The View From Here

My Favorite Things About Teaching the Bible to Teenagers

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I have only been in full-time Youth Ministry for a little over year, but I have had the privilege of being able to teach and share the Scriptures with teenagers in some way, shape, or form, for about three years.  As I was thinking about this, something occurred to me: I’m not tired of teaching the Bible to teenagers.

Sure there have been some weeks were the commitment has been more difficult than others.  And there have definitely been times when lessons don’t go well and both the teenagers and I are glad when it’s done.  But in the one year I have been teaching the Bible every week, my passion has not waivered, and my desire to teach has not changed.  (This doesn’t speak anything on my part, but speaks volumes to the amazing nature of Scripture.)  I think this is really awesome and got me to thinking about the specific aspects of teaching the Bible to teenagers that I most enjoy.

Here is a list of some of my favorite things about teaching the Bible to teenagers.

I love it when teenagers make connections.  Like when the see the connection between Jesus as the sacrificial lamb and the Old Testament sacrificial system, or the lambs that were killed the night the Israelites were freed from Egypt.  These moments where students being to grasp how God’s story all connects are awesome.

I love how teaching the Bible keeps me sharp.  There are some lessons that don’t require as much preparation as others.  But I have never spent time studying the Scriptures and come away empty handed.  Studying is always rewarding for me personally.

I love it when the Holy Spirit takes control.  The moments when I find myself making connections I didn’t plan on making, or bring in examples I hadn’t thought about ahead of time… yeah, those are incredible.

I love watching teenagers wrestle with hard questions.  I like watching them nail down the concrete truths and pursue the abstract ones.  I find joy in the dialogue and discussion that comes along with teaching.

I like communicating my passion for Scripture to students.  I’ve heard someone say that: “Passion for God’s word is caught not taught” and I couldn’t agree more.  If I show teenagers that I am excited about encountering God in the Scriptures week in and week out, that passion will rub off on them, it is contagious

I have FUN teaching the Bible.  If someone says they don’t have fun while teaching the Scriptures, chances are they are doing it wrong.

I like hearing teenagers read the scriptures out loud.  It’s so simple isn’t it?  But I love it.  I enjoy hearing them mispronounce crazy names and hard words (to be honest I probably do the same thing half time anyway.)  For some teenagers, reading a passage of scripture out loud is the most courageous thing they will do that week.  I love to see the leap of faith it takes for some of them.

 Boy, there is so much to love, and I could probably go on for another two or three pages.  But I’ll stop here.  I have been incredibly blessed to have been placed here at Mountain View where I am able to teach the Bible to teenagers every week.  It is a true joy for me to share God’s word, and a privilege I will always be grateful for.

 

Posted by Rodney DeJager with

Are You Cheeky?

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Is it cowardly to turn the other cheek? After all, if someone hits me don’t l have the “right” to hit back? But, the Lord tells us that the evidence of our being controlled by Christ is our being in control when we are attacked. Jesus says, “But I tell you, don’t resist an evildoer. On the contrary, if anyone slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.” (Matt 5:39)

Jesus is speaking of the very real threat the Jews faced of being struck by Roman soldiers. Under the boot of the Roman government, life was hard for those who were considered second-class. If Jesus said we should turn the other cheek when we are struck by an enemy, what should we do when we are offended by a brother?

How much more ought we to be willing to say to ourselves what Phil 1:29 says: “For to you it has been granted, for Christ's sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake.” So, we begin to understand that it is the Lord's honor that is at stake and our response will either please Him or grieve Him.

Insisting on our rights, the right to be understood, the right to get even, the right to have our own way misplaces the spotlight. We are not the center of the universe, Jesus is. Our rights are not the issue, His will is. And if we properly understand our role it is to bring glory to Him regardless of the suffering we may endure in the process.

Oswald Chambers wrote, “We are not here to develop a spiritual life of our own, or to enjoy spiritual retirement, we are here so to realize Jesus Christ that the body may be built up.” Chambers reminds us that our goal is not to live only for our own spiritual interests. Rather, we are to live for Christ only and endure whatever inconvenience or sacrifice is necessary to achieve that goal.

The key, then, to a healthy church (or marriage or job or being a good citizen) is to never carry a grudge. The real issue is not whether we are right or wrong but how we handle being wronged. Do we fight or do we say, “Lord, for Your sake I bear this and consider it an honor to be a part of the suffering you endured.” A slave is not greater than his master. (John 15:20)

Posted by Bill Knepper with

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