Bible Study & Prayer

My Soul Worth

Purpose: We often do not appreciate the value of things such as possessions. Often teens do not realize the value of character and the role their parents take in protecting their character. In this lesson you will discuss the importance of the parental role in protecting their valuable character. Teens complain about overbearing parents and lack of freedom often saying their parents are just “Old fashioned”.

Tools needed: Bible, pencil, paper, cell phone, and money

In opening the class, ask the students to list in order their 10 most valuable things. Ask the students to share their responses and ask why the items listed are important to them. Ask them if they know the cost of each item they listed. Share some of your important things (cell phone, driver’s license, and car keys) and briefly explain what they mean to you and their value.

More than likely no one will list valuable things/possessions as being their character, virtue, trustworthiness, Christianity, or family. We often only place a value (monetary) on inanimate objects and have a hard time placing a value on our own self worth.

Ask the students who is responsible for the protection of the items they listed. Ask them ways they protect their possessions (keeping it locked up, keeping it in their pocket or within arms reach, and insurance). Ask a student who listed their cell phone as a valuable possession and if you could keep it for a couple of days, if the response is no, ask them why. Ask your students to consider ways their parents protect them (as a valuable possession) and how that can come across as being overbearing or overly possessive. Would they just leave their possessions in the parking lot over night and expect it to be there the next day unharmed. We take care of what we love.

There are many scriptures that can be used such as: “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it”, Titus II talks about the teaching of good character, Noah is a great example of a fathers protection (most children today would think their parents were crazy to do such a thing as Noah did)

Explain to your students that their parents lock their valuables up, some have home alarms, insurance but all of those things are corruptible/temporal. Explain that each one of them is far more valuable, to be exact “priceless”. Express that their parents should and will protect their most valuable possession, them. Christ also paid a price for them, and they are equal to the price that was paid (Mathew Henry).

Read more

Airing Out Dirty Laundry

Tools needed: Rope, clothes line/rope, clothes pins, dirty laundry (old soiled clothes), paper, and magic marker, Bible.

Purpose: To encourage teens to share their burdens through prayer and Godly counsel, not on social network sites or through texting.

Before your class arrives hang a rope across the classroom and hang your dirty clothes up. Make signs which state gossip, rumors, personal information, personal failures, family problems and personal relationship problems. Leave some blank paper for you to solicit responses from your students.

When your class arrives someone in the group will more than likely ask what is going on with the clothes hanging up. Explain to the class that you brought your dirty laundry in so they could see it. More than likely that will get a negative response from the class and you can tell them you thought that they would want to see you’re your dirty laundry.

There are a lot of young people who do not know the term “Airing out your/my dirty laundry out”. Explain to the students what the term means, or used to mean, it’s unacceptable to talk in the community about ones personal affairs. It used to be unacceptable to share information about someone else’s personal affairs. Ask those ways people are airing out their “dirty laundry”. Ask your students if media is being used to air out dirty laundry. Explain to the class how the internet, Facebook, and other social media sites are being used to air out dirty laundry. Just as we would not hang our dirty clothes out in front of our houses for all to see, especially under garments, we should not hang out our personal information for all to see through texting and other electronic means.

Most states have laws now concerning cyber-bullying which can be interpreted by others as being when we put out negative information about others using electronic means (refer to your local state laws).

On each piece of clothing attach the words and the responses from the class. Explain each word and how it can cause damage to the person their talking about and to their own personal testimony. Explain that the internet is a powerful tool but is and can be used for the wrong purpose.

With my class I used Gal. 6:2 “Bear ye one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ”. You can also use James 5:16 “Confess your faults one to another”. It should be noted that this should be done with fellow Christians or to Godly counsel, not on a social network site. The purpose of this sharing is so Christian’s can pray for you, and when they share with you, tell it to God and not others. There are many scriptures that address rumors, gossip, ect…. encourage your teens to bring topics to you that burden them so you can show them through the Bible how to resolve or get the answer to their problems/burdens.

NOTE: Today’s teens are faced with many challenges. Explain to your teens that if they receive information about someone hurting themselves or others it is their responsibility to tell a trusted adult who will help resolve the problem. Create an atmosphere in your classroom that your students will share with you but let them know you are obligated to share harmful information also.

Read more

Jumble Group Prayer

This format of group prayer came out of our youth night one week.

After devotion, we commonly share our prayer requests, I write them down, and we dish them out with volunteers offering to pray each request. Spontaneous, out loud group prayer is something that’s not really comfy for a lot of our kids, and so it can be a real challenge for them.

