible why you believe what you believe. Make sure they understand the Ten Commandments (God’s moral law) for starters. Make sure they see with their own eyes why you believe certain practices are sin. Show them in the Bible--both Old and New Testaments--why we don’t do some things. Show them from the Bible why we feel other practices are important. When you can show a teen, “This is what God says,” the teaching has authority. When it’s just “Do as I say,” it doesn’t. If you can’t find it in the Bible, then it’s not a biblical principle. You should discuss matters honestly with your teen. I remember in our own family talking about some of the gray areas, where the Bible doesn’t come out on one side or the other. It’s also okay to say, “I don’t know. I’ll look it up and get back to you.” When teens see clear biblical instruction, they will know what’s right and wrong. It will give their beliefs backbone.
  2. Use Visuals--Just as teens need to see Bible verses for themselves, they also need to see biblical concepts taught with clear visual illustrations. When a preacher or teacher uses visuals and object lessons to go with his teaching, it reinforces his words. For some reason, teens need visuals. When they actually see with their eyes, they're more able to respond in their minds and hearts.
  3. Give Teens Individual Attention--Any person of any age can sit down next to a teen and show personal interest. This is especially important in the church. Teens are open to friendships with people of all ages. A grandma like me can make teen friends. So can children and people his parents’ age. Youth leaders should get one-on-one time with the kids in the youth group. This is very important for effective leadership.
  4. Arrange for Teens to Serve--Teens are blessed with energy and zeal. Get your teens involved in projects for others. Ask them for their ideas for service endeavors. Years ago, one of our supporting churches used their teens in all kinds of outreach projects. They regularly visited nursing homes. They did yard work for the elderly. They washed cars and raised funds for missionaries’ special projects. When we visited the church, we were greeted by friendly, happy, and completely normal teenagers. I have no doubt that they went on to become awesome adults. These kids weren’t back bench warmers; they were a vibrant element in their church. One of the most important steps in the Christian life is learning to serve others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant (Philippians 2:5-7a). Enlist your teens today!
  5. In the Church, Include Teens--I sometimes wonder if it’s so important to have a “youth group” as a separate entity in the church. (I’m not saying I’m against youth groups, but I believe that dividing the church into peer groups might not be the best way of including kids in ministry. I think it might be better to serve the Lord together--teens, singles, married people, and children. It’s my personal opinion. It’s okay if you differ with me on this. We can still be friends!) Why not do evangelism with teens and adults together? (I went as a newly-born-again twelve-year-old with godly women in my church.) Why not enlist teens to help with decorating and organizing church social events? How about doing retirement home ministry with family units that include teens? How about teen ushers? Could teen musicians sing and play instruments with others? Older teens can help in children’s Sunday school classes. How about integrating our teens into normal church ministry? The teens in our churches are the church of the future. They will learn God’s work as they work alongside us.
  6. Provide Avenues for Teens to Share Their Salvation Testimonies with Others--I believe it’s important to encourage teens to write, to do artwork, to be musical, and to be able to express themselves. How about a church blog for teens, by teens? How about an online newspaper that shares personal testimonies and experiences, ideas, artwork, and fun things with other teens? How about encouraging kids to compose music that honors the Lord? How about sharing teen poetry in a service? Teens can take part in holiday cantatas and dramas. How about letting teens share their personal testimonies and devotional thoughts in a midweek church service?
Our teens have much to offer the church and the Christian community. They are fresh, energetic, and full of ideas. Harness some of that energy in your church. Help teens to feel valued as full-fledged members of your church family. 

They are the future!

O God, thou hast taught me from my youth
and hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works (Psalm 71:17).

(Friday’s post was about getting to know our teens. If you missed it, scroll down.)


Please share your thoughts.