Need Ideas for Wednesday Night Bible Study for Youth

Discussion in 'Christian Fellowship' started by Poohbear, Oct 19, 2009.

  1. Poohbear

    Poohbear FearfullyWonderfullyMade

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    I need ideas on how to structure Wednesday Night Bible Study for the youth (AGES 3 to 15) of our church.

    Recently, a lot of the children who were regular attendees have stopped coming. I feel like it is due to the lack of structure, order, and activities for the children to do. Our bible study is from 6:30pm to 8:00pm. Our church feeds the kids each Wednesday night. For quite some time, the feeding time has been dragged out. The kids would have to sit there and wait for their food for about 1 to 1.5 hours before eating. That whole time, we are reprimanding the kids and the youth director just goes over the Lord's prayer 50-11 times which is unnecessary. Then after they finish eating, we only have about 30 mins or less to teach the children and they are wild as ever and don't really pay attention anyway.

    By the way, we also do not have lesson plans to teach out of or activity books which I think would help but our pastor (which is my dad) doesn't feel it is necessary and that we should just use the Bible directly. And the only activity that we usually do with the youth is Hangman with bible verses which is getting old.

    Can anyone hear throw out some ideas on what our church can do to attract and keep the youth that we have? Any suggestions and advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance!
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2009
  2. Renovating

    Renovating Well-Known Member

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    Hi Poohbear. I would do a Google search on bible study lessons for teens. One of the sites I found looks like it would be useful. http://www.ucg.org/teenstudy/
     
  3. Laela

    Laela Truth, be told.

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    Teens are tough ...since they come from all backgrounds and family structures. I remember as youth we used to do activities like "Gossip"... that kept our attention and taught a valuable lesson on respecting people's privacy. Have you tried that activity before? Or am I dating myself? lol We also did musical chairs.
    I agree that a formal structure is needed, just like in school. Kids need structure, so a written lesson plan is good...here's a good source that would help. You can register to get lesson plans:

    http://www.teensundayschool.com/lessons.php
     
  4. Poohbear

    Poohbear FearfullyWonderfullyMade

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    Thanks for the links ladies.

    However, we don't just have teens. We have children that range from ages 3 to 15 years old. The bulk of the children are in the 6-8 year old range.

    We've tried musical chairs in the past... it got rowdy and children ended up hurt. We work with inner city children with behavior disorders that come to the church with no parents present.

    Do y'all have any ideas on how to structure the whole night from 6:30 to 8:00? What do your churches do for Wednesday Night bible study?
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2009
  5. PinkPebbles

    PinkPebbles Well-Known Member

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    Maybe you can use props during your lessons. And when you are teaching a lesson maybe you can engage the youth by allowing them to play a character role.
     
  6. Prudent1

    Prudent1 Well-Known Member

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    Hi Poohbear,
    We use a variety of things at our church like board games http://www.truelightchristianstore.com/adult-christian-games.html, PC games, movies to watch and discuss http://www.pluggedin.com/
    ,open discussion sessions, direct from the bible topics, handouts, feed them, etc. Don't forget the importance of awesome but Godly music. Check out Northpoint Community Church's kids ministries. They have some partners across the country and have established working children's ministries in many areas. You would have to contact them for details though. We are on a schedule at church though(flexible but a schedule non-the-less). Kids of all ages need structure. It is akin to security for them. It would be best if you could separate the younger kids from the older ones since the topics/ issues in their lives are not going to be the same stuff. If that is not possible though, pray and do the best you can. Something is better than nothing for them. Even if it doesn't seem like it you are planting seeds in the lives of those kids. They will need the truths you are teaching to make it in this life. Keep praying asking God to bring to you all of the resources/ ppl your church needs to lead these kids in the way God would have them go.
    HTH,
    Prudent1

    Focus on the Family has a lot of info and suggestions on games, etc. I bet you could get great info/ resources from them.
    http://www.focusonthefamily.com/entertainment.aspx

    Also, here is the link to Northpoint Community Church
    www.northpoint.org
    go to the kids or student links.
     
  7. daydreem2876

    daydreem2876 Well-Known Member

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    I would try breaking the activitites down into a timeline and be consistent with following the format i.e.

