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Get the Word Out

By Carey Huffman

There’s a place where teens should love to hang out—a place of challenge and adventure that’s open to anyone, anytime. It’s not far from anywhere, and anything anyone could ever need is available there. Some spend the most important times of their lives there. Others come depressed and find a new reason for living. You would think it impossible to keep young people away, and yet most know little about the place. Apparently very few who spend time there make it a point to share their experience or even give directions so others can check the place out for themselves. That place is in God’s Word—the Bible—and we must not only take or teens there, but make sure they are going regularly on their own.

Too often, Christian youth workers tend to assume that kids already know certain things about the Word. But even church kids, who may know assorted Bible facts, are remarkably unfamiliar with what the Bible teaches and have little idea how Scripture relates to their lives. Help make the connection by continually putting before them examples of how you and others have applied God’s Word in decision making or coping with life’s difficulties. This will wet student’s appetite for Scriptural truth by helping them understand that the Bible can be a source of answers to their questions about life. Beyond this, teach your students the invaluable life skill of how to study the Bible.

As you prepare to teach the Bible, use this six step inductive approach, and train students in this simple process, so that they will be able to study the Word for themselves.

  • People—Identifying those involved, including writers and recipients, may help kids identify with the story and translate principle truth into contemporary circumstances.
  • Place—Where did it happen? A brief glance at the general setting and historical background often lends unique perspective and appeal to an unfolding mystery.
  • Plot—What happened? How or why did the situation arise and how did it unfold? Help students understand passages in their original context and in turn how that might translate into modern day situations.
  • Point—This crucial step helps student discover the principle, or timeless truth, of the passage—the moral of the story. What is it meant to teach us and why is that important to our lives? What is revealed about God, and how should people respond in light of that?
  • Present—How can we apply the truth today? Retrace the previous steps, bringing them into the present. Where could something like this take place? Who and what would this be like today? Help students connect biblical principle to daily life by discovering how it might apply to family, friends, faith or the future.
  • Plan & Practice—What will I do now that I know this? Students need to get beyond spiritual knowledge and good intentions. A conscious decision must be made to translate belief into behavior—principle into practice—learning into living. Teach kids to be specific in their application of truth with definite people, situations and actions in mind. Keep them accountable through personal interaction, testimonies, journalizing and regular "check-up" times in meetings with students involved in ministry and service.

While lack of discipline may cause students to waver from consistent time in the Word, not knowing how to approach the Bible should never be the issue. As teachers and disciplers we must ensure that our students are equipped to discover the life-transforming power of God’s Word on a daily basis,