If you are looking for a practical, in-depth Bible study that will encourage high school youth to understand the significance of developing a close, intimate relationship with their Lord and Savior, then Follow: Walk in the Rhythm of Jesus by Kevin Johnson (Zondervan/Youth Specialties 2009) is an effective resource for you.
Follow contains 20 Bible-based lessons which help draw teenagers deeper into Gods Word, offering an insightful look at who Jesus really is and what it truly means to take up your cross and follow Jesus in your everyday life.
Each study includes five sections specifically intended to guide you, beginning with scripture and concluding with reflective suggestions on how to apply what you have learned to your daily life. These sections include: Start, Read, Think, Live, and Wrap. At the beginning of the lessons, you will find a concise Bible verse on a single page designed to sum up the main point of each lesson.
- Start introduces the topic and begins to paint a picture of a personal, loving Savior with the hope of instilling this image of Jesus in your mind.
- Read includes the scripture passage, giving you the option to incorporate this into your lesson for teenagers to follow along or just for your convenience.
- Think includes contemplative questions designed to provoke the teenager to further examine the topic.
- Live offers questions to motivate youth to live out what they have learned about Jesus.
- Wrap draws all points together and attempts to unite them with the Gospel.
After Wrap, each lesson includes supplementary sections titled, More Thoughts to Mull and More Scriptures to Dig. These sections provide additional questions and passages that help the participants dig deeper into Scripture.
One of the most intriguing aspects of this curriculum is that it is specifically designed to challenge high school students to delve deeper into Scripture and creatively challenges the participants to examine their personal relationship with Jesus. This curriculum shifts your perspective, transforming biblical text into a vivid picture, filled with life and a new-found appreciation and understanding of Christ’s life and His teaching.
I recommend using this curriculum with spiritually mature high school youth as the content is rather deep in nature. To gain insight into Christ and to grow spiritually by connecting with Christ on a real level, this material is effective, especially if taught in a home, small-group setting led by adult mentors or the DCE. This curriculum would also be beneficial to a high school student who is ready to take their relationship with Christ to a new level and is searching for a Bible study to explore on their own.
Overall, I did not see a need for extensive modifications in order for use in The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod. Some of the questions tend to be a bit law-heavy and need to be rephrased to integrate a better balance of law and Gospel. This would require very little time and minimal preparation for those leading the study. I liked this study because it is very careful in ensuring that its topics are useable in all denominational settings. It is also applicable in addressing the questions all postmodern high school teenagers have concerning Christ.
One addition that could be incorporated into the curriculum would be to include technology based off the discussion questions in the curriculum. Depending on the church, this could be done in a variety of ways. Due to this generation’s love for Facebook and Twitter, I think it would be beneficial to post a question based off the curriculum for them to tweet about and share with their friends.
This curriculum will help high school youth better know Christ, and will encourage a closer walk with Him while helping them to understand the importance of walking in step with their Lord and Savior. You will not skip a beat teaching this curriculum, and I think you will find that it is in perfect harmony with Biblical teaching and the message of the Gospel.