Do you have to preach from the Bible to have a good Lesson?
I used to think this was a definite yes. But then our Middle School Ministry started an interesting series.
For the next few weeks, and the past few, we are working our way through the book “Live Large. Be Different. Shine Bright.” By Doug Fields and Josh Griffin. We aren’t necessarily going through the book together, but I have been taking each chapter and rewriting it into a sermon format.
But what has somewhat bothered me is that there isn’t a lot of Bible in the book, per se. More so, it bothers me that I can’t easily find where these Relationship Qualities are biblically based as opposed to just things a good person would have. And to be honest, I almost wanted to can the series because of that as we got closer to it.
What I have found, though, has been that our Middle School Students have really latched on to these truths and have been able to, in our break out groups, really “Shine Bright” by finding how these truths align with the teachings of Jesus. Its been awesome to me to see students take something that we are talking about that isn’t coming directly out of the bible, and be able to bring it back around to the bible, which is far better than I could have hoped for.
So it really got me thinking, do you have to teach from the Bible to have a biblically based lesson?
I think my answer would still be that our messages should be biblically centered, but I also know that there are exceptions to this Unwritten Youth Pastor rule.
With that, though, comes the warning. If my students weren’t able to relate the lesson back to the bible, I don’t think I would be as excited for this series as I have become. Don’t get me wrong, I can see how a lot of these values are based off of Jesus Teachings, and I know Doug and Josh are not saying forget the Bible and just be happy. But I’m the one failing to so far find the space to make these biblically based. If we weren’t opening our bibles at all through the night, I wouldn’t call that a good night of youth group.
At the same time, I love that I’ve seen the potential of how to Teach the Bible by going non-biblical.