    6-615 Welcome and Opening prayer
    615-635 Bible Lesson
    635-700 Bible Activity/Craft
    7-715 Cleanup/Prepare to eat
    715-725 Lesson review Closing Prayer/Bless the food
    725-8 Eat/Clean up

    Thats just an idea but you can see where I am going with this. Kids needs structure and consistentcy. They behave better when the know what to expect and that the adults around them are indeed in control. For kids who may have behavior issues, they just needs lots of positive reinforcement. Offer lots of praise when the children do the right thing i.e. "Wow, Billy is sitting quietly he looks like he is ready to eat." "Jane has cleaned up her area, she deserves a piece on candy" It seems corny but you will be amazed how well compliments and small treats work on most everyone.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2009
  8. Duchesse

    Duchesse Well-Known Member

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    I agree. You definitely need a structure and consistent routine, esp. considering the age range you are working with. Daydreem gave a really good breakdown of time IMO, just adjust for starting at 6:30.

    As far as activities go, interactive hands-on stuff will go over well. It's kinda hard being that you have teens mixed with little kids.
     
  9. CoilyFields

    CoilyFields Well-Known Member

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    And it might be a good idea to seperate the kids by age at some point. The young kids can watch veggie tales or do the craft activity while those 12-15 really have a time set aside for them (this is the age they become more influenced by their peers than their parents and subjects like sex and integrity MUST be taught).
     
  10. yodie

    yodie Well-Known Member

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    Great suggestions. I would separate the groups so that the older kids could be together and the same with the younger ones. From my experience with teens, they need to be involved!! I think you should pray and find the ones that could possibly teach a lesson. Guide them thru it, but maybe it should be 'their' bible study, with supervision, of course. Let them teach the message and structure the discussions. This way they'd feel like they have some type of ownership vs. adults taking over.
     
  11. momi

    momi Well-Known Member

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    If I ever come into a large sum of money pluggedinonline will get a huge donation from me. This is a resource that many dont take advantage of. Before any movie plans are made this site is consulted first. :yep:
     
  12. HeChangedMyName

    HeChangedMyName New Member

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    You've gotten some great suggestions so far. The timeline would work, but it since it is a variety of ages of kids, a task line might be more feasible. Same concept, just not as strict on time frames.

    If you can have them eat together(have those older kids help to teach them the general principle of being helpful) This will also form bonds between the kids at church so the little ones have an older one to lookup to and the older ones will begin to feel and act accountable with their own actions knowing that someone is watching and looking to them.---

    It would be a good idea to speak from the same topic or scripture that the adults are working on as well, This way, the kids will have something to discuss with the parents and maybe one will bring some insight to the discussion.

    As far as the food. Would it be ok if it could be made in advance? Or if it could be something uber easy? hotdogs?

    For the study you can have a scripture for the kiddies and a coloring sheet or some simple activity. I use to teach the babies on Sundays from 0-5 so if you need ideas, I may still have some.
    What we'd do was read the scripture aloud, ask the older kiddies to explain what it means, in their own little words. Then we'd usually do some type of hands on activity or a coloring sheet that related to the topic/scripture. I would encourage my kids to discuss with their parents what they learned.

    Other times I would just read a Bible story from a children's Bible and have the kids discuss, interject, or whatever they needed to do in order to learn the moral of the story. followed by a coloring sheet.

    example--any of the stories about Jesus helping may end up with us discussing different scenarios where we could help or have helped someone, friend or family or even stranger. We'd have coloring sheets that would have different items on them that would be either helpful or hurtful or useless and have the kids to identify the helpful items.

    We did another one where the man was brought in through the roof for healing and our hands on exercise involved all the kids carrying a toy on a blanket sort of relay style, one team against another to demonstrate the need for team work. If one person jerked the blanket or went too fast, there was a chance that the person in need of help(the toy) would fall on the ground and be hurt worse.


    For the older ones, once the scriture is read, then you could have a Q & A to have the kids explain what that scripture is saying to them. This will make sure they have an understanding.
    Once everyone understands what the scripture means, then you can go around and give examples of situations where that scripture can be put to real life use or situations where some of them had to use the sentiment of that scripture(even though they may not have realized they were following a Biblical principle at the time)
     

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