Biblical Literacy with Youth
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Biblical Literacy with Youth

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Youth ministry is tough- and helping youth develop biblical literacy can prove to be unique challenge. Join us as we explore creative ways to help youth encounter, engage, and respond to scripture.

Youth ministry is tough- and helping youth develop biblical literacy can prove to be unique challenge. Join us as we explore creative ways to help youth encounter, engage, and respond to scripture.

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  • Let’s open in prayer:You have given us your word, both to hold in our hands and in our hearts;We confess we have not treasured your word in either of those place as much or as often as we should; and we thank you for the grace and love that lets use be your hands and feet to those we minister to even in spite of that;We are thankful for this opportunity to gather, share ideas, and hopefully take home some tools to help us treasure your word more and to communicate that love for your word to others;I pray for every person at today’s event, and especially for every person in this room as we seek together to glorify you in every aspect of ministry. We love you, Lord – in Jesus name, amen.
  • Youth – what do we usually mean when we talk about “youth” as a group identifier? Jr high, high school, tweensHow do youth differ from other groups in the church?Messier, active, in transitionWhat about those that work with youth? What characteristics do we (stereotypically) associate with them? High energy, parents, younger adultsHow do they differ from other leaders in the church?Bib lit – the ability to read, understand, recite, meditate on, and reflect scripture; communicate the meaning to others; (this remains a bit nebulous - . I would propose that development of biblical literacy is a lifelong process, but I would also say it is a lifelong gift. (I like that “continuum of learning” perspective) My def: Biblical literacy is the lifelong deepening of the meditation, understanding, interpretation, communication of the Word of God.
  • Youth – what do we usually mean when we talk about “youth” as a group identifier? Jr high, high school, tweensHow do youth differ from other groups in the church?Messier, active, in transitionWhat about those that work with youth? What characteristics do we (stereotypically) associate with them? High energy, parents, younger adultsHow do they differ from other leaders in the church?Bib lit – the ability to read, understand, recite, meditate on, and reflect scripture; communicate the meaning to others; (this remains a bit nebulous - . I would propose that development of biblical literacy is a lifelong process, but I would also say it is a lifelong gift. (I like that “continuum of learning” perspective) My def: Biblical literacy is the lifelong deepening of the meditation, understanding, interpretation, communication of the Word of God.
  • Youth – what do we usually mean when we talk about “youth” as a group identifier? Jr high, high school, tweensHow do youth differ from other groups in the church?Messier, active, in transitionWhat about those that work with youth? What characteristics do we (stereotypically) associate with them? High energy, parents, younger adultsHow do they differ from other leaders in the church?Bib lit – the ability to read, understand, recite, meditate on, and reflect scripture; communicate the meaning to others; (this remains a bit nebulous - . I would propose that development of biblical literacy is a lifelong process, but I would also say it is a lifelong gift. (I like that “continuum of learning” perspective) My def: Biblical literacy is the lifelong deepening of the meditation, understanding, interpretation, communication of the Word of God.
  • Youth – what do we usually mean when we talk about “youth” as a group identifier? Jr high, high school, tweensHow do youth differ from other groups in the church?Messier, active, in transitionWhat about those that work with youth? What characteristics do we (stereotypically) associate with them? High energy, parents, younger adultsHow do they differ from other leaders in the church?Bib lit – the ability to read, understand, recite, meditate on, and reflect scripture; communicate the meaning to others; (this remains a bit nebulous - . I would propose that development of biblical literacy is a lifelong process, but I would also say it is a lifelong gift. (I like that “continuum of learning” perspective) My def: Biblical literacy is the lifelong deepening of the meditation, understanding, interpretation, communication of the Word of God.
  • What categorizes this group? What are they especially good at?
  • Grades 4-6Activities that emphasize concrete learning/thinking, rote learning, and memorizationEncounter:·         Memorization of the books of the Bibleo   Note: provide categorization along with memorization, and break into bite-sized chunks.  Great age to memorize creeds and prayers as well.·         Sword drillso   Test on the books memorized to date.  Expand as kids learn more.  (Works well with those younger too!)  And test on the “not in the bible” stuff too.·         Facilitate Bible usage whenever possible –o   When you need a Bible verse read, let them find it and read it aloud. o   Encourage youth readers of the daily readings in worship.Engage·         Chronological overview of Bible characters focus on their relationship to one another·         Link Bible story chronology to the Bible books·         Highlight stories – and delve into the lesser-known ones (including the characters they haven’t heard of).Respond·         Help draw out the lessons and meanings and link to life application as possible.·         Have them creatively retell histories, gospel stories, and parablesIntegrate service into the response to a scripture study
  • What categorizes this group? What are they especially good at?
  • Grades 7-8Activities that emphasize exploration, empathy and comprehension, and shift from memorization to meditationEncounter·         Reinforce the navigation of the books of the Bible by activities that get them into the Bible. Find opportunities for them to read their Bibles (devotional reading plan during lent, kids devotional, reading scripture aloud for lessons)Engage·         As abstract thought and empathy develops, revisit some of the well-known stories from an empathetic perspective (prodigal son, Joseph) Use multi-sensory activities to reinforce and draw them into scripture stories (Creation – zoo; Noah’s Ark – football field)·         Introduce the Psalms, proverbs, and poetry, as well as some of the epistles (provide background) Make links between scripture and worshipRespond·         Get them to creatively respond. Have them paint or draw or video or act or journal their reflections on a text, or – encourage creation of their own Psalm Don’t deal with abstractions all the time! Service takes on a new depth
  • What categorizes this group? What are they especially good at?
  • Grades 9-10Activities that emphasize meditation, empathy, service, and communityEncounter:·        Encourage simple ways to regularly interact with scripture (weekly Bible verse, book of the month) Small group study becomes a viable relational construct – foster this group as they enter small groupsEngage·        Short-term devotionals linked to seasons, projects (work camp projects, camp, etc.) involve them with storytelling to children, helping with children Connect them with older members in the congregation and have them share their experiences with scriptureRespond·         Help draw out the lessons and meanings and link to life application as possible.·         Have them creatively retell Bible stories, write scripts or texts, songs (sunrise service)Integrate service into the response to a scripture study
  • What categorizes this group? What are they especially good at?
  • What categorizes this group? What are they especially good at?Grades 4-6Activities that emphasize thoughtful reading, reflection, discussion, and responseEncounter:·         Encourage them as group leaders, foster response and discussion in small and large groups Equip them with basic hermeneutical tools (but don’t call them that!) Literary, historical, Lutheran-perspective, devotionalEngage·         Empathize with the characters of the Bible – people become much more 3-dimensional·         Look at the whole story of scripture – connect the stories together·         Ask the tough questions - let them grapple with scripture, don’t give a quick pat answer.Respond·         Encourage life application with all scripture reading.·         Answer questions with questionsIntegrate service into the response to a scripture study
  • #1 – Get your kids an appropriate Bible to read and study.We have to stop thinking of the Bible as a keepsake and start thinking of it as a legacy.  These Bibles should be ready and appropriate for kids to dive into as opposed to store on a shelf.  This also requires that you get to know your kids well enough to know what they need.#2 – Get to know the context of your kids.In real estate, the most important thing is location, location, location.  In reading and understanding scripture, it is context, context, context.  Both the context of the passage and the context from which the reader approaches scripture.  (we are aware of the first, but what about the second? When we speak to kids about “God the Father”, and think of God as our Father, what baggage does that image carry for that particular child?   Also, be aware of disabilities, challenges, etc.#3 - Trust the power of scripture to transform your kids. The Word is powerful, lifegiving, restorative, transformative.  Part of our faithful response to that is to let scripture speak to our kids, our leaders, and ourselves wherever they and we are at in our faith journey.
  • #1 – Get your kids an appropriate Bible to read and study.We have to stop thinking of the Bible as a keepsake and start thinking of it as a legacy.  These Bibles should be ready and appropriate for kids to dive into as opposed to store on a shelf.  This also requires that you get to know your kids well enough to know what they need.#2 – Get to know the context of your kids.In real estate, the most important thing is location, location, location.  In reading and understanding scripture, it is context, context, context.  Both the context of the passage and the context from which the reader approaches scripture.  (we are aware of the first, but what about the second? When we speak to kids about “God the Father”, and think of God as our Father, what baggage does that image carry for that particular child?   Also, be aware of disabilities, challenges, etc.#3 - Trust the power of scripture to transform your kids. The Word is powerful, lifegiving, restorative, transformative.  Part of our faithful response to that is to let scripture speak to our kids, our leaders, and ourselves wherever they and we are at in our faith journey.

