If teens are going to engage in an activity, they want to know what’s in it for them. They might not always verbalize it that way, but when faced with a choice, they are going to go with what benefits them the most. Bible teachers, are you providing the pragmatic value of studying God’s Word? Are you showing them what’s in it for them? If you zero in on the following benefits, your students will be more prone to wanting to get into God’s Word because it is meeting not just what they want but what they need.
1) God’s Word is a source of renewal.
If teens are going to invest time in God’s Word, it needs to be seen as more than one more pressure in their lives. Today’s young people seem to be more stressed than ever in this high paced world in which we live. Rather than Bible study being another point of stress because it is something they “have to do”, it should be a source of comfort, hope, and relief from the anxieties of life.
The law of the LORD is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes. (Ps. 19:7-8)
Bible teachers, are you helping your students discover the promises of God that are relevant to them? Are you helping them see that the God who helped Moses, Abraham, David, Daniel, and others, is there for them today to give them the strength, reassurances, and pathway they need to go on?
2) God’s Word provides answers to life’s questions, reasons.
Young people are faced with so many systems of belief coming at them from so many different angles. Is it any wonder they can be so confused about the purpose and meaning of life? Is it any wonder life seems like a chaotic mess with nothing firm to hold onto? Is it any wonder their lives spiral out of control with so many teens depressed, committing suicide, resorting to violence and dysfunctional relationships?
Bible teachers, are you providing an environment in which they can come with their questions, fears, and doubts to find answers? Are you encouraging them to turn to God and His Word when they are all alone and feeling down? Are you being real in letting them know that they will not always understand but that they can trust the heart of this God about whom they are reading and find peace even in the midst of uncertainty (Isa. 26:3)?
3) God’s Word promotes relationships.
In previous posts we’ve already determined that relationship is a big motivational factor in teens spending time in God’s Word on their own, providing both the foundation and desire. Relationship is also an outcome of Bible study. The more time they spend in God’s Word the more intimately they get to know Him (Col. 1:9-12) and the greater their basis of unity with other believers becomes (Col. 3:15-16).
Bible teachers, do your students understand how beneficial a relationship with God is which spills over into loving relationships with others? Is your own life an example of this reality?
God desires young people to live abundant lives (Jn. 10:10; Isa. 40:29-31) filled with His strength, peace, wisdom, and love. Let’s point them to Him and His Word as the source of all that is good and worthwhile in this world.