On the night in question, we had spent so long talking about the prayer requests that we were running out of time to actually pray them. Somehow, we decided that one youth would open the prayer simply, “Dear God, hear our prayers…” and then we would all pray out loud at the same time. When it got quiet, we had another youth ready to close with “In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

It worked really well. We talked about it afterward, and heard comments like, “I didn’t feel as awkward praying out loud like this” and “I didn’t have to worry about making it sound right, because only God was listening and He always understands”. Another comment was, “That was cool, because maybe that’s how prayer sounds to God.” It’s definitely something we will be doing again.

Read more

Don’t Forget Your Spoon

I constantly have to remind and pressure my teens to bring their Bibles to church. One Wednesday afternoon, I sent out text and Facebook messages to all the teens asking for their favorite cereal. Before class, I went to the store and bought the top 4-5 choices of cereal, milk, foam bowls, and plastic spoons. I then setup everything in the teen room, but I hid the box of spoons.

When the kids came in to class, I announced the number of votes for each cereal. I let them all fix a bowl, but did not provide any spoons. Several kids asked if there were spoons, but I ignored them until everyone had cereal. Then I asked them why they did not bring spoons to class, which they all gave me puzzled looks. I said that I had asked them about cereal earlier in the day, so they should have known we would have it and class and brought a spoon.

I then applied the lesson to how we need to bring our Bibles to class. Coming to eat cereal without a spoon is like coming to church Bible study without a Bible. I then pulled out the spoons and let the teens eat. Now, almost every week the kids tells one another “Don’t forget your spoon!” meaning to bring their Bibles to class. It was a simple but effective lesson, and I hope it works for you.

Read more

Generation Text

Tools needed: White board and marker, pens/pencil blank paper.

Start lesson out by writing on the board that no one can talk. Do not tell the students what to do with their paper and pens as some will figure it out.

Write some of the following, “I have seen your Facebook or MySpace account, I know what you said. I saw the text.” or something along those lines (before teaching this lesson you should check the internet for your students if you feel comfortable doing this don’t be surprised by what you find, you do not have to do this).

Write “It hurt my feelings, I can’t believe you said that. Was it true what you said?” (Erase after each time you write as if you are e-mailing or texting). As students start responding by writing on their paper and asking things like “Who me”? or “What are you talking about?” Continue to write vague responses.

Write scripture on the board related to days of our youth such as I Tim 4:12. Have them read it and then write on their paper a response as to what it means. If someone writes the correct response tell them that they are right but don’t indicate why it’s right.

Write the words, angry, mad, upset, followed by gossip, lies, no emotion. The purpose of the lesson is to get the young people to realize what they put on the internet and what they text can affect many people. Some say things by electronic means that they would never say in person. God realizes that as young people we do things without full understanding of its lasting consequences. Adults do read what they put on the internet and some do for the wrong purpose. A good site to review before this lesson is Netsmartz.org.

The teens responded well to this lesson and some even tired of the writing and reading even though a good estimated average for them is 120 text a day. Some of our teens had text some hurtful things to other teens and I was aware of some of the teens putting personal info on their profiles.

I used the time to talk about internet safety, how to report and the importance of talking to their parents even when they receive unsolicited text, e-mails or images. Many law enforcement agencies will present internet safety classes to your teens or their parents. This issue is tearing apart youth groups and churches with Facebook being the main contributors. Talk to your teens about the internet not being reality and how texting doesn’t share true emotions or express an individual’s true intent. (My background, School Resource Officer for 15 years, Juvenile Investigator for 10 years, Teen Youth Leader for about 15 years, I have enjoyed your site and used it many times)

Read more

Bible Search

This is a good idea to get kids in the Bible. Look up random verses in the Bible that has \”things/nouns\”, like rock… door… table… etc. Then write the verse down on a piece of paper. Then go to church early & find all of these things & put a piece of neon tape on it. Next give the kids a list of bible verses to look up to find the word. Tell them that there is a word in each verse they must find. When they find the object they must bring the neon tag back to the youth pastor.

