Wednesday, September 28, 2011

    Great Youth Ministy Idea: You Teach Me!

    Try this idea for encouraging active Bible learning in your teens.

    TJ, a youth ministry colleague, recently shared with me a clever approach he takes to engaging teens in Bible study.  In a way, he does the very opposite of what many of us might try when introducing a new text.  TJ gathers the teens in a room, gives them the scripture citation and tells them he's leaving for awhile. The Challenge: When he comes back they are to be ready to teach him what the text is all about.  TJ says that the first couple of times he tried this the teens were a little slow to catch on, but now when he returns to the room they often have a flipchart page ready with all sorts of interesting observations and points of discussion ready to share with him.

    This approach really is a great way to engage the brain. It allow the learners to show you what they are already thinking, which portions of the text connect with them, and what questions are forming in their thoughts about the scripture's context, language, and meaning. This sort of foundation can allow you as the adult to lead a much richer follow-up conversation and takes the focus off of you as the "keeper of knowledge and right answers" (though I know many of us love playing that role!).  It's also a great way to encourage youth to take charge of their own learning.