Your teen years are about to get more exciting and impactful! A Bible Study for Teens equips your teen with the information and skills they need to engage in the world and live their dream. Specifically tailored to teens’ growth and development, this study is designed to provide all the benefits of a classic small group Bible study while empowering students to lead them themselves.
With this Bible study plan, you and your teen will enjoy a fruitful season of learning about God and His word. The plan includes one lesson per week, which can be completed in just 45 minutes or less. Activities include an overview of the book of Proverbs with discussion questions, guided meditation exercises, listening activities, journaling prompts—and much more. An accompanying video will help you understand how to implement the lessons into your own family home.
Why do we pray? What is the purpose of worship? What are the principles behind the commandments of God? How can I apply the Bible to my everyday life? How do I really get closer to Jesus? Welcome to my blog! Here you will find helpful and practical articles on how to learn more about God’s Word, grow in your relationship with Him, and discover how you can truly shine for Him.
TEACHING TEENS THE LIFE SKILL OF RENEWING THEIR MINDS
The most important skill you can teach your teen is the renewing of his mind. This article examines five steps that will help you encourage your teen in this area.Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God — this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will (Romans 12:1-2, NIV).
The most important skill you can teach your teen is the renewing of his mind. The mistake many parents make is to try to renew their teen’s mind for him. Renewing the mind is a day-to-day process of thinking biblically.
It’s important to choose God’s reality as the Bible defines it rather than alternate and counterfeit versions of reality. The car commercial that promises significance through horsepower and luxury is presenting a “truth claim” that is counter to the truth claims of the Bible.
The world is full of counterfeit truth claims, but you can teach your teen to live according to God’s reality. When the mind is renewed, God’s will and reality become clearer. You may be thinking, But how do I teach my teen the skill of renewing the mind?
Why are these verses important
God never intended for us to walk through life alone. God has always been about raising up a people who would support each other and bless those around them. Here we see what that looks like. These verses remind us of the importance of support and faithfulness, and to look for God’s provision in our relationships.
1 Samuel 16:7
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
Saul, Israel’s first king, is an utter failure. God rejects him and sends his prophet Samuel to anoint the new king he has chosen. Samuel is to go to Bethlehem and invite a man named Jesse to the sacrifice. When Samuel sees Jesse’s strapping oldest son, Eliab, he thinks he’s found God’s anointed. But God tells him otherwise.
Why are these verses inspirational?
We spend our whole lives judging the world by appearances and having others judge us the same way. And if we’re honest, we tend to judge ourselves by appearance, too. It’s inspiring to remember that God doesn’t see things the way that we do. He sees beyond the obvious and encourages us to do the same.
2 Samuel 7:22
“How great you are, Sovereign Lord! There is no one like you, and there is no God but you, as we have heard with our own ears.”
Through the prophet Nathan, God reminds David that he’s taken him from the pasture and appointed him as ruler over Israel. He also informs him that David’s name will be great and the throne of his kingdom will endure forever. This verse comes from David’s prayerful response.
Why is this verse inspirational?
In a world full of idols, David reminds us that there is no God like the God of Israel. In light of the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus, we know that to be true in a way that even David couldn’t fathom. This world offers us plenty to worship, but nothing compares to the one true God.
1 Kings 8:22–24
Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in front of the whole assembly of Israel, spread out his hands toward heaven and said: “Lord, the God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below—you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way. You have kept your promise to your servant David my father; with your mouth you have promised and with your hand you have fulfilled it—as it is today.
Solomon brings the Ark of the Covenant into the completed temple. This is a momentous occasion because the Ark represents God’s presence which will dwell in this holy place. Solomon then begins giving this dedication.
Why are these verses inspirational?
Throughout the Old Testament, the Israelites are constantly reminded of what God has done for them and the promises he has kept. This builds up their faith and encourages future faithfulness. These verses (and verses like them) are a reminder to us that our relationship with God began centuries ago with the Israelites. His faithfulness to them is part of the story of his devotion to us.
2 Kings 22:19
Because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard what I have spoken against this place and its people—that they would become a curse and be laid waste—and because you tore your robes and wept in my presence, I also have heard you, declares the Lord.
Josiah becomes king at eight years old, but unlike his dad and grandfather, he’s a good ruler. During the eighteenth year of his reign, he instructs repairs be made to the temple. When a book of the Law is found and read to Josiah, it becomes obvious just how far Israel has strayed from God. In anguish, Josiah tears his clothes.
In a discussion with a prophetess named Huldah, Josiah is told that God intends to visit his wrath upon Israel for its sins, but then he promises mercy to Josiah because he has humbled himself before the Lord
Why is this verse inspirational?
The mercy Josiah experiences is in response to his distress at how far Israel has fallen from God. Josiah doesn’t call down curses on Israel, but as a part of God’s people, he hurts for how far from God the nation has fallen. God pays attention to us as we express heartache for how far we have drifted from him.
