What to teach…?

I have have the privilege of fleshing out in some meetings with our church’s new education team, what it is we would like each grade/age level to know, and what we want them to do.

What follows is what I have fleshed out so far, I’d love to hear some thoughts from any of my readers!

How do we help one get there?   Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Two questions: What do we want them to know?

What do we want them to do?

6th grade—12th grade

  • What do we want them to know?

o   God:

§  Who is God?

§  What’s the difference between the God of the Bible and other gods?

§  Why is knowing God important?

§  Names of God

o   The Bible:

§  What is it?

§  Why study/read it?

§  How we got the Bible

§  The Story of the OT

  • # of books
  • the divisions of the different books

o   Torah

o   Historical Books

o   Wisdom Books

o   Poetry

o   Major and Minor Prophets

  • a break down of each book
  • the unifying themes/motifs that run throughout
  • characters and why they are important to the Story

o   Adam and Eve, creation and the fall

o   Cain and Able,

o   Noah, the flood and the covenant

o   Abraham, promises, covenant, faith journey

o   Isaac – child of the promise

o   Jacob (his wives, and his sons) –family issues

o   Joseph –

o   Moses – Exodus, wilderness wanderings, 10 commandments

o   Joshua

o   Judges: who, what, the cycle of the book

o   Eli, and Samuel, Saul, and David

o   Solomon, the temple, and the kings that follow (good and bad)

§  the division of the northern and southern kingdoms

§  Israel in captivity, first in Assyria, then in Babylon

o   a community restored, second temple Judaism

o   The cry of the minor prophets

§  justice for the oppressed

§  faithfulness to Yahweh

o   Intertestamental history


§  The Story of the NT

  • # of books
  • the division or the break down of each book

o   Gospels

o   Acts – History

o   Epistles

o   Peter’s letters, John’s letters, Jude

o   Apocalypse

  • central themes, motifs, characters of significance

o   characters: why these folks are important

§  Jesus:

  • Who, What, Why?
  • Names of Jesus

§  Mary and Joseph

§  John the Baptist (Zechariah and Elizabeth)

§  Herod the Great

§  Pilate

§  The Twelve

§  Paul and Barnabas

  • Paul’s missionary journeys (Acts)

§  Cornelius, Philip, Stephen (the 7 deacons), Ethiopian Eunuch, Timothy, Titus


§  How to study the Bible

  • reading more than one chapter at a time
  • encourage journaling, and underlining, and careful reading
  • contextual emphasis

o   The Church:

§  What is the Church? When did it begin? How did it spread? What is the mission of the Church? The leadership of the church. The practices of the church

§  The Church and the new people of God

§  The Church of Christ – what are we about

  • What makes us unique, different?

§  My gifts, and abilities, and my place in the Church.

§  The Church and today, living the mission of Christ

  • the five purposes of the church:

o   evangelism, ministry, worship, fellowship, mission

o   Salvation:

§  What is it? Who needs it? What is sin? How do we fix it? Forgiveness. Who is the bringer of salvation? The importance of the cross, and baptism

o   Service/Mission

§  Matthew 28:19-20 –we are a “going people’

§  What is evangelism? How to share my faith

§  Out living our lives/Making a difference

§  the Kingdom of God

o   Family:

§  Surviving my family

§  Becoming the kind of kids that Deut. 6 teaches

§  thinking about marriage

§  purity, dating, and sex

o   Prayer:

§  What is it? How do I do it? Why pray?

§  The great prayers in the Bible

§  the Lord’s Prayer

o   Knowing what we believe and why this matters:

§  World Religions:

  • What are the big ones? What do they believe?

§  What other churches believe? Why

  • Baptists, Methodists, Catholics, Pentecostal, Presbyterian

§  Christian doctrines, and what the Church of Christ believes

  • Developing a Christian worldview

o   Discipleship:

§  What does it mean to follow Christ?

§  Living a cruciform life

§  Fruit of the Spirit


o   Money Management:

§  the importance of giving.

§  Planning for the future, saving

§  What does Jesus say about Money?

o   Media Consumption:

§  Christian worldview

§  how to make wise music, movie, tv, internet choices

§  How Christ and culture intersect

o   Spiritual Formation:

§  spiritual disciplines and practices

§  hungering and thirsting for Christ

§  Sermon on the Mount

What I want them to do?


  • 1. To know Christ, and be baptized into Christ before the graduate HS
  • 2. To be able articulate what it is the believe
  • 3. to engage in service projects and mission work
  • 4.


If you were going through this exercise what would you include?



About Jason Retherford

The random musings of a youth minister.
This entry was posted in church, Youth Ministry. Bookmark the permalink.

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