One of the great joys of my life is the privilege to speak to young people.  Recently I was listening to one of our youth workers at the Temple Baptist Church as he taught the Word of God to teenagers.  He was doing a great job and the Lord used him.  He is not a preacher, but he is a fine Christian and a faithful teacher.

As he spoke, I jotted down several things that the Lord has taught me through the years about  teaching young people.  The most important thing is: teach the Bible!  Not stories.  Not your ideas.  Not hot topics.  The Bible.

Do not try to be a youth teacher.  Be a Bible teacher, and God will use you to reach youth.

The second is: never stop being a student.  The best teachers want to be taught themselves. We can all do a better job, and we should.  Here are a few tips that have helped me:

  •   Mark your passages – don’t lose the young people while you are looking for your text.
  •   Give people time to find the Scripture passage.
  •   Ask them to mark their Bibles and write down key ideas.
  •   Be yourself – use a conversational tone.
  •   Use illustrations they understand – The key is variety: stories, object lessons, etc.
  •   Encourage participation when appropriate – have others read, answer questions, etc.
  •   Never embarrass a student.
  •   Maintain eye contact – don’t read your notes.
  •   Major on beliefs and behaviors – teach doctrine but make application.
  •   Don’t ramble – make your point and move on.
  •   Use appropriate humor but never try to be funny. (If you have to try, it isn’t funny!)
  •   Don’t talk down to young people – how you address them, tone, etc.
  •   Leave students with ONE great truth – challenge them to do something with it.
  •   Never try to act or talk like one of the teenagers.
  •   Be brief and be a good steward of the time you are given.
  •   Always speak with enthusiasm.
  •   Move around a little as you speak.
  •   Avoid religious jargon – define Bible terms.
  •   Don’t call attention to time constraints, distractions, etc.
  •   Speak from your heart but be careful not to talk too much about yourself.

If you would like to listen to a lecture I gave recently on “A New Beginning for Teen Sunday School” go to

May God use you as you continue to reach and teach Teens For Christ.

Enjoying the Journey

Enjoying the Journey exists to evangelize the lost with the gospel of Jesus Christ, encourage pastors and local churches, and equip believers to walk with God and serve Him each day. Through audio, video, and print resources we are seeking to preach the gospel, teach the Word of God, and reach this generation for Christ.

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