Digging Deeper Into the Scripture – with Teens!

A Saturday afternoon, nearly 100 teenagers, and God’s Word…

Recently, I was invited to share ways for Digging Deeper into Scripture with a group of 7th through 12th graders at their annual youth retreat.

This was new territory!  I have conducted workshops on the topic several times with adult women and shared an age-appropriate version of the workshops with children.  However, up to this point I had never presented the material to a group of teens.

It was time to see what 7th through 12th graders could do!





































Almost half of the retreat participants attended the workshop which was itself a little mind-blowing since some of their others options were activities such as paintball and dodge ball.  (Yes, I know, some of them came to the workshop just to keep from getting pelted with things that hurt.  And some came simply to sit, draw, and socialize with their friends.)  But, no matter the reason, they were present, they heard, they were exposed.

And some will take what they learned back home, implement it, and possibly share it with others!

One of the amazing things about these methods for Digging Deeper into Scripture (Verse Mapping, Praying Scripture in Color, Scripture Journaling, and others) is that anyone of any age can do them.

I love to think of an entire family mapping the same verse or journaling it over the course of a week and then coming together to share.  Can you imagine what insight could be gained into a portion of Scripture by hearing what a six-year-old has to say after spending a week with it?  Or what a ten-year-old could learn from discussions over Scripture with their parents?

What if just one of the retreat workshop participants —

  • shares with a younger sibling?
  • shares with a parent?
  • shares with a friend?

Perhaps that one teen will be instrumental in helping to reverse current trends among their peers.

Current trends among teens, according to State of the Bible 2016: Teens by the American Bible Society.

  • About a third of teens believe the Bible contains everything a person needs to know to live a meaningful life (35%). This is a statistically significant drop in six percentage points since 2015.
  • One in four teens say they read the Bible at least once a week (25%); this includes 3% who report daily Bible reading, 11% who report reading Scripture several times per week and 11% who read it once a week.
  • One in 10 read the Bible once a month (9%), and an additional 1 in 10 report reading the Bible three or four times a year (10%).
  • Among teens, the most common frustration with reading the Bible is that the language is difficult to relate to (21%).
  • Among those that read the Bible within the past week, about a third say they gave a lot of thought to how it might apply to their life (34%).
  • Three in ten teens know that the name of John the Baptist’s mother was Elizabeth (31%).
  • Teens have somewhat more success naming Solomon as King David’s son; just under half of teens correctly identify him (46%).
  • Another survey of graduating high school seniors revealed that over 50 percent thought that Sodom and Gomorrah were husband and wife.

This research was conducted among U.S. teens ages 13-17 and released in May 2016.  It was commissioned by American Bible Society and conducted by Barna Group.  For the complete report see:  State of the Bible 2016: Teens.


10 comments on “Digging Deeper Into the Scripture – with Teens!

  1. Love this! So glad I found you!

  2. You’re right, even if only one goes home and starts practicing this and spreads it to family and youth group members, the results could be out of this world! 🙂

  3. I love this idea! Would love to try it out with our teens sometime.. We did an art session at our camp but nothing like this though. I love what you said about, what if one person shares with a friend? That’s the start of something amazing, I tell you! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Hannah,
      I so hope you are able to try it out with your teens!

      That’s exactly what this church did — an art session last year; ways to dig deeper this year. God is truly the author of AMAZING things!!! Let me know if I can help in any way. Thank you for stopping by.

  4. Yes!! The pictures turned out beautiful, so precious! I love your idea of a family working together on the same verse and then sharing what they’ve discovered. Great read and encouraging as my children are well on the way to teenage years…yikes!!

    • Prayers and blessings upon you, Mandy, as I think of your children entering the teenage years!!!!! Seriously, though, they were some of my favorite years with my own children.

      When your family works together on a verse, I would love to hear your thoughts and reflections.

  5. I love their pictures! Glad you had a great turnout. Seeds were planted, and you never know what God can do with that. Teens can be a hard group to minister to sometimes, yet it can be very rewarding. They can surprise you sometimes, in a good way 🙂 I have to admit it is not a group I have a lot of experience with. Enjoyed your list of statistics, it will help me know where to focus in my ministry areas. Your friend at Heart Encouragement Thursday.

    • Mindy, Thank you for stopping by. I, too, enjoyed their pictures so much! Loved the handprint!! Yes, teens can be a challenge. This group was amazing. I’m glad you found the stats helpful. Blessings to you in your ministry.

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