1 Chronicles 22:13
Then you will have success if you are careful to observe the decrees and laws that the Lord gave Moses for Israel. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged.
As the preparation is being made for the building of the temple, David calls his son and successor, Solomon, to his side to remind him of the importance of faithfulness.
Why is this verse inspirational?
Throughout Scripture, two of the messages that people receive most often are “be faithful” and “don’t be afraid.” Here we see these instructions again. The verse reminds us that if we are doing our best to be faithful to God, we have nothing to fear.
To get started, you should first prepare your teen.
Begin by making sure your teen has the right set of expectations. Some people approach God’s Word with the wrong set of expectations.
For example, does the Bible promise that if you follow all the commandments, you will have no struggles in life? Of course not. But it’s not uncommon for a person to read the Bible with this kind of faulty expectation.
When your daughter opens the Bible, what should she expect? Teach her to look for who God is and what His world is really all about.
Next, help her understand that reading the Bible is having a conversation with God. As she reads, she can look for things that apply to her own circumstances and place in life.
The next step in helping your teen to renew their mind is to give them a biblical perspective.
Put God’s Word into the context of your teen’s everyday life. Many parents make the mistake of assuming their teen’s world is the same as their own world.
Start by looking closely at your teen’s world. Walk in his shoes. Listen to the messages he gets when he walks into the classroom every day where a biblical worldview is challenged.
Consider the effect of video games he plays or TV he watches. Your first challenge is to step back and evaluate the messages your son is getting throughout the day.
Next, help your son gain a biblical perspective on these messages. Ask:
- “What did you hear today that would have sounded out of place at our dinner table?”
- “What are the promises that you heard on TV tonight? Are they true?”
- “What message does that video game convey?”
Speak about God’s truth in contrast to the other messages. You might say: “The Bible says you and I are going to live forever, and we have a unique opportunity every day to do things that will last into eternity. What do you think we could do today that would last forever?” Or, “When God looks at you, what does He see?”
In addition to helping your teen gain a biblical perspective, you should also teach them about spending personal time with God.
Personal Time With God
Help your teen carve out regular, daily time with God to study the Bible and pray.
When I was a new Christian at the age of 17, a Young Life leader said to me, “If you read your Bible every day, God will tell you all kinds of things that will help you know how to live your life!” Boy, that got my attention.
Encourage (don’t nag) your teen to commit to a specific time every day. Have him pick the time and spot.
In my own parenting, this challenge led my wife and me to talk with our 14-year-old son about canceling all the video game time for the rest of the school year to make room in his life for prayer. Commitment takes sacrifice.
Here are other suggestions:
- Start out small (perhaps 10 or 15 minutes to begin). Divide the time into three simple activities:
- Pray (ask God to speak through His Word and to give understanding)
- Reflect (ask “What did I just hear or learn about who God is and what His world is like?”)
- Learn the art of asking great questions. Jesus asked so many good questions. In fact, He often answered a question with a question!
Start by carving out time for you and your teen to talk. Engage your teen with life questions that apply directly to your teen’s circumstances. For example, you might ask, “Have you ever read anything in the Bible that might apply to that?” or “Have you looked at Proverbs to see what God might have to say about that?”
What you can’t do is ask a question that has an obvious answer or that implies you already know what the right answer is, kind of a “warmer, warmer” sort of hunt for the answer. Make the question a legitimate one so your son finds the answer on his own.
Of course, there are no hard and fast rules. Recently my son accompanied me on a business trip where we had a heart-to-heart talk. I was ready with life questions to get us talking. Before I started rattling off the questions, I asked God what He thought I should focus on. His answer surprised me: “Ask him what was his favorite part of the day.”
Quality Time With God’s People
Learning from God’s Word is a corporate activity. Your teen should learn from God’s Word with other people, starting with you.
Listen to Dr. Dobson or another radio teacher on a regular basis, discuss Sunday’s sermon at the dinner table on Tuesday or attend a family camp this summer.
Psychologists say your teen’s peer group is important to his development as a person.
Find rich environments where your teen can learn from God’s Word with his peer group. Often that will be a Bible-focused youth group, but it also might be a Bible study you start in your home, or a conference teens attend together. Continually evaluate the quality of the teaching and converse with your teen about what he is learning.
Finally, in helping your teen to begin renewing their mind, emphasize the importance of the quest for truth.
Quest for Truth
Discovering what it means to live out our faith is a lifelong journey as we integrate what we believe with every area of life.
God will be with us, which is the most important part of the quest.
Teach your teen that God desires to reveal His truth to us. God is personal. He talks to us all the time: through creation, through others, and most clearly through His Word.
We can trust God’s Word, expecting that He will do what He promises: speak to us, lead us, provide for us, give us everything we need for life and godliness in Christ Jesus.
Share your own quest with your teen so he knows the power of your story. Learning to think like a Christian requires renewing the mind. Teaching your teen how to do this and live according to God’s will — and why that’s important — might be the best gift you can give.