by Heather Hansen
Focus Text: John 20:30-31
- Help students understand the role of Scripture in their lives
- Encourage students to explore and discover in the Bible
- Have fun with Scripture
Begin with a prayer: Holy God, we thank you for your Word and the role it plays in our lives. Give us the desire and the will to learn and study your Word, so that we may come to know your deep and gracious love in our lives. Amen.
Share with the students that today’s focus will be on why we study the Bible, then read aloud John 20:30-31.
Make sure each student has a Bible. As individuals, or in pairs, challenge students in a race to flip through their Bibles and figure out the first person who saw Jesus after the resurrection and the first person Jesus spoke to after the resurrection. When they figure it out, they can close their Bibles and raise their hands. If your group is struggling, tell them where to find the Easter story in the Gospels: John 20:1-18, Luke 24:1-12, Mark 16:1-8, Matthew 28:1-10.
Reward the first person or team who gets the correct answer. Keep in mind there are multiple correct answers to this search, so you may reward the team that discovers this, every person who provides a correct answer, or the team that comes the closest.
- What did you learn as the correct answer to this challenge?
- Did you know there were four accounts of the Easter story?
- Why do you think the accounts are a little different?
- What other stories do you think you know really well in Scripture?
- Share a time that you learned something from the Bible that you thought you knew, but then upon closer look, you saw something deeper.
Large and Small Group Discussion
Set up a whiteboard or chart paper and invite a volunteer to be the writer. Brainstorm with the group a list of what the Bible has to teach people. Generate ideas for about three minutes.
Break the students into groups of three or four, and give each group a sheet of paper and a pen. Give them five minutes to decide which five things on the list are the most important for people to learn and write them on the paper.
Invite each small group share their list of top five with the large group. Give them the opportunity to share why they felt these reasons were the best reasons to study Scripture.
Share with the students a few thoughts from theologians on why it’s important to study Scripture. You may choose your own theologians/books/websites to do this, or if time is constraining, use some of the following websites:
Read John 20:30-31 again.
- What does the focus verse tell us about studying God’s Word?
- What have you heard or learned from today’s discussion and activities about studying God’s Word?
- What is the benefit of studying God’s Word regularly as you grow?
- What can you do to study the Bible more often?
- Is it better to study the Bible alone or with a group? Why?
- How has this study today inspired you to look more closely at Scripture?
Finish the Bible study by having the group decide on what they might want to study next as a group.
Close with Prayer: Holy God, we thank you again for your Word and for the inspiration you have given us today to study it and grow closer to you. Love us, teach us, and show us how to teach others about your grace and truth and to live lives that reflect your Word each day. Amen
Rev. Heather Hansen is a pastor in San Antonio, TX where her call focuses on worship and youth ministry. She has 26 years of youth ministry and teaching experience and her most recent adventure is setting up a non-profit organization for environmental education, called Red Hawk Ranch, as a place to connect her theology of what God is up to in the world with her passion for caring for the earth.
Heather lives in San Antonio, TX, is married to Mark and loves hanging out with her two children Hannah and Alex, and the family pets, Hopper, Okie, Captain Whiskers, and Michael (a gecko).