Tonight may have been one of the coolest Bible studies that I have ever led, and it wasn’t because of me. God did an amazing thing in our group tonight on several different levels. For the next 6 weeks we are going to be reaching out into uncharted territory as we won’t be sticking to a curriculum or going to group with a fully laid out lesson plan. Instead, we are going to employ the ALT-ernative teaching method that was first explained to me by Greg Stier this past year. It’s actually a relatively simple model to understand, but something crazy to implement. You’ll get the idea as I explain what we did tonight…
As teenagers arrived tonight we gave them a 3×5 card and a pen and asked them to write down at least 3 questions they had about God, religion, spirituality, the Bible…any question at all. After collecting the cards I went through each of them and found one that really caught my eye: “Why didn’t God just create everything in perfection to begin with?” I thought this was a great question as it truly starts at the beginning. Instead of diving into my Bible to find an immediate answer to through out at the kids we Asked the teens the question (the first step of the ALT-ernative teaching model).
So what did we do next? Listen (the second step to ALT-ernative teaching). What took place next was amazing. As Sam and I and the other leaders sat in silence the kids began to open up and it was great to hear their answers and get a true temperature gauge of where each of them is at. Beyond discussing that question though came more questions: Why did God give us free will? Why did God create us in the first place? Why couldn’t we just be in heaven to begin with? What does God need to bring glory to Himself? What does God enjoy glorifying Himself? And the discussion went on and on.
As the teenagers would discuss I would begin to insert nuggets of scriptural truth along the way Teaching (the third and final piece of ALT-ernative teaching) what the Bible had to say about each question that we wrestled through. It was amazing to see the light bulbs go off as we discussed how God doesn’t need the glory, but deserves it. That the end goal of creation was to let us choose so that He would be glorified. That His desire is to share Heaven with everyone which is why He sent His Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for us. We talked through how God did create everything in perfection and when Christ returns there will be a new heaven and earth and perfection will be restored again, and anyone who puts their faith and trust in Jesus Christ will get to share in that. It was an amazing discussion and learning experience for everyone as we shared in this spiritual conversation. In addition to great conversation, I was reminded how important it is for me to be in the Word and growing in my relationship with Jesus so I can be equipped to dialogue with our teens.
To top it all off, Kyler accepted Christ tonight. It was awesome. He still has questions, and will probably move forward cautiously, but he is in the family. Praise God! Continue to pray for our students as we Shred the Gnar with more of our friends. We have compiled a list of 109 names of high school students that we will be praying for during the rest of the school year with the goal of sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with each of them…surfs up dudes!