Workbooks and Resources for Teenage Bible Classes
Workbooks and Resources for Teenage Bible Classes

Posts by David Banning

What Happened In Steubenville, Ohio

Steubenville, Ohio is a small, mid-west town of about 18,000 on the banks of the Ohio River. When it receives media attention, it is usually focused on Steubenville’s 10,000-seat high school football stadium. The Big Red (as the team is known) is one of the most storied programs in the state, boasting nine state championships. But as football season was getting underway in the fall of 2012, the program was once again in the news, but not because of a victory over a rival team. Two of their players had been charged with sexually assaulting a sixteen-year-old girl. But there was so much more to the story.

Where The Battle Is

Where The Battle Is

While my boys where in high school, there were a few occasions when I had to go home in the middle of the day. The road from the church building to my house took me right past their school. I would glance over and wonder…what’s happening with my kids? Are they struggling through an algebra test? Could Satan be tempting them to copy from someone else’s paper? Are they eating lunch with friends right now? Are they struggling with the decision to get up and walk away from an inappropriate conversation? Are they being taught evolution in their science class? Are they wrestling with the decision to defend their faith? Sometimes parents wonder where the battle is for their kids.

Recently I was talking to a group of teenagers about heaven. As we wrapped up our study, I gave each one a card and asked them to answer this question: What is the one thing that might cause you to miss heaven? I want to share some of their answers … so we will know where the battle is.

Exposing The Youth Group Myth

I get calls periodically from people who have moved to our city and are searching for a church.   At some point in that conversation they will usually ask what kinds of programs do you have for kids.  I explain that we offer Bible classes on Sunday and Wednesday with a curriculum designed to help kids learn the Bible and understand God’s will for their lives.  I add that we have families who host devotions to give the kids an opportunity to talk about God’s word in a more informal setting.  I sometimes add that our kids enjoy getting together to do all kinds of things (movie night; basketball), but these activities are planned and organized by families and not part of our work as a church.  It’s at this point that I usually begin to sense impatience on the other end of the line.  Sometimes they will ask, “Is that all?”  

Temptations Young People Face At Home

We understand that teenagers fight a battle with Satan every time they leave the house (I Peter 5:8).  However, we do not always appreciate that this battle continues to be waged after they come home.  We would like to think that home is a refuge, a place were teenagers can escape from Satan.  But, the truth is, his efforts do not end at our front door.  With increasing frequency the devil is finding his way into our homes and continuing his war against our kids.  God has great purposes for the home, but Satan has an agenda too.

The First Drink

To her parents, Katie was the perfect child.  She was doing well in school, planning a career in law and dating a boy they liked.  She was the least likely person to get into trouble.  Just before her 16th birthday, Katie attended a party with friends.  During the evening, she was passed a bottle of liquor.  To her parent’s knowledge, she had never taken a drink before this moment.  Katie had a choice to make.  Would she take the first drink?

Effective Teaching Methods For Teenagers

“My class is dead.  I just can’t get these kids to talk.”
“I’m ready to quit teaching because I just cannot get my students to prepare their lessons and behave in class.”
“I’ll teach any of the Bible classes, except for the teenagers.”

Such are the frustrations too often expressed by those called upon to teach teenage Bible classes.  But it’s not just the teachers who complain.  Talk to students, and you will find that many of them are equally dissatisfied. 

Activating The Next Generation

We sometimes speak of the young as the “next generation” of disciples.  This is certainly an accurate statement.  As one generation ages and then passes on, the next must take up their work and continue the struggle.  If the Lord does not return, there will come a time when we will all die and another generation of workers will be needed to fill pulpits, teach Bible classes and reach out to the lost in our communities.  Our children are the next generation.