Foundations for Exploring the Bible with Boys

Boys love to explore, and Bible exploration suggests an approach to the Word of God which has great potential appeal to them. Making new discoveries in the Scripture can be exciting for boys as they study God’s Word. This helps the Bible come alive to them.

Moreover, Bible exploration suggests a method of study which boys can continue on their own. They can read what Scripture says. They can understand what it says and figure out what it means. Then, they can do something about it. Bible exploration should be a normal part of every Tree Climbers, Stockade and Battalion meeting.

The role of the Bible content in the Brigade program can be summarized as follows:
• To help boys understand and apply truths of Scripture to all areas of their lives.
• To encourage boys to read the Bible regularly.
• To have boys memorize key passages of Scripture and apply them to life situations.
• To help boys develop Bible study skills and habits.
• To provide for interaction between men and boys based on the Scriptures.

If you are interested in memorization techniques for boys take a look at this article

To accomplish these goals, Bible exploration cannot be merely a lecture or a study for facts and information only. It must bring into sharp focus the points at which the Bible speaks to the life of the boy. When you sit down with a group of boys in Battalion or Stockade to explore the Bible, you transmit your own attitudes and perspectives about the Bible to them. You can convey a tedious, joyless spirit or you can exhibit an enthusiastic, yearning desire to learn about God and meet him in his Word. A boy’s view of the Bible will be influenced by the impressions he receives seeing you handle the Scriptures.

How can you be a positive influence? How can you encourage boys to love the Word of God? There are several things to keep in mind.

Your example is the greatest influence.

Concentrate on your own Bible study habits. The time you spend in careful study of Scripture will equip you to apply God’s Word to problems and questions that boys bring you. They will soon know if you are a man of the Word. Cultivate your love for the Scriptures by meditating upon verses, thinking through their practical meaning for you and using them as a basis for living and for praising God. You will be amazed at how the Word refreshes you and helps you feel like a new man. Are you engaged in a personal Bible study? Have
you ever read through the entire Bible and grasped the scope of God’s redemptive plan? Do you have any goals for growth in your knowledge of God’s Word?

Recognize that Bible exploration with boys starts with what they need.

Boys in Battalion or Stockade are not motivated by an academic approach to the Bible. They need more than facts that mean nothing to them. God’s Word is powerful and alive — so present it to them that way! Boys are interested in knowing what God says about problems and issues they face. They want to meet God, the greatest adventure for man. The man who opens up the Word and makes it come alive will always have a receptive audience with boys.

Capitalize on the spontaneous opportunities to explore the Bible with boys.

The most productive times with the Bible are occasions when you can naturally bring Scripture into your conversations. A boy might ask you a question about a moral issue or for advice about an important decision. While sitting around the campfire after a long day’s hike and many exciting experiences, you can mention appropriate Scripture. When you’re discussing a verse a boy is memorizing, you can talk with him about what it means and how it’s been important in your life.

When these opportunities arise, it’s easy to say, “Let’s take a look at what the Bible has to say” or “Let’s find out what God says about that.” You can always teach boys a Bible lesson following a written outline or curriculum. They can learn when the right methods are used. But they will never learn as eagerly and willingly as they will when they have initiated a situation into which you can introduce the Scriptures naturally.

Working with individual boys provides additional opportunities.

Working on his achievement is a natural opening. You want to see that a boy understands the story or
passage and that he has gotten the basic message it has for him. Ask him some questions that will encourage him to share what he has learned. The two of you could spend some time right there looking at areas that he may have missed while studying on his own. The time when a boy comes to you with a problem may be a time for pointing him to the Word and letting him see what God has to say about his situation. You can show him the passage, but allow him to read it and think about how it applies to his life. Ask questions that guide him in the right direction so he can find the answers.

The informality of outings frequently provides great opportunities to work with individuals. You might share what’s happening in your devotional time with a boy and encourage him in his own personal quiet time as well.

Never forget the supernatural dimension in Bible exploration.

Only the Holy Spirit can open a person’s eyes and heart to understand the truth of the Word (1 Corinthians 2:12-15). No Bible study will be effective without the Holy Spirit’s work. Pray for his presence and power each time you share the Word with boys. Expect great things from him.

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