Simply reading the Bible to a group of youth or teens will quickly bore the group. Good teachers use stories, movie clips, games and objects to help communicate the message. Jesus often taught by telling stories and using objects such as vines and stones. Creative Bible study lessons provide students with questions that apply to their lives today, and should end in a challenge for change.
Do this study outdoors on a camping trip or a visit to the park. Discuss with the students different qualities of God. Define words like His omniscience, which means all-knowing, and His omnipresence, which means beyond space and time. Ask the students to share other qualities of God, and discuss. Send off the students individually to locate objects that remind them of a character quality of God. Have everyone talk about their objects. Ask the students how God's character affects their lives. Finish the time by challenging the youth to spend time over the next week reading about Jesus in the Gospels. Have them study what His character was like as He interacted with others.
Who is Your Hero?
Show a clip from a movie involving a hero. Discuss the teen's favorite heroes in the Bible, and why they could be considered heroes. Mention possible heroes such as Noah, Moses, Joseph, Esther and David. Ask the youth what qualities made these men and women heroes. Discuss how God is our hero. Read John 3:16 together and examine how Jesus dying for us illustrates the greatest example of a hero. Challenge the teens to look for small ways this week to be heroes for others. Get input on what possible examples might be.
What is Truth?
Read John 18:33-38 together. Pilate asks Jesus the question in this passage, "What is Truth?" Ask the students why he asked Jesus this question. Ask them for one-word definitions for truth. Write them on the board. Discuss in their lives where they have seen truth and where they have seen lies. Read John 14:6 together. Discuss what it means that Jesus calls Himself, "The truth."
Seize the Day
Show a clip from the movie "Dead Poet's Society" where the teacher shows the students pictures from past classes. He whispers the words, "Carpe Diem," Latin for "Seize the day." Ask the class what the teacher was trying to teach his students. Transition by reading about Paul in Philippians 1:12-30. Give background that Paul writes this letter from prison. Ask how Paul can be so joyful and excited while in prison. Give the students some time to write about the most difficult time they have endured. See if anyone reads what they wrote. As Paul made the most of his difficult situation, ask the students how we can seize the day even during tough times.