Teaching Lectio Divina

Today was the first day of Sunday School at IBC. I’m not used to Sunday School not happening over the summer, but it was good this year because it gave me a chance to get to know the students before jumping into things. I should point out from the get go that I’m not a huge fan of Sunday School as a way of discipling and educating Christians. I’ve blogged before about my fall teaching plans. Today we talked about Lectio Divina in Sunday school, so – how did it go?

It went well. I think that I was able to communicate with some clarity what could have been a complex subject. I would love it if next week some of the students tell me that they gave it a try – but we’ll have to wait and see. Even without that they’ve been exposed to the concept of prayerfully reading the Bible. As I get to know the students at IBC, I think the larger issue will be seeing if they have any interest at getting to know God more, period. Sometimes I wish I could hook my mind up to them and just dump my experiences into their heads. It is so important to follow Jesus and draw near to him, yet it’s so easy to avoid doing so.

I’ve also been excitedly developing the other topics for this series (Accountability and Confession, Prayer, Silence and Solitude and, finally, Bible Study). Most of them are done or almost done (though I’d love any comments you may have on the topics). However, I’m still trying to find a decent commentary to buy for the students after the Bible Study session. My idea is to spend several weeks studying 1 John together. I want to help students A) develop a habit of Bible study, not just devotional reading (as Lectio Divina), B) learn how to use Bible study tools (commentaries, etc) and C) draw near to God through the whole process as they learn more about him. I’m currently looking at I. Howard Marshall’s commentary on the Epistles of John as a possibility. I’m curious to know if any other youth pastors/ministers/leaders out there have ever done something like this. If not – what do you think of the idea, and if so – how did it go?

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One thought on “Teaching Lectio Divina

  1. When I was the youth minister at New Hope Presbyterian I did some similar things.

    We went through the Shorter Catechism, about five questions a Sunday, and talked about them. We looked up the “proof texts” to see if we understood why the Divines phrased the answer the way they did.

    We also did lessons on fasting and solitude during Lent, reading some of the Franciscan mystics like Padre Pio. I handed out the schedule of Lenten readings and had the kids read the passages everyday. My point in doing this was to open the kids’ eyes to the story of the church to show them that they are joining in with centuries and centuries of others who came before them. Hopefully they were also motivated to start studying Scripture on a more consistent basis.

    The last thing we did was a series on the historical Jesus (entitled “Will the real Jesus Christ please stand up?” and accompanied by a rap I wrote over the music of Eminem’s “Will the Real Slim Shady Please Stand Up”). I brought them through some of the history of historical Jesus scholarship and bought them all N.T. Wright’s “The Original Jesus” to help out in their thinking.

    I think you’re idea sounds great.

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