Young Adult Bible Study Guides
Young adult Bible studies help teen develop deeper knowledge and understanding of their faith. Many teens are equipped with little Biblical knowledge, and small group studies can help the mature in their faith and provide a clearer understanding of God's Word and the critical foundations of the Christian faith. Young adult Bible study guides are one of the most popular and helpful methods for leading a group of teens and young adults in an examination of the Word. Quality guides are designed to be engaging and relevant for teens, making the Scripture easy to learn, understand, and memorize. Above all else, these curriculum guides must be accurate and each the doctrines of the faith accurately and clearly. Selecting the right guides for a youth group takes time, but once leaders find the right one, they will be pleased with the results.
A good teacher or leader is a key component to the effectiveness of any small group setting. The teacher doesn't have to be young, but should be someone who relates well with teens. In young adult Bible studies, there should be a small group of teens so that each student gets personal attention from the teacher. It is important that teens can bond with one another as well as with their teacher as they examine God's Word together. Conversations should involve open discussion in a casual environment. Many youth groups set up their rooms to include computers or couches, making the environment comfortable and non-threatening. Strict classroom settings often cause students to close up and avoid involvement in the lesson. Engaging questions as well as relevant topics can help create relaxed setting where teens feel comfortable sharing thoughts and questions about topics raised in each lesson.
There are a variety of formats available, but most studies contain similar elements. Young adult Bible study guides generally contain Scripture passages as well as commentaries. Sometimes these guides are within a Bible, referred to as Student Bibles. These Bibles contain stories, Scripture histories, commentaries, and questions. Although this type of Bible is made for all ages, youth leaders will want to choose one aimed at youth. This is because it will address topics that affect today's youth such as abstinence, peer pressure, dating, and college choices. Separate guides work in much the same way as Student Bibles. The only difference is that they only pull select verses and Scripture passages contained in a smaller booklet, which often requires youth to complete a reading and questions weekly. This type of curriculum is helpful for young adult Bible studies because it guides teens through Scripture and requires teen to reflect upon carefully constructed and thought-provoking questions. Most studies contain lessons on various topics for teens that are both relevant and revealing about the nature of God. A lesson on love might contain New Testament Scripture where Jesus speaks on love. As the students read the Scripture, they can see commentary on the meaning of the word "love" and various translations. Youth can also read about real life examples of love and how each relates to what Jesus says. The lessons help teens see all dimensions of Jesus' words through one simple lesson.
Major bookstores, especially Christian bookstores are the most popular place to locate and purchase studies. There are also publishers who offer catalogs of young adult Bible study guides. Catalogs can be viewed online or one can call to receive a print version. The advantage to purchasing a young adult guide from a local bookstore is that the leader is able to evaluate all the content and lessons for quality and relevance. Catalogs and websites will provide a brief description, which is helpful but not as beneficial as being able to leaf though the entire booklet. Most leaders select lessons based upon the current needs of the small group. Perhaps the group is comprised of youth relatively new to Christianity who need a lesson on the basics of the faith. Leaders should evaluate which lessons are of greatest need to the group or provide a small list of choices from which youth can choose. Leaders should also be sure the teachings of the studies match the doctrine and beliefs of the church. Leaders may want to search for guides specific to their denomination. The national or international website for each denomination may provide free materials or samples of the guides that the denomination publishes for students. Many nondenominational churches and Christian youth ministries provide similar materials so take the time to look at their websites as well.
Studying the Word is so important to bringing up the next generation for Christ. However, teaching teens can be a challenge because there are many distractions to compete with. With good, comprehensive studies in young adult Bible studies that are relaxed and open, it will be easier to reach youth and get them involved in learning about the Bible. When a teachers selects the right materials for Bible studies, he or she should not hesitate to ask teens what they like or dislike about the young adult Bible study guides. Use these preferences to select a guide that will most appeal to them. Letting them know that they have a choice regarding the materials will make them feel more in control of their Bible investigation. As the teacher, pray about the decision and let God handle the rest. He too desires that we properly learn all about Him and His Word. "Thy hands have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments." (Psalm 119:73)