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Youth Bible Study Teaching: 20 Tips to Liven Up Your Lessons

8. Tie in current events.

For some reason, when teaching teenagers we don’t always think of events in the news. Big mistake! Tying in current events is an easy way make a lesson relevant and timely.

9. Use case studies.

One easy way to help make youth Bible study teaching feel more relevant is to modernize a principle by creating case studies. These are short, fictional vignettes where you create characters and a problem or issue they’re facing. Simply read them and have students respond with how they would react, or what they think should happen, etc.

10. Play a game on PowerPoint.

Create a slide show presentation with multiple-choice questions based on the lesson’s general theme (love, forgiveness, etc.). Make it a competition. Have fun.

11. Let students own the spotlight.

Create activities that allow students to talk about themselves. This might include stories from their family’s past, opportunities to talk about their achievements, taking pictures during the week and displaying them during the lesson, talking about key figures in their lives, etc.

12. Play music.

Have students listen to a song (print the lyrics) and respond.

13. Pray creatively.

Set up prayer stations. Guide teenagers through biblical examples of different prayer postures. Do one-word prayers. Try sentence prayers. Have student turn to their right and pray for their neighbor.

14. Open-ended discussions

About 99.9% of typical youth discussions are linear; we look for predetermined “right” answers from kids. What about discussions where the goal is to wrestle with a concept? The Bible is chock-full of huge concepts that can’t be neatly dealt with in a seven-minute discussion. Have some fun with those concepts.

15. Experiment with your environment.

What if students sat on pillows instead of chairs? What if you adjusted lighting? Used candles? Decorated your room to coincide with the lesson’s theme?

16. Let students teach.

Adapt your lesson so students are teaching each other, whether in groups or as individuals.

17. Role play.

You can transform almost any narrative passage of Scripture into a script rather easily. Have students volunteer to be specific characters. When time comes to read the lesson’s passage, it becomes a little mini-drama that kids can both watch and follow along with in their Bibles.

18. Draw.

Illustrate a Bible story on a dry-erase board, drawing pictures to represent characters and events.

19. Use a pop-culture narrative.

Movies, TV shows and celebrities are awesome fodder for creative examples. Look to popular culture to pull analogies and stories that serve as examples for your youth Bible study teaching time.

20. Hold a film festival.

Give students two weeks to shoot and edit short movies (3-5 minutes) around a specific theme. Give them guidelines and rules. Then, on the day of the lesson, use them to support the biblical theme you’re teaching.

These are just a few quick ideas to liven up your youth Bible study teaching. How do you add variety to your lessons for teens?

This article originally appeared here.

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Andy Blanks is the co-founder of youthministry360, a ministry committed to equipping youth workers through resources, training, community, and networking. Andy is passionate about God’s Word and the transformation it brings in the lives of God’s people. Andy is a writer, teacher, speaker, and a lifelong Boston Red Sox fan. He lives in Birmingham, AL with his wife and three daughters. Check out Andy’s youth ministry posts on the ym360 Blog (www.youthministry360.com/blog).