You have your Bible study curriculum. You have a group of Christian teens ready to participate in a Bible study. You have a place and time to meet. Yet, now you wonder what you got yourself into. What made you possibly think you could run a teen Bible study? Here are some tips that will help you run your Bible study like a pro:
First Teen Bible Study Meeting Tips:
The first meeting usually sets the tone for the rest of the Bible study. Bringing some snacks and drinks can ease some of the pressure. You don't have to bring a whole spread, but some soda and chips go a long way.
Use an Icebreaker
You probably don't have any readings to discuss, so use your first meeting as a chance for people to get to know one another. Icebreakers and games are a great way for students to learn more about each other.
Set the Ground Rules
Rules are important for any Bible study group. Many of the topics studied will bring about very personal discussions. It is important that students allow each other to speak openly, that they treat one another with respect, and that personal issues discussed stay in the room. Gossip can destroy the trust within the Bible study group.
Define Your Role
As a Bible study leader you need to define your role as leader. Whether you are a fellow student or a youth worker, the other participants need to know you are the person to come to with questions or concerns. They need to understand that you will be facilitating discussions, but also that you are open to new ideas and directions.
General Teen Bible Study Meeting Tips:
Have Extra Supplies
Have extra Bibles and study guides on hand. Even if you have the students sign-up, you will ultimately have extra teens show up. You will also have students forget their supplies. You may think they are more responsible because they are Christians, but they are teenagers.
Set Up the Room Beforehand
Set up the room where you are meeting so that it is inclusive and friendly. If you are using chairs, put them in a circle. If you are sitting on the floor, make sure everyone has space, so push other chairs, desks, etc. aside.
Have an Agenda
If you have no basic agenda, you will end up off task. It is just the nature of group dynamics. It is easy to create your weekly study guide as an agenda so that each week looks the same, but gives students an idea of the order of activities. It keeps everyone on the same page.
Things happen. People come late. Rules are broken. Snowstorms block the roads. Sometimes things don't go as planned. The best unplanned circumstances are when discussions lead to deep discoveries. By being flexible you allow for God to do work in the Bible study. Sometimes agendas are just a guideline, so it is okay to let them go.
You should pray before each Bible study on your own, asking God to guide you as a leader. You should also have individual and group prayer time, asking for prayer requests.