Helping Your Volunteers Increase Their Biblical Literacy
How many times have potential leaders told you that they can’t help in your ministry because they don’t know enough about the Bible?
The Bible can be an intimidating book—many people feel ill-equipped to talk about it and terrified to teach it. One of the biggest reasons for this is because God’s Word is alive. The Holy Spirit is constantly moving and teaching us in various ways. We learn something new every time we read it. So how do we help our leaders develop a desire for Bible study and a confidence to share its wisdom with others? Here are three ways to encourage your leaders and increase their biblical literacy:
1. Provide commentary notes for lesson plans.
A great way to help your leaders become more familiar with the Bible is to provide them with commentary notes that go along with the lesson they’ll be teaching:
- Who was the audience of this passage?
- What was God’s message to those people?
- What’s the historical context behind these verses?
- Are there similar Scripture messages throughout the Bible?
If your leaders feel they have a better understanding of Scripture, they’ll feel more equipped to teach it to students. They’ll also have an opportunity to learn and grow in their own faith. People often learn better when they have to teach the material to someone else.
2. Share lesson devotions with your leaders.
Something as simple as sending out a five-minute devotion in your weekly leader emails can make a huge impact. Encourage your leaders to spend time in prayer, and encourage them to read the Scripture passage and devotion for each lesson. Use the same language or illustration you plan to use with your students, but make it applicable to the adults serving in your ministry. Give your leaders a question or challenge to think about.
During the week, have conversations with your leaders about what they’re learning from the Scripture and devotion. Helping your leaders be accountable lets them know you care about them. This will also allow you to share in the great ways God is speaking to them and impacting them. When your leaders apply the Bible to their own lives, they will be able to share those examples in conversations with students, coworkers, church members, and peers. If they have leaders who live out their faith, your students will be encouraged to do the same. Investing this way in your leaders may also inspire other adults to be a part of your youth ministry.
3. Encourage leaders to be active in personal Bible study.
This is the most important way you can help increase your leaders’ biblical literacy. Encourage them to participate in a Bible study either within your church or in the community. This can be an adult class on Sunday mornings, a discipleship group in someone’s home during the week, or a community Bible study organization group such as Bible Study Fellowship or Community Bible Study. Educate yourself to what’s available throughout your church and community so you have resources in case your leaders need suggestions. Help your leaders find places they can spiritually refuel so they can be better equipped to lead others in your ministry.
God’s Word is alive and is constantly helping us become more and more like Christ.
[bctt tweet=”When we stop growing and learning, we’re unable to help others grow in their own faith.” username=”ys_scoop”]
As a youth pastor, it’s also vital that you’re involved in some kind of personal Bible study. Find a place where you’re increasing your relationship with God as a participant without having the expectations that come with being a leader.
As a Christian, you know the power God’s Word can have in your life.
Are you studying the Bible on a regular basis and demonstrating to your leaders and students that it’s a priority?
How can you begin to lead conversations with your leaders about the ways in which the Bible is impacting the lives of everyone in your ministry—including yourself?
When our leaders are inspired by the truth of the Bible, transformed by the Holy Spirit, and living out their faith, we will begin to see our students and ministries grow in mighty ways.
ANDY JUVINALL has been serving in youth ministry for 15+ years and especially loves junior high ministry! He also creates resources for Download Youth Ministry and enjoys encouraging other youth workers. Andy and his wife Melissa have two young kids (Maggie and Levi) and love serving in family ministry together at their church! If being a youth pastor wasn’t an option, Andy would most likely be a competitive eater or screaming in a rock band.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the YS Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of YS.