For teens, youth group can be a great way to have fun and to learn and live out the Word. But for leaders, it’s often a challenge to juggle activities and provide proper instruction. Here are three educational resources I’ve used, which can enrich teens and assist leaders.
A Sneaking Suspicion (John Dickson) Written primarily for non-Christian teens, the book provides an evangelistic perspective on issues such as relationships and sex, beauty, suffering, morality, and life and death. John Dickson moves from these life issues to discuss common suspicions about God (“Didn’t science get rid of God?”, “What about other religions?”) and to demonstrate the purpose and power of the Gospel. The book’s style is very readable and includes descriptive analogies and a good use of logical arguments.
Youth leaders should read this book to consider the thoughtful way Dickson presents the Gospel’s relevance to teenage minds.
How Firm A Foundation (BJU Press) I think most Christian teens inevitably ask themselves, “How do I know the Bible is true?” This is a complex question, and teachers have tended to either reduce the issue (e.g. to a KJV-only position) or to become bogged down in the details of manuscripts, history and theology. This course presents the orthodox teaching on the Bible’s preservation, with clear instruction on the doctrine of inspiration and the reliability of the Scriptures. The authors are very helpful in presenting both the Bible’s accuracy and an honest view of the Bible’s preservation in history.
Plenty of practical helps are included to engage students’ interest. Although intended for Christian schools, the course can be adapted for youth groups. Students will gain a deeper understanding of the Bible’s preservation and a stronger trust in the Word. Highly recommended.
The Stranger On The Road To Emmaus (John Cross) This DVD course helps in understanding the Bible as the story of salvation, using Old Testament imagery and stories to lead chronologically to Christ. Many Christian teens are familiar with Bible stories and are vaguely aware that the Bible is “all about Jesus.” By tying the Old Testament to the Gospel with various strands, John Cross helps believers to clearly see Jesus throughout the Bible.
The course also powerfully demonstrates the failure of good works to achieve salvation, while showing the need for both repentance and faith in Christ alone. I’ve found that teens are often confused on this vital point.
Leaders may need to adapt the course’s length, as there are multiple video sessions and discussion times. Student workbooks are available, as well as a free online text.