Read more

Bible Jeopardy

Bible Jeopardy is a great way to get youth involved in Sunday school lessons and Bible studies. The Sunday school lessons and/or Bible studies are grouped into their own categories, with each lesson being a main topic with it’s own questions. The questions range from 100 points to 1000 points for each category, with the questions increasingly getting more difficult. Each category has it’s own Bonus question where the student that answers it correctly gets to draw from a can the value of the question, (to make it fun I usually put values that range from 1 point to 2000 points). Outlines of the lessons should be given out each week so that the students can prepare for the game by studying, (some parents have told us that their children study every day to prepare) . I usually have our group play the game after 5 consecutive Bible lessons. To make the game visually appealing I made a special board for the game. The topics are pinned to it with the points below, as the questions are answered the corresponding value is taken off the board. Some of our teachers simply use a chalk board to write out the categories and point values. We also give the youth points for attendance, bringing their Bible, bringing guests, taking notes during the pastor’s sermons, etc. These points can be kept for a youth auction at a latter date. We have been using this game for over a year now in all the classes from third grade to high school. The effects have been tremendous, not only has attendance dramatically increased, but enthusiasm in learning the lessons has soared as well.

Read more

Taking A Stand

I use this activity when our youth group does a lesson on decision making. Use Acts 22:10 “‘What shall I do Lord,’ I asked.” if your meetings are scripture based.
Have three pre-made signs that say “yes,” “no” and “maybe.” Tape them up in various corners of the room. Read from the following list (you may want to omit some items if you are working with junior high). Have the youth “take a stand” on an issue. Yes, they would do that or no, they would not. Only allow two maybes per person. The goal is for them to make a decision. The trick about this is not telling the kids what you plan to do after you go through the entire list. After you read off the last item, you repeat the list with a different question. It’s no longer “what would you do,” but instead it is “what would Jesus want you to do?” Here is a sample list:
– hang out with people who treat others badly
– hug a stranger who has AIDS
– cheat on a test to get a passing grade
– help a relative die who has a terminal illness
– stay at a party where people are drinking
– drink alcohol while under age
– copy answers from a friend’s homework
– keep the money when the cashier gives you too much change
– smoke a cigarette
– lie to your parents
– speed to make it to school on time
– maintain sexual purity
– spread rumors about someone who hurt you
– lie for a friend to an authority figure
– be the first to talk to the new person in school
– date someone who doesn’t believe in God
– sneak out after curfew

Read more

Power of Prayer

A great prayer session for a retreat or even a meeting: (I strongly suggest dimming the lighting in your room and having one candle light the circle)
To prepare for this activity, you need to have three different bowls that EACH contain pieces of paper folded up with the names of all people participating in the activity.
Have your group get into a close circle.
Take the first bowl around the circle and have each person take a name (have them check right away to make sure they did not get their own name) have them write the number “1” on this first paper. Then take the second bowl and do the same thing, then the third bowl. Tell them to keep their names to themselves. Next, explain to the group that God has a plan and that things happen for a reason, therefore there must be a good reason God has planned each person to end up with the three names they did. Go around the circle and have each person take turns telling the rest of the group what they would like prayed for. (Before-hand emphasize that each person needs to have their complete attention on what everyone is saying, especially the names of the three people they picked out of the bowls.) After everyone has had a chance to make their prayer requests, ask them all to spread out in the room where they can be alone to allow a good connection between them and God. Then, ask them to all focus on the first name that they chose and put all their thought and energy into praying for the specific intentions that person requested. Allow for at least 5 minutes of silence for this, then go on to the second names, and then finally the third names, reminding them each time to fully concentrate on just that one name. (You may want to have some soft music playing in the background). It has the potential to be very powerful and meaningful. It is also such a warm feeling knowing that someone right in the same room, and at the same time is praying for you.

Read more

Inductive Bible Study

Even elementary age children can learn the principles of inductive Bible study. Narratives are a good place to start. Begin by making a copy of the passage for each student as well as an overhead transparency of the passage. Orally read the passage or have the students take turn reading it. Go through the passage picking out WHO is is the story, WHERE the story takes place, WHAT is going on in the story, WHEN events in the story occur, WHY the characters did what they did, and HOW the story concludes. Be working toward the end result the information gleaned into a classroom play or a TV newscast of events that tell the story in another form. For example, divide the passage into episodes of events that happened. This will help the student to see how the story flows and will help set the framework for the play or newscast. Once the passage is segmented into episodes, read the passage in episodic parts, allowing the actors to display the action and adding dialogue. Once the creative part is done, you are ready to discuss the interpretation and application. Ask what they thought God wanted the actual characters in the story to know about Him. Then ask what God wants US to know about Him.
This process can be varied with different creative expressions so that your classroom can have a lot of variety.

Read more
Next Page »