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Making Your Own Teen Bible Study Lesson

Here are some hints and tips for creating your own Sunday school or teen Bible study lesson plan:


To begin you will need reference material. A good concordance and study Bible at the minimum.

Software: Most computers come with a publishing software of some kind. I use Microsoft Publisher, and Adobe In-Design to produce my Bible Study handouts. PageMaker is good to (but more expensive).

Of course you can just use simple notes with your Bible references and discussion questions. Hand out Bibles to the kids so they can look up the verses. You don't need to produce a handout sheet like I do.

482489: The Challenge: DVD Curriculum The Challenge: DVD Curriculum
By Group Publishing

Tired of finding yourself the target of all those messy, muddy, mucky games your junior-high and young teen students thoroughly enjoy? The Challenge allows you to capture the energy of those crowd-pleasing competitions without the nuisance of cleaning up!

Hosted by veteran youth pastor Kurt Johnston, these 20 video-based contests will engage and entertain your students. The concept is simple: Your group will watch the premise and setup for each game and guess the outcome or results-and then watch it all unfold!

Each video features a contestant competing in a wide range of imaginatively wild and zany pool challenges, outdoor challenges, and gym challenges, such as:
  • How many frozen fish can the contestant get out of the pool in two minutes-using only his mouth?
  • How far can the contestant slide on a chocolate-covered sheet of plastic?
  • What's the total distance the contestant can hit five objects that are tossed his way?
  • How long will it take the contestant to go around cones three times-once in a burlap sack, once on a skateboard, and once on a pogo stick?
A good digital Bible is essential. This makes it easier to copy and paste Bible passages you've chosen with accuracy. I use an old version of Zondervan Bible Study Library Leaders Edition. Their newest software is Glo: Interactive Bible Software on DVD-ROM. A link is shown below. There are also several on-line Bibles available for use for free. Try

Youth Ministry Tips

Youth Ministry Links

Continuing Education

Glo: The Bible for a Digital World

Glo: The Bible for a Digital World

Glo: The Bible for a Digital World

Glo is an interactive Bible that brings the full text of the Scripture to life through HD video, high-res images, zoomable maps, 360-degree virtual tours, customizable Bible reading plans, and a natural user interface for fast, easy, visual navigation on Mac and PC computers.
Glo features five interactive browsing lenses to help you explore the Bible.

436768: Classic Comparative Side-by-Side Bible (NIV, KJV, NASB, Amplified) Classic Comparative Side-by-Side Bible (NIV, KJV, NASB, Amplified)
By Zondervan

This hardcover edition of the Classic Comparative Side-by-Side Bible sets the complete and updated texts of four popular Bible versions side-by-side for fast, easy comparison.

Bring new meaning to your bible study. When you don’t want to lose anything in the translation, the Classic Comparative Side-by-Side Bible is a tool that lets you explore all the rich nuances of meaning in the Bible’s text without having to learn the original Biblical languages. It sets four popular versions side-by-side for you to compare and contrast: the authenticity and accessibility of the New International Version; the iconic grandeur of the King James Version; the structural insights of the New American Standard Bible; and the explanatory alternate readings of the Amplified Bible.

Passages and verses from these versions are aligned in parallel columns for easy comparison and study. A valuable resource for gaining insight into Scriptural truths, the Classic Comparative Side-by-Side Bible helps you compare four Bible versions at a glance.

  • Each two-page spread contains a complete Scripture portion from these versions:
    • New International Version, 2011 update
    • King James Version
    • New American Standard Bible
    • Amplified Bible
  • Double-column format
  • 8-point type
  • 9.50" x 6.50" x 2.50"
   A Parallel or Comparative Study Bible is a great resource. You may have memorized verses as a child in a particular translation but another translation might get your point across better. My favorite is KJV, NIV, Amplified, and NASB like the one shown here. You can get them with any combination you want.
Lookup a word or passage in the Bible

Bible Gateway is a free on line Bible search service. Use can use the link provided here.

There are many Bible translations to choose from. Check out the New International Readers Version. This version may be more readable and understandable for kids in our age group.

Buy a Bible  through this link to Christian 32 translations are available.

22938DF: Girls Ministry from Start to Finish - PDF Download [Download]  
Each week, you look at the girls in your church, and you dream about the opportunity to make a bigger impact in their lives. You envision a team of women coming alongside you, investing their time and talents to help teenage girls discover how beautiful and valuable they truly are. You imagine groups of girls gathering to talk about their life experiences and offering support and encouragement to one another. You picture moms and daughters experiencing healed relationships and new beginnings. It's just a dream—for now. But you can turn that dream into reality with the tools, tips, and training you'll find in Girls Ministry from Start To Finish. 



3502EB: Speaking to Teenagers: How to Think About, Create, and Deliver Effective Messages - eBook  


Speaking to Teenagers is essential to understanding and preparing great messages.

