4 Reasons to Teach Whole Books of the Bible to Students

Kyle Hoffsmith
January 16th, 2020

Teaching students the Word of God is one of the most important tasks of a youth worker. In some cases, this may look like someone standing in front of a room full of students sitting in rows with their Bibles open or other times small group discussions based on certain biblical passages. Yet other times, youth workers may find themselves with one or two students in a discipleship group reading through sections of the Bible. In each of these settings, the big question that each youth worker needs to answer is “What and how am I going to teach?”

The answer to this question can change during the different seasons of student ministry. At times, curriculum is very helpful in organizing teaching plans and minimizing preparation time for the teacher. Teaching topical Bible studies can also help students learn what the Bible says about certain individual matters.  However, I have found that the primary way I teach students the Bible is by teaching through whole books of the Bible. Below are four reasons why I have found this beneficial.

Equip students to read the Bible for themselves

We have all heard the saying “Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime.” Teaching through whole books of the Bible is as if we are both giving students the fish and teaching them how to fish on their own. As we teach through books, students grow in knowledge of God’s Word. At the same time, they are also growing, sometimes unknown to them, at how to read individual verses in the context of a greater section of Scripture. This is something students must learn to do if they are going to be able to grow on their own and not only when they are in attendance at their youth group. 

Help students understand how the Bible fits together

A second benefit of this teaching style is that students will learn themes of certain books of the Bible. As these same students continue learning the Bible, they can be reminded how verses in other books connect to what they learned in youth group previously. This can be missed if we only teach scattered series using varies biblical texts instead of systematically teaching through whole books.

The Bible sets the teaching schedule for the youth group

Practically, teaching through books of the Bible is helpful in setting the schedule for teaching in your youth ministry. This is one of the best reasons to teach through whole books of the Bible. If I am left to always picking a topic and finding biblical verses to support it, then I am the one who is setting the agenda for the teaching. When you finish teaching a section of verses, you don’t need to wonder what you will teach next week. All we need to do is continue one section at a time! This can relieve anxiety of not knowing what we will teach. 

Teaching sections of the Bible that are important, but usually skipped over

Teaching through books of the Bible exposes what God has already ordained to be in the biblical text. You will be forced to cover topics in books that you would not normally pick to cover. This is one way to teach students that we don’t get to pick and choose what the Bible teaches, but instead must accept what God has decided to reveal in the Bible. 

If teaching the Bible is one of the primary tasks of being a youth worker, then we must take seriously not only what we teach but also how we teach it. This is why teaching through whole books of the Bible can help grow students into mature followers of Jesus. May we see many students grow as they soak in God’s Word while attending our youth ministries.

Kyle Hoffsmith

Kyle Hoffsmith serves as the pastor of student ministries at Old North Church in Youngstown, Ohio. He loves teaching students about Christ and equipping them for a relationship with Him. You can read some of his other blogs on his website www.kylehoffsmith.com.

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.