Many youth groups meet on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, but not all of them have a Bible study. While not all students may want to meet every week to delve deeper into their Bible, there are plenty of Christian teens that want to take their faith deeper. Whether you are a student or a youth worker, here are some steps to getting a Bible study started in your youth group:
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- Pray about it.
It may sound trite to tell you to pray about starting a Bible study, but a Bible study takes a huge commitment. You need to be sure that what you are doing comes from the Lord, otherwise you may not have the strength to get through some of the tough times.
- Talk to the youth pastor.
While you may have a great idea to start a Bible study, you youth pastor may have some other ideas. He may also want you to have a certain focus or meet at certain times. You may also need to meet with your youth pastor regularly to discuss how the Bible study is going and student involvement.
- Talk to the students.
Find out if there is interest. Most likely there will be a lot of interest in a Bible study, but you also need to find out preferred days of the week, whether mornings or evenings work better for students, etc.
- Decide on a Bible study topic.
What interests your students? What are the Christian teens around you struggling with in their lives? Where do you see the most spiritual need? These questions along with prayer should lead you to a list of good topics.
- Decide on the length.
Usually a Bible study topic lasts about 4 to 5 weeks. If you make it too long the students get bored. If you are using a book as part of your Bible study, try to choose one that breaks up into sections. This way everyone stays interested. It also allows for teens to join in periodically and not feel lost.
- Prepare the curriculum.
If you are using a pre-made Bible study, a lot of the work is done for you. It should come with built-in questions and readings. However, you will want to go over the curriculum first so that you can add questions and make modifications if needed. If you are creating the curriculum on your own, you will want it completed ahead of time.
- Have students sign-up for the Bible study.
If you are ordering books or supplies, you will want to do so ahead of time, and the money should not come out of your own pocket unless you want it to. It also allows for you to determine interest and make teens feel as if they are committed to the Bible study. Having students sign up also allows you to see if you will have too many students. There should be no more than 15 students in a group, so you may need to recruit more leaders and break the students up into smaller groups.
- Start meeting.
Sometimes it is helpful to bring food to celebrate the start of the Bible study or even new units. Make sure everyone gets to know each other using icebreakers and go over the rules at the start of each unit. Then enjoy the time everyone has together in prayer and study of the Bible.