Do we need 'less Bible' in our Youth Ministry?

Robin Barfield  |  Features  |  youth ministry
Date posted:  1 Jul 2024
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Do we need 'less Bible' in our Youth Ministry?

Evangelicals love the Bible! We know that God speaks through it, and we love hearing from Him. That’s why we love being ‘Bible-centred’ and we are keen to make sure that shows in our ministries and our programmes. This is all wonderful but I wonder if sometimes, in youth ministry, we push this dynamic too far in a way that hampers what we are doing.

Part of the problem is that we can easily lose sight of the dynamic which the Bible sets us. In the 70s and 80s the Bible became a book about us. The reaction to this was that in the 90s and 00s we were told this was wrong; the Bible is a book about God. This has led to a model where the adult teaches, and the young person passively sits and listens. Rather, the Bible is how God speaks to us. There are two people in this encounter: the giver and the receiver. What is occurring when the Bible is opened is that we encounter God!

The young person is a full human being, made in His image with real views, opinions, doubts, and struggles. There is a good chance that we, as Christians they wish to impress, are unaware of those struggles and questions. They are in a key stage of identity formation where they are still working out what they think and believe. Ruth Perrin’s recent research suggests that wrestling through faith in the teenage years is a critical part of making faith stick into adulthood.

Read more articles on:   children & youth  /  Bible
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