Note: We share our study resources with you in the hope that it gives you a good foundation for planning your own study. While we think our resources are top quality and it’s awesome to have all the hard work done for you, we believe that your students will get more out of it by you running sessions in your own style and sharing your own testimonies where appropriate. Same message, different flavour!
Our first topic of discussion for this year was The Gospel. What it is and what we do with it. We ran our study over two weeks and saw more responses to the altar call in one night than we saw in all of last year. And today I’m going to share with you all our resources (including our free printable worksheet!) so you can plan your own awesome study for your students.
The first thing you need to get is this: that the Gospel is simply Jesus’ perfect life, atoning death, and miraculous resurrection, which is God’s power to save all who believe. It’s not something we have to do, but something God has done for us. It’s not something we can do, but it is something we can share with others. Got that?
“The gospel is this: We are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared believe, yet at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope.” – Timothy Keller
Key scriptures about the Gospel.
Romans 1:16 – God’s power at work | Ephesians 1:13-14 – Good News that God saves | Colossians 1:22-23 – we are reconciled to God through Christ | Matthew 28:18-20 – the Great Commission | Acts 8:4-8 – the Gospel spread because of persecution | Psalm 96:2 – God saves | Matthew 4:23 – Jesus preaching the Gospel
These are some key scriptures that explain what the good news of the Gospel is and what we are to do with it. This is not an exhaustive list but will give you a good foundation for your study. Whichever direction you take it. You will easily be able to find other related scriptures by doing a quick search on Bible Gateway.
Start with small group discussions.
We’ve found that kicking off a new topic with a small group discussion does two things really well: 1) it gets students thinking and talking about it right from the start, and 2) it shows us what their current knowledge and understanding of the topic is. We made a worksheet to facilitate these discussions which you can find and print in our resource library here.
We were surprised at how little our teens actually knew about the Gospel. Even more so as most of them had grown up in church families! So the worksheet for the discussion worked really well for us and we were able to plan our series to cater towards them.
Follow up with a teaching session.
This is a great time for you to share your revelation of the Gospel and how it is worked out in your life. Students LOVE hearing your personal stories and testimonies, so don’t be afraid to open up a little. It makes you more relatable to them. Whatever teaching we do, we try to keep it under 20 minutes. We find that’s about the limit of teenagers’ attention spans!
Other ways to illustrate the Gospel:
Video: Vimeo has some awesome video resources which you can use as part of your teaching. We used this one of Jesus’ work on the cross and this one of a modern day rendition of the prodigal son. Or if you the time and talent, have a go at making your own video! Your students will love being involved in a project like this.
Quiz: One night of our series was a quiz. It was all about the Gospel and it involved looking up Bible verses to dig up the answers.
Role play: A short skit is a great way to get your youth involved in the message. Divide your students into smaller groups and ask each group to write and perform a short skit about the Gospel. You’ll be amazed at their creativity and what areas of the study spoke to them the most.
Songs: Sometimes simply entering into worship together allows the space for intimacy with God. Some people NEED that to have a revelation of him. Songs that speak the power and purpose of the Gospel are great to illustrate your point. Try No Longer Slaves by Bethel or Resurrecting by Elevation Worship to get you started.
..whatever you do, do it in your own style and do it in love. Do your best, pray, and leave the results up to God.
- Which ideas will you use to lead a study on the Gospel?
- What other ways have you found helpful to teach about the Gospel?