The book of Genesis provides a rich look into the beginnings of the story of God. By studying Genesis Bible lessons for youth, you offer teenagers a solid foundation for Christian faith.
Use these free three Genesis Bible lessonsfor youth—on Creation, Abraham, and Joseph—in your ministry!
3 Genesis Bible Lessons for Youth
1. Genesis Bible Lessons for Youth: The Story of Creation
Supplies: You’ll need Bibles; pencils; colored pencils; pieces of poster board; three to six movie posters (or DVD covers); and a box of random items (one per participant). Also, create and photocopy a handout divided into three columns: atop one column, draw a triangle; atop the next, draw a human stick figure; and atop the last column, draw a circle. (Optional: TV/DVD player and the Toy Story DVD.)
Have everybody grab one item from the box of random objects. Give everyone the challenge of creating and telling an impromptu story that somehow includes their object. Have teenagers form small groups of four, then give each storyteller just one minute to make up and tell their spur-of-the-moment story. When everybody’s done, challenge small groups to try to find five common threads that run through all their stories.
Ask a few kids to share the similarities they found, then say: One obvious trait of all good stories is that they have a beginning, middle, and an end. If you ask a child to tell a story, he’ll most likely include an incident that begins the story. Next, rising action builds tension. Finally, a resolving action brings the story to an end.
Ask: Did your stories fit this formula? If so, how? If not, why not?
Next, hold up a Bible. Say: This book is made up of hundreds of “small” stories—different people’s real lives, different incidents, different times and cultures. But these true stories all work together to comprise one large narrative. It’s the story of God and his plan to save us. And this story has a beginning, a middle, and an end.
Teach about the elements of a good story’s beginning. It tells you something about the world of the story, offers characterization, and introduces an inciting incident in which the protagonist’s world is thrown into disharmony.
For example, in Toy Story, Woody’s world is shaken when Andy gets the new, exciting toy Buzz Lightyear on his birthday. This “problem” of Buzz Lightyear’s arrival propels the story into action. (If you want, show a clip from Toy Story as an example. Start at 0:11:00, when the toy soldiers are in the planter. End at 0:14:45, when the screen shows Buzz Lightyear’s face.)
Invite the group to study the beginning of God’s story (Genesis 1 and 3). Give everyone a prepared handout. Have them take notes on their observations, writing out key phrases and ideas (including Scripture references) that give us insights about God’s character (triangle column), humanity (stick figure column), and the created world (circle column).
Read Genesis 1:1-2:3 aloud as teenagers take notes. Next, have them study and take notes on Genesis 3 on their own.
After 10 minutes, gather everybody back together. Reveal the movie posters (or pass out DVD covers). Ask the group about each movie poster: Based only on this image, what do you learn about the characters or the problem in this story?
Have kids re-form small groups of four and discuss these questions:
• Based on your observations from Genesis, what conclusions can you draw about the character of God? humanity? the world? Why?
• In your opinion, what’s the incident that puts the story into motion?
• How would you describe the “problem”?
Give each small group posterboard and colored pencils. Challenge them to design a promotional poster for the story of God (so far), aiming to visually communicate the main “characters” and the problem. Have groups share what they created, then use the poster to spark a meaningful conversation about the possible solution to the “problem.” Ask questions like:
• If you’d never heard the Christian story, what questions would you have at the outset?
• What sort of solution would you anticipate? Why?
• How does the story’s beginning shed light on what life’s all about?
Conclude with a quote from George MacDonald: “God is the origin of both need and supply, the father of our necessities, the abundant giver of the good things …. The story of Jesus is the heart of [God’s] answer, not primarily to the prayers, but to the divine necessities of the children he has sent out into his universe.” Then say: As we’ll discover in our upcoming studies, this is an amazing story that solves humanity’s problem by God himself becoming the hero.