Your congregation has youth.

They were once first graders in Sunday school going up to children’s messages, but now they’re even taller than you! And now there is a need, a need for a new study group! A group made up of people who both give you great joy and hope for the future but also make you tremble in your shoes: teenagers.

You remember youth group and remember the impact it had on you growing up. It was a blast! You made friends and learned a lot; these were formative years in your life. So seeing the need, you decide to step up to the plate and lead youth group. And now the reality hits you that you actually need to teach and you don’t know where to start.

I don’t have all the answers (or probably any), but I do know a book that might help: “Teaching That Makes a Difference: How to Teach for Holistic Impact” by Dan Lambert. If you are looking for a book that covers a lot of ground in the youth ministry space, this might be it. This book has a ton of practical teaching tools to put in your tool box as you grow in ministry.

It contains a check list of how you might prepare for a lesson, what to look for in selecting curriculum, how to evaluate your teaching, and how learn to understand today’s youth (specifically your youth) better.

I recommend reading the book all the way through, it’s long but it’s worth it. However the chapters are laid out in a way that you can look and find what is applicable to you. There is a lot of information right at the beginning of teaching theory as well, both in terms of psychology and spirituality. Don’t get bogged down by this. It is good information to have and at the very least skim through and make a few notes of key information. It might seem like overkill to get all of this if you just plan on leading a bible study once a week, but having it will help you think through lessons, evaluate curriculum and analyze why some lessons work and some don’t.

I hope you check this book out! You can find it on Amazon used for a pretty good deal! I would recommend this book to anyone who leads and teaches youth. Let me know in the forum if you have any other book recommendations!

Lambert, Dan. Teaching That Makes a Difference: How to Teach for Holistic Impact. Youth Specialties, 2004.

Andrew Cordy is the Director of Christian Education at Peace Lutheran Church in New Berlin, WI. There he works with people of all ages. However he specifically has a heart for children and youth. He graduated from Concordia University Texas with a degree in religious education and a minor in theology.

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