The 7 Best Practices for Teaching Teenagers the Bible

The 7 Best Practices For Teaching Teenagers The Bible offers you seven ultra-practical and deeply meaningful "practices" you can use to help teach the Bible in a transformative and dynamic way.

Picking Your Topic:

Many times your kids will suggest topics of interest to them by asking questions. Many of my Bible study lessons began this way. Kids will ask deep theological questions and really want to know the Biblical answer. What Happens When You Die? / A New Heaven and Earth / What's God Up To? were lessons to answer their direct questions.

Topics can also address the particular needs of your group (Families: Getting Along.) or normal teen interests (To Date or Not to Date ). Current events may present opportunities. The disaster in Haiti can pique their in God's Sovereignty.

339298: The Case for Faith: A Journalist Investigates the Toughest Objections to Christianity The Case for Faith: A Journalist Investigates the Toughest Objections to Christianity
By Lee Strobel / Zondervan

Why does God permit evil? Why do some prayers go unanswered? Why has God allowed the church to engage in brutality and hypocrisy? Tough questions demand convincing answers. Join journalist Strobel as he once again journeys across the country challenging philosophers, theologians, and ordinary believers to defend their faith. The evidence he uncovers may surprise you!

Don't shy away from the tough questions.

These kids are ready to learn more detailed answers to questions like, "Where do you go when you die?". Plus they want answers to hard questions like, "Can you go to heaven if you commit suicide?". Kids will ask you these loaded questions. If you give them the same old rote answers they will turn you off and mistrust whatever you're teaching. If, on the other hand, you prepare a detailed, Biblically supported answer, whether it's a tough answer or not, they will grow to trust you and appreciate your lessons.The point is to tell the kids the truth.

Bring your teens face-to-face with challenging questions:

They will eventually be confronted by common objections in their lives as Christians. It's good to discuss things like: "Why does God permit evil?" "Why do some prayers go unanswered?"  and "Why does God send good people to hell?" You may have settled some of these though issues for yourself but they haven't. It's far better to discuss the questions in a controlled environment when answers can be presented.

837230: Knowing Scripture Knowing Scripture
By R. C. Sproul

With his usual common sense and enthusiasm, Sproul explores why every Christian should study the Bible and why so many get discouraged. He then offers clear explanations of 11 basic steps of interpretation and gives simple how-to's for using them. Excellent for beginning Bible readers and experienced students of Scripture. Includes suggestions for further study. 144 pages, softcover from InterVarsity.

Define the Bible lessons goal:

Write a sentence or two that states the Bible lesson you want the kids to remember. This statement, an expressed belief, will help determine the questions and Bible verses you select to guide the discussion in the direction you want to go. Youth ministry veterans, Doug Fields and Duffy Robbins, teach you how to do this in the book shown on the left.

Selecting your Bible verses:

Many times a word-search can bring up many Bible verses about the topic you've chosen. Sometimes you have a favorite verse you already know. A topic and verse may also have been presented to you by the Holy Spirit during your daily quite time or recent Bible reflection. When using the "word-search" method be sure to read the surrounding verses so you don't pull it out of context.

If, during your study, you find that the Bible is actually showing a different path than what you've always believed, you must be brave and flexible enough to follow what the Bible teaches. Caution:

"Interpretation that aims at, or thrives on, uniqueness can usually be attributed to pride
(an attempt to "outclever" the rest of the world), a false understanding of spirituality
(wherein the Bible is full of deeply buried truths waiting to be mined by the spiritually
sensitive person with special insight), or vested interest (the need to support a
theological bias, especially in dealing with texts that seem to go against that bias)."
-How To Read The Bible For All It's Worth

Adding the Bible verses to your Sunday school lesson worksheet makes sure that each teen has a copy of the passage in front of them to be read. Don't assume they'll always tote their Bible to class. This also alleviates the pressure of looking up the verse while the whole class watches.

When adding Bible verses to your Sunday school lesson worksheet do not use abbreviations for the books of the Bible. Having the Bible verses on the page presents them as a whole.

739970: Encounter: Young Teen Teacher"s Convenience Kit, Spring 2017 Encounter: Young Teen Teacher's Convenience Kit, Spring 2017
By Christian Standard Media

Encounter Youth Sunday school curriculum challenges students with engaging Bible study to help them understand God, the Bible, and a biblical worldview. Teens experience God in ways that fit their lifestyle with hands-on activities like drama, art, and games plus dynamic small group discussions, research, and reporting. Encounter is flexible and requires little preparation for teachers. For students, it is biblically sound, experiential and relational.

