Andy Blanks and Youth Ministry 360 have recently released the first of two books, The 7 Best Practices for Teaching Teenager the Bible. This book is as the title says “practical”, but it is also so much more. If you are just with in the first couple years of youth ministry, this book is teaching “basic training” in paper form. I would strongly encourage you to pick it up. Those of you, who like myself have been teaching students for years, this book bring is back home. It is a refreshing reminder of why we do what we do with a helpful little slap in the face about what we may not have been doing.
Each chapter addresses one of the 7 practices of teaching, starting off by making it personal with “Engaging God”. Beginning this way sets the tone for the book immediately, as it not only concentrates on teaching methodology but also about the importance of our personal relationship with God as we teach. The central 5 practices at the core of the book are encouraging preparation, understanding of context, pushing for unpredictability, interaction, and application. The final practice wraps it back around to making it personal with “Know Your Role”. A section that really focus it back in our who God has personally called us to be.
The book is a rich resource that is not only written from a ministry perspective but also brings in useful educational pedagogy as well, as it details the 3 main learning styles, differentiated instruction, and curriculum. Overall the book is outstanding and so well thought through. The only area that I wish would have been addressed more is as the book put it “from scratch’ lesson preparation. It is easy to read and as mentioned above, a valuable book for both rookies and veterans youth workers, or honestly anyone that is teaching teenagers.
Here is a video of Andy Blank about the book:
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* written for Youth Worker Journal