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How to Teach Teenagers Core Beliefs

by Kathryn Rateliff Barr, studioD

While many teens are spiritually active, the church isn’t doing a very good job at teaching teens spiritual lessons they need to know, according to teen responses as noted in a 2007 report from the Barna Group, a research organization studying the spiritual and faith activities in the United States. The Barna report suggests that If churches want teens to remain connected to God and organized religion, they need to do a better job of educating our youth. Forty-two percent of the teens in the Barna research study indicated that they wanted a better understanding of core beliefs.

Explore what the Bible says about core beliefs such as who God is, the Trinity, the Bible, baptism, communion, the commandments, prayer, the relationship between God and man, and salvation. A concordance, Bible dictionary or topical Bible can provide assistance in finding Bible verses that your teen can read and study to understand how these topics apply to her life.

Start a core beliefs class for teens as a Sunday school option, youth group class or small group study. A pastor or adult teacher with a strong history in the church could teach the class and answer teens' questions. Class could include skits, discussion and object lessons to make the material relevant to the teens. Information can include the history of the church, how certain beliefs evolved over time and what different denominations believe. For example, some denominations believe that baptism is only valid when the person is submerged in water. Some denominations do not baptize babies or young children because they believe that an individual must personally take the vows for the baptism for it to be valid, while others believe that parents can take the vows for a young child. A class such as this can help a teen examine all the options and explore what he believes is right in light of the Scripture.

Create a skit for the teens to present in Sunday school, vacation Bible school, Bible class, or core beliefs class. It should explain each core belief and why it’s important for a teen to incorporate it into his value system. Include questions a teen would ask in a normal conversation about the beliefs. To increase the effectiveness of the presentation, allow for a discussion or question-and-answer session after the skit.

Prepare and deliver a series of messages about core Christian beliefs during teen worship services. Emphasize how each belief is relevant to teens, such as how knowing Jesus as the savior and a role model provides the teens with an example of godly living and a way to reconcile with God. During the preparation phase, ask teens simple questions about basic core beliefs and address their issues and questions.

Items you will need
  •  Bible
  •  Concordance
  •  Bible dictionary
  •  Topical Bible

About the Author

Rev. Kathryn Rateliff Barr has taught birth, parenting, vaccinations and alternative medicine classes since 1994. She is a pastoral family counselor and has parented birth, step, adopted and foster children. She holds bachelor's degrees in English and history from Centenary College of Louisiana. Studies include midwifery, naturopathy and other alternative therapies.

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