Encounter Young Teen Teacher's Convenience Kit contains 1 teacher book, 1 student book, 6 posters, 4 pages of reproducible masters, one set of Encounter-The Magazine, and an enhanced CD-ROM (which includes 4 audio skits, 6 posters in digital format, 2 virtual student pages in Macromedia Flash format, 6 QuickTime video clips, and 13 Bible memory puzzles). Order 1 per classroom. Note: The CD is located inside Teaching Poster #3. For more information and scope & sequence, please see the Encounter "Product Information & Samples" page linked from the order form.

Do an Internet Topic Search:

Some purists might freak-out at this suggestion but the Internet puts information at your fingertips. Most major ministries have great websites. Of course you do have to use your best discernment and watch who you're listening too but often you'll find a lesson or blog with your verses and subject already laid out. All you need to do is make it kid friendly.



Good Question Sunday School Lessonsgoodquestions
by Josh Hunt

"The purpose of Good Question is to create these moments in the classroom each week. My goal is to help you create moments for your students. Moments that come and go but leave footprints. Footprints that forever mark the learner. Moments about which students will later say, "I remember one time we were talking in Sunday School and. . ." The learner is forever touched by that moment. Moments like that last forever--moments where the Spirit of God is forever present. It is in these moments that disciples are made." Read the rest of his article.

Prepare an interesting, application-oriented, discussion oriented lesson in less than an hour using Good Questions. Use this link:

Use this coupon code for a 10% discount: 7748

Avoid Christianese:

A seasoned Christian frequently uses words and terms not commonly found outside of church circles. Those new to church surroundings may not understand terms like "indwelling," "fellowship," "washed in His blood," or "sanctification." Review your lesson plan and weed out or replace terms that would be unfamiliar to your audience. If you must use these terms, or encounter them in verses, explain what they mean.

Group's Blockbuster Movie Illustrations: Over 160 Clips for Your Ministry!

Group's Blockbuster Movie Illustrations: Over 160 Clips for Your Ministry!

More than 160 movie clips (none from R-rated movies) you can use to illustrate what the Bible has to say about the critical issues teenagers face! Youth ministry doesn't get more relevant that this! But don't forget to return (and rewind) your videos . . . we're not responsible for your late fees! You get: 160+ clips organized by themes alphabetically And for easy planning, each illustration has: Movie title and rating Scripture and Alternate Takes (other possible Scripture reference) Start time and visual cue, end time and visual cue, duration time Overview of scene Illustration Spiritual significance of clip Discussion questions Scripture Index Topic Index


Forming your Bible lesson discussion questions:

The hardest and most important part of any teen Bible study are coming up with good questions that keep the conversation moving in the direction you want it to go. I will have a teen read a selected Bible passage, then ask a question that is answered by the Bible verse just read. Many times I leave a blank space on the worksheet so the kids can write in the answer.

I allow the kids to offer many answers and comments for several minutes on each question. When it's time to move on the next question must be able to bring everyone back to the original direction of the lesson and move you a little farther towards the conclusion.

You don't always need to provide the answer.
Don't be afraid to let them struggle with an issue and never shot them down if they suggest an improper answer. Trust the Holy Spirit to do His work in their hearts as they read the appropriate Scripture verses.

Your final question or statement should be a summation of the entire Bible lesson, a restating of the goal of your bible lesson. It should be a memorable phrase (could even be like a slogan). It should also challenge the young believer to amend their faith, enlarge their understanding, or firm up a belief they've always been taught but never understood why.

747250: Uncommon Stories and Illustrations Uncommon Stories and Illustrations
By Jim Burns / Gospel Light

Punctuating your youth lessons with powerful illustrations is an effective way to get through to kids. Jim Burns shares 136 of his favorite stories right here. They are topically arranged so you can find them quickly. Each is just a page long and comes with an accompanying Scripture and application. The entire contents is on CD-ROM in the back of the book.

Add a Story, Illustration, or Activity:

Beginning your lesson with a game, activity, movie clip, or story can make your lesson unforgettable.  Coming up with this illustration can cramp your brain. Jim Burns offers some great suggestions in the books shown here.  Jesus often used parables and stories to convey His points when He taught. A good story or object lesson gets kids involved and excited to participate in the discussion. It can make the link between the Bible and an issue relevant to them today.

750986: Uncommon Object Lesson and Discussion Starters Uncommon Object Lesson and Discussion Starters
By Jim Burns / Regal Books

Turn every group meeting into a dynamic, relevant confab your teens can't wait to attend! Here are 90 field-tested tools for sparking dialog that will fire your students' passion for God and His Word, and help them actively live out their faith.

Search the topical index for your theme, key verse, and related Scripture references, and find the perfect illustration or discussion starter for your message. Includes CD-ROM with easy-to-print files of every lesson.

Leading a lesson using my lesson plans:

If you are downloading my lesson plans click on this link for more tips on leading a Sunday school lesson using these lesson plans.

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