How To Design Your Own Bible Study

Leading a Youth Group in Bible Study. © Christopher Futcher, istockphoto.com

So, you want to run your youth group Bible study group, but need some help with creating the study itself. There are plenty of pre-made Bible studies available for Christian teens, but you may find at times that the pre-made Bible studies just don't fit the needs of your particular youth group or the lessons you want to teach. Yet what are some important components of a bible study for Christian teens, and how do you go about creating a curriculum?

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Here's How:

  1. Decide on an approach.
    Bible studies are done in different ways. Some Bible study leaders choose a topic and then assign certain books or chapters in the Bible that relate to that topic. Others choose a book of the Bible and read through it chapter by chapter, reading through it with a specific focus.  Finally, some leaders choose a combination of reading the Bible, using a devotional, and then discussing how to apply it to our daily lives.
  2. Determine a topic.
    You probably have some ideas for Bible study topics, and you need to decide on one at a time. Remember, a typical Bible study topic only lasts 4 to 6 weeks, so you will have time to get to another topic soon. Also, you want to keep the topics relative to the needs of the Christian teens around you.  Keeping a tight focus will help participants learn and grow more effectively.
  3. Decide on a supplement.
    Some Bible study leaders also use a book as a supplement to the Bible, while others just focus solely on the Bible itself. Be careful about using a supplement. You need to be sure that you are able to divide the reading up so that it is not taking away from students doing homework and other responsibilities. It should also be a supplement that allows new students to join the Bible study regularly.  There are plenty of  devotionals and supplements that can be found in bookstores and online.
  1. Do the reading.
    It may sound like common sense, but you will want to do the reading ahead of time. It will help you develop the questions and memory verses from week to week. If you are unprepared it will show.  Remember, this is a Bible study where you want your participants to grow and learn.  They learn as much from your behavior as they do from the words they're reading.
  1. Determine the format.
    Decide on what elements you want to include in your weekly study. Most bible studies have memory verses, discussion questions, and prayer time. You can use a sample Bible study guide to help decide your format.  Yet this is your time.  Sometimes you also need to be flexible on the format, because life has a way of asking us to change things up on a dime.  If your group is dealing with something outside of what they're studying, and it's getting in the way of focus then it may be time to shift the focus.  
  2. Create an agenda and study guide.
    You should develop a basic agenda for each meeting. This way everyone knows what to expect. You should also have a weekly study guide so that students know ahead of time what needs to be read and studied. It helps to create binders or folders for the students where they can keep the weekly agendas and study guides.