Teaching the Bible to Emerging Adults–by Bob Hetzler

I wrote an article about key essentials in starting a college ministry, and one of those keys was teaching the Word of God. As I talk to more college pastors and hear how they teach their students, I want to share a little more on this topic. Here’s what they said:

  • Book Studies. Most of those I’ve talked with do a majority of their teaching through the books of the Bible. They want to give their group a strong foundation of their faith, and what better way than to teach God’s Word.
  • Topical on occasions.
    Topics are good ever so often, but you don’t want to be too dependent on them. What happens is that you start to teach in areas you feel comfortable with, but it’s not helping your group grow as Christians if you only focus on relationships or certain doctrinal issues.
  • Use but don’t abuse technology.
    Use what connects for them. Websites, media, and anything visually stimulating are good ways to communicate Scripture. Just remember that you can overuse technology as well. Even notes on Power Point can become boring.
  • Teach what you live. Remember that young adults value authenticity, so if you’re not married but you want to teach them about the way God intended marriage to be, then maybe you need to find someone who has a godly marriage and can teach. It’s either that or you need to work on that marriage thing.
  • Do not teach “Easy-ism.” Young adults know that life is not easy and that there are going to be struggles, so don’t use the Bible as the “Easy Step To Happiness Book” that so many have done. They see life as a Journey and so did Jesus. Remember, He told the disciples the road would be rough if they were to follow Him.
  • Connect Scripture to their world. I think I enjoy the Gospels so much because you see Jesus connecting Truth to their culture. Just as Truth came down as a Man, we need to help them see their faith as real and relevant for them today.

These are just a few insights, and I’m sure you can think of more on this topic. Other ideas expressed included being creative (i.e. change of location, etc…) or breaking your group into smaller communities. Whatever you decide to do, just remember that it’s all about making
disciples and not about the latest trends. Spend time listening and observing the culture that surrounds their world.

By Bob Hetzler. Bob lives in Southern California and is a ministry consultant on the Millennial Generation assisting churches in beginning college ministries.

He can be contacted at calibobble@yahoo.com.