Teaching the Gospels – A Series

I’m teaching the Gospels to some really awesome teenage and young-adult Christians and their friends on Wednesday nights. Unless you’ve done this yourself, you have no idea how much FUN this is! My fellow students have a broad range of Christian experience — from elder’s kids to new converts. Holly Hill has a tremendous youth group that really attracts outsiders, and I’m honored that they are willing to come to class on Wednesday nights and let me share my love of Jesus and the Gospel stories with them.

I’m using Mark Moore’s A Chronological Life of Christ as my biggest help to the Scriptures themselves. Dr. Moore has written a 2-volume series that follows the Thomas and Gundry NIV Harmony of the Gospels. Both volumes, From Glory to Galilee and From Galilee to Glory, utilize interesting examples that give a clear theological and exegetical understanding as to how the text fits into today’s world.

My biggest struggle? Holly Hill is planning to launch its self-written curriculum in July — so I only have 25 more quarters to teach the Life of Christ. There is SO much! I feel like a Gospel writer myself — I only have so much time to share Jesus — what do I choose? What do I leave out? I’ll be sharing my struggles and joys in this series of blogs.

Last week, my lesson was called Introductions — we looked at how each Gospel writer INTRODUCES his message. From Mark’s one sentence, to Matthew’s genealogy, to Luke’s complex Greek sentence, to John’s theological masterwork — we talked about how each intro gives us a peek into the mind of the writer and sets the stage for all the words that follow. My favorite part? Seeing them begin to understand that these were REAL people, not flesh-and-blood Dictaphones.

Next Week? The Nativities – I challenged them to read the two Jesus nativities and try and find an episode in common.

Share with me what successful strategies you’ve used to get young people to read Scripture — I can’t teach this class without their out-of-class participation. Keep us in your prayers! I’m incredibly excited!

in HIS love,

About Nick Gill

orphan-poet-adoptee-soldier-prodigal-servant-husband- counselor-desperate seeker after my Father's face "I feel my body weakened by the years as people turn to gods of cruel design. Is it that they fear the pain of death, or is it that they fear the joy of life?" - Toad the Wet Sprocket

Posted on 11 January, 2009, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Sounds great to me. Wish you’d written this a few years ago when I was teaching teenagers at church.

    Grace and peace,

  2. I wish YOU’D written this a few years ago while you were teaching teenagers! 🙂

  3. Sounds great! I know you will do a wonderful job with those kids!

  4. Nick, your passion and aspiration to share the good news of the kingdom is inspiring. Forget the text for a second. Your excitement and trust in Jesus is a part of the equation too often missing when teaching any group. As you know teenagers can smell an inauthentic fake at 100 paces. If your passion is manifested in the class as it is in this blog, you’re challenge is partly over. To really believe what one teaches can’t be understated as part of what is necessary to effective communication. Aside from that all you’ve left to do is to simply convince those young souls that the gospels are short stories to be read actively just like any other piece of prose. they’ve got to get the story as a story. No doubt the method you’re using will be enormously rewarding to those who participate. And perhaps at the end or in the middle you can just pause and step back away from the parts (comparing narrative tid bits) and read the whole with the same curiosity with which a high school student would read Harry Potter. What does the protagonist learn in the end? What are the themes? Who are the characters? Tone? Subject? Purpose? Etc., etc. If you can pull that off, the book will cease being a spooky collection of magical myths and will take on the reputation of the most intelligent and powerful writing ever put to pen. And the protagonist might just turn somebody’s world upside down!

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