Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Teaching Doctrine To Teenagers

Ever since last fall, I have been teaching through The Gospel Project and it has been a great time of teaching for me and our students seemed really challenged by the lessons. What I love about these lessons, especially this current one on the Trinity, is that it does teach the stories of the Bible without making it moralistic but it also teaches doctrine. Doctrine is basically the teachings from the Bible. The lessons in The Gospel Project have been sound and beneficial.

I have to admit most teachers do not like hearing that we are learning theology, in fact, most adults do not either, but it is important for all youth pastors/youth workers/youth Sunday School teachers teach doctrine to their teenagers. Here are some reasons why it is important. First, to equip teenagers for witnessing. 1 Peter 3:15 tells us that we should be ready to make a defense for why we believe. Teenagers cannot just simply say they believe because of their parents or church family, but also as a result from their own study within their small group and personal Bible study. It is important for them to know what the Bible says and why Christians believe what they believe. Please also note that it is very important that parents be equipped to know the doctrines of the Bible so they can teach their kids especially why Jesus is the only One who can save them from their sins.

Second, youth need to be taught doctrine so they can know the difference between true Christianity and false Christianity. I became a Christian when I was 15-years-old and I want to know the Bible. So I began to listen to a lot of TV preachers, which there were not a lot of sound teaching over the Internet back in the day. I listened to those teachings and thought this was genuine Christianity. Of course, over the years, I found those teachings to be false because it was not in conjuncture with the Bible. We need to tell our teens what the Bible says over what some guy on TV or the radio or even a podcast versus what the Bible says.

Third, we need to teach doctrine to worship God. If our teaching does not result in worship then what we are doing is giving them information overload where they have to pass a test. When we teach doctrine, the result should be praise and adoration. When teaching on the deity and humanity of Christ, we need to teach our students this is why Christ is fully God and fully man because without Him being a man with two natures, He could not have died for our sins nor could we gain access to the Father. I know some teens will say that's cool because some of them are tired from their long day especially if it is a Sunday morning.

Finally, we need to teach doctrine to our teens because they might hear it anywhere else. It is sad to say that some churches do not teach faithfully from the Bible. Some pastors teach moralistic teaching that focus more on behavior than a change of heart or equipping their congregation the truths of the Bible. As I remember throughout my teenage years at church, there was only one time when we ever went through the book of Revelation and that was through a Sunday School teacher that used a summer to faithfully go through Revelation. All the youth lessons were about dating, which is an important topic to some teens, but never over what the work of the Holy Spirit is. A pastor might preach through Ephesians but not faithfully preach what those verse preach but instead preach something that has nothing to do with the text.

So whether you a Youth Pastor, Sunday School teacher, or a parent of a teenager, teach the Bible to your kids. Teach them doctrine. Do not be afraid to do so. Jesus is with you when you do and you will begin to worship God as a result.

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