Biblical Literacy with Youth Biblical Literacy with Youth Presentation Transcript

  • Encounter, Engage, Respond: Biblical Literacy with Youth
    Chad King
    © Augsburg Fortress, 2010
  • Session Goals
    Identify key characteristics of healthy biblical literacy
    Examine age-appropriate characteristics, options and strategies
    Leave with at least one practical idea to put into action this fall
  • Two Terms:
    Youth
    Biblical Literacy
  • Why does it matter?
    The problem facing the Christian Church is not that people lack a complete set of beliefs; the problem is that they have a full slate of beliefs in mind, which they think are consistent with biblical teachings, and they are neither open to being proven wrong nor to learning new insights. Our research suggests that this challenge initially emerges in the late adolescent or early teenage years. By the time most Americans reach the age of 13 or 14, they think they pretty much know everything of value the Bible has to teach and they are no longer interested in learning more scriptural content.
  • Why does it matter?
    It requires increasingly concise, creative, reinforced, and personally relevant efforts to penetrate people’s minds with new or more accurate insights into genuinely biblical principles. In a culture driven by the desire to receive value, more Bible teaching is generally not viewed as an exercise in providing such value.”
    -Barna Group, 2009
  • Age-Specifics
    • 4-6 graders
    • 7-8 graders
    • 9-10 graders
    • 11-12 graders
  • 4-6 graders
    What categorizes this group?
    What are they especially good at?
  • 4-6 graders
    • Concrete learning and thinking
    • Rote learning
    • Memorization
    • Relationships are concrete
  • 7-8 graders
    What categorizes this group?
    What are they especially good at?
  • 7-8 graders
    • Memorization is still a strength
    • Abstract thinking manifests
    • Empathy begins to slowly emerge
  • 9-10 graders
    What categorizes this group?
    What are they especially good at?
  • 9-10 graders
    • Memorization shifts to meditation
    • Empathy becomes more fully formed
    • Community
  • 11-12 graders
    What categorizes this group?
    What are they especially good at?
  • 11-12 graders
    • Comfortable with abstract ideas
    • Rich internal perspective
    • Empathy helps shape decisions
  • A few last thoughts…
    Get your kids an appropriate Bible to read and study.
    Get to know the context of your kids.
    Trust the power of scripture to transform your kids.
  • So what are you going to do?
  • Questions, Comments?
    Thank you!