My Favorite Things About Teaching Teenagers The Bible
As I was thinking about this, a truth hit me: I have never gotten tired of teaching the Bible to teenagers.
Sure, there have been seasons in which the week-in-week-out commitment has been more difficult than others. And there are certainly times when lessons don't go well and both the teenagers and I are glad when it's over. :) But, all in all, my passion for teaching the Bible is as strong today as it was 15 years ago. (That says nothing about me, and EVERYTHING about the amazing nature of Scripture.) I think this is pretty cool. And it got me thinking: What else do I think is cool about teaching teenagers the Bible?
Here's a list of some of my favorite things about teaching teenagers the Bible.
I love it when teenagers see the connections. Like when they connect Jesus as the sacrificial lamb to the sacrificial system of the OT, or the lambs slaughtered on the night the Israelites were freed from Egypt. These moments where teenagers really get the thread of God's story are awesome.
I love how teaching the Bible keeps me sharp. Sure, some lessons I don't have to prepare for as much as others. But I've never invested time in Scripture that returned void. It's always rewarding for me personally. Which is a by-product of teaching.
I love how the Holy Spirit routinely hijacks my lessons. Those moments where you find yourself making connections you didn't plan to make, or bringing in examples you didn't think about ahead of time . . . yeah, those are awesome.
I like communicating my passion for God's Word to students. I've written this before, and I'll write it again: Passion for God's Word is caught, not taught. If I show teenagers that I am excited about meeting God in His Word, week after week, that passion will rub off. It's contagious.
I love watching teenagers wrestle with hard questions. I like watching them nail down the concrete truths, and chase the more abstract ones. The joy of teaching is in the dialogue. There's no place for lecturing in Bible study.
I have FUN teaching the Bible. If you don't, you are doing it wrong. No, seriously.
I like it when teenagers read Scripture aloud. That's a simple thing, isn't it? But I like it. I like hearing them mispronounce crazy names and hard words (Let's be honest: outside of biblical linguists, most of us have no idea how to pronounce half the words in the Bible anyway.) For some teenagers, reading a passage of Scripture out loud is the bravest thing they'll do any given week. I love the leap of faith it takes for some of them.
Man, there is SO much to love . . . I could go on. But I'll stop.
What do YOU love about teaching teenagers the Bible?