Theology for the Teens?

For many the concept of teaching teens theology is about as ridiculous as teaching monkeys calculus. I've frequently heard youth leaders or volunteers try and convince me that the only way to keep teens interested in church and youth groups was to have a lot of silliness in games, food, and great music. From that you should input just enough Bible in a little devotional to spiritualize the entire event. In all honesty I don't believe it. Nor have I for years. About eight years ago when I was the junior high pastor at Santa Rosa Bible Church I started thinking about how I could engage teens in the study of the Bible in a way that would be challenging to them, enjoyable, and would help them understand the major teaching of the Bible. The goal was to assist them in confirming their faith, and their understanding of the faith by the time they finished eighth grade. The result of that line of thinking was this study I called Passage. Over the following years several classes of students that have grown up at SRBC have gone through this study, and the fruit of it has been so encouraging to me.

Passage itself has undergone some transformation as well. What started as a study for teens at Santa Rosa Bible Church turned into a curriculum for a larger network of churches, home school families and youth ministries. Recently I've been asked to produce a new version of Passage that updated some of the content and included some new chapters as well.

In my free time over the last few months I've been working on editing, rewriting, and producing an updated version of the material. Last night I put the finishing touches on what I call "version 3.0" and am excited about getting to release it once again for use in local churches, homes and schools. If you've used Passage before you'll find some new things in it. If you're new to the material I believe it will serve you well in training teens to know God and understand him well.

Passage is intended to be studied in a community with an adult leading or teaching the discussion for the students. I've created both a Leader's Guide and a Student Workbook to help foster discussion, interaction and learning. You can pick up Passage right from this site and have it delivered to your door.

I am praying that the Lord uses it to advance the gospel in the lives of more teens. If you use Passage or have used it in the past I'd love to hear how God has used it in your life and development of the gospel.

Check Out Passage Here

Things I'm Eager About

Here are four things that are dreams, desires and movements that I'm apart of right now.

  1. Japan. I'm heading off in about a month to visit this country and connect with a range of church-planters and leaders there. At the same time there has been a growing grassroots movement of the Holy Spirit here in the U.S. to plant churches and see the gospel advance in Japan. It seems like each week someone new is contacting me about opportunities and desire to see the gospel reach the unreached people group of the Japanese. It really has me excited.
  2. Preaching and teaching. One of things I enjoy the most in ministry regular preaching and teaching of Scripture. Beyond writing I'm not getting to do that too much right now and I miss it badly. The weekly routine of pray, study, preach, repeat was a means of grace for me. There are a few turns in the future but they aren't for a few months out. I am eager to preach and teach and use my gifts in that area to build the church.
  3. Passage. My long labor of love for teenagers is taking the turn to get a third revision. Bumping out some crummy content, putting in some new chapters, changing a few things will update it for another round of training teenagers.
  4. Porterbrook. Porterbrook Kansas is the leadership development program that I run for Journey the Way. We're just about to wrap up our first full study year and I'm excited about the next year, the faculty we have coming to teach and the new connections I'm making who want to be involved with Porterbrook. I'm praying God sends us 75-100 students for year two.