On Instagram the other day, I shared some Bible study tips for teens. There were many follow up questions to that post, so I thought it would be best to answer them here and add some other tips that I have found to be really helpful with my teens.
After wrestling with different math curricula and trying to find just the right routine for my crew, I realized one day that none of that mattered. Because if my kids leave home not knowing who God is, none of the other things will matter. We can read Proverbs 22:5 as an instruction–to train our children in the way they should go. That’s not a promise of their salvation by any means. But it is an instruction to us to lay down that path for them and to give them a solid grasp of what it means to be a Christian.
That said, we study the Bible in our home, every day. We don’t homeschool year-round, but we do study the Bible year-round.
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My kids are 19, 16, 13, and 8 currently and all four of them join in together. I’ve done some things that have worked and some that have…not. Let’s talk about what has worked.
Bible Study Tips for Teens
Each Teen Has Their Own Study Bible
I absolutely love my study Bible. Mine is a John MacArthur NASB Study Bible. Studying from this Bible has helped me immensely. I can look up words, the concordance is really good, and nearly every verse gives commentary for further explanation. That said, if I am learned so much from my study Bible, why wouldn’t my kids too?
Get the 6 Secrets to a Simpler Mom Life
Currently, two of my four have a study Bible and the other two are getting one for Christmas with personalization. They will all have ESV Study Bibles. I love these because there are so many study helps: the concordance, maps, graphs, charts, notes and more.
Skip the Teen Resources
The second of my Bible study tips for teens: Not throwing all teen Bible study resources under the bus at all–I am sure there are some great things out there–but I prefer to use resources that are deep and meaty with my teens. Many resources aimed at teens seem to be dumbed down, skirting around tough issues or trying to use cool lingo and in doing such losing the meaning of the message.
Share Your Favorite Resources
Instead of the “teen studies” route, I like to share things with my kids that I find really helpful. Teens don’t need watered down information so that they can retain it, but instead, let them hear the good stuff!
Here are a few Bible teachers I have used with my teens (their videos, sermons, podcasts, etc):
- Elisabeth Elliot
- RC Sproul
- Steve Lawson
- John MacArthur
- Allie Beth Stuckey
- Voddie Bacham
More specifically, these are a few resources that I have shared with them from some of the above:
- John Mac on thinking critically
- Allie Beth Stuckey on Gen Z (starting about the 29:00 mark)
- The first two lectures in this series on being born again.
Create “Sermon Notes” to Fill In
When I give my kids a resource like one listed above, I have them watch/listen to it over breakfast all together. Once in a while I will send my teens something to listen to on their own, but I like the discussion that takes place when they all listen in together.
Before I have them listen to one of these resources, I will have usually found it on my own and thought of my kids while listening. Then, I will listen through again a second time and while I do, I will create a worksheet type page of notes for them to fill in while they listen.
I find that when they have these “sermon notes” type pages to fill in while they listen, they really listen. It has been proven to be such a great tool because I find that they can pick out the main points of a Sunday sermon at church as well.
Bible Study Tips for Teens: Study the Catechism
And the last of my Bible study tips for teens: to catechize them. Studying theology and why we believe what we believe will help our kids defend their faith into their adult years and give them a firm foundation when the world feels uneasy–like everyday it seems 😉
We use the Truth and Grace catechism books. There are also the Westminster and Heidelberg catechisms as well that many people love.
What I love about the T+G books is that they include all of the following:
- Around 100 catechism questions
- hymns to memorize
- scripture verses to memorize
- basic Bible knowledge to memorize
These books come in a set of three: Book One for ages 2-4th grade, Book Two for grades 5-8, and Book Three for grades 9-12. I would say to start with the very first book, regardless of age.
Just the Tip of the Iceberg of Bible Study Tips for Teens
There are so many great resources out there and I could go on and on. But sometimes, keeping or options fewer and our study time simpler, it is richer.
I hope that you were encouraged to help your teens get into the Word and study their Bibles. It is one of my very favorite things to do with my teens.