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Mar 3, 2022

Give High Schoolers the Big Picture of Salvation History in Just Eight Weeks

Julia Morgensai

Imagine walking into your high school classroom or youth group and feeling completely prepared. 

You have a clear plan for what you’re going to teach that day. You know that your students will be engaged with the content. 

Instead of staying up late figuring out details, you have time to look up specific questions from your students and dedicate prayer time to each of their intentions. 

Your lessons are full of quality discussions and attentive eyes, and each of your students walks out of the room with a deeper understanding of the Bible.

… But maybe your high school study doesn’t look like that right now.

Read on for three creative ways to keep high schoolers focused that will also save you time! 

A Fun, Easy Way to Show Teens the “Big Picture” of the Bible

Venture: The Bible Timeline for High School introduces teenagers to the “big picture” of salvation history in a way that is simple to understand and easy to teach. 

Sign up for a free preview!

Planning Is Overwhelming

All you want to do is teach Scripture to teenagers. 

But you find that you’re spending all this extra time planning, formatting, and researching. 

Word documents don’t work. You type outline after outline. You might even make diagrams or worksheets. 

And even after you do all this work, sometimes it still doesn’t hit. You’re still competing with iPhones. Your students’ eyes are still drifting. 

Getting Burnt Out

You walked into this role with all kinds of enthusiasm, but you feel it slipping away. 

After hours of trying to keep their attention and find creative ways to get them to fall in love with Scripture, you might feel like you come up empty each time. 

It is so tempting to stop fighting the losing battle and settle for just getting through it… And (through each awkward silence) planning how you’re going to avoid leading this next year. 

… But that’s not really what you want.

Creativity Exists Within Boundaries

You want lively discussions, attentive teens, and ultimately for each of your students to walk away with a deeper understanding of Scripture and why it matters in their lives. 

And here’s the secret to achieving that: 

Creativity needs boundaries to thrive. 

For your study to shine, instead of starting from scratch or having it be open-ended, you need a clear structure.

Our brains like to compartmentalize and put concepts in categories. It helps us remember better. 

And when our students operate within structure, they feel safer to share, take risks, and think deeply.

In the steps below, we’ve provided an outline to help you structure your high school Bible study so your students will have an understanding the ENTIRE Bible.

1. Break It Up 

The difficult thing about the Bible is that it covers such a large span of time. All the stories tend to meld together, and it’s hard to distinguish what happened when (and why it matters.) 

Your students will not be able to keep it straight if you try to cover the whole Bible cover to cover.

When teaching the Bible to teens, focus only on the big picture – the arc of the story. This way, they can read and understand the entire Bible without getting lost or bored. 

Then break that big picture down into bite-sized chunks, and focus on one time period at a time. 

You could even color code the time periods so they’re easier to remember. 

We know this works because we apply it in our Great Adventure Bible Timeline® Learning System, which has helped hundreds of thousands of Catholics understand the Bible.

2. Answer Tough Questions

Teens can ask really difficult questions. 

And even if they’re not saying them out loud, they are thinking about them. 

And if they don’t get their questions answered, they might feel like the Church just glosses over the issues they see. At that rate, they conclude that Catholicism and the Bible aren’t really that intellectually rigorous, putting them on the shelf with the fairy tales.


Beat them to the punch. 

After teaching each Bible time period, be sure to address the hardest possible questions they might bring up. 

Make sure to ask the hard questions, and then clearly show the answers through a lens of love. 

This way, they’ll feel that they’re seen by the Church in their questions and curiosities and that they won’t be dismissed in your study. 

When you bring up a really tough question that they haven’t even thought of yet, imagine how much more credibility you’ve gained in their eyes.

And they will keep coming back!

3. Make It Relevant

The question teenagers constantly ask is, Why does this matter?

And if they don’t feel like it matters, they won’t do it. (Or at the most, they will drag their feet.)

Math homework and cleaning often fall into this category. 

And unfortunately, prayer, Mass, and the Bible are often lumped in there, too. 

After teaching a Bible time period and answering the difficult questions that come with it, make a connection between the content and their everyday lives. 

One way to do this is by putting a spotlight on a character from the Bible and showing the students what they have in common with that character. Was that character afraid of the future? Did they struggle to trust God? Did they deal with temptation? How did they handle it?  

This way, your students will see that the Bible is not an ancient document but a living word that has countless applications in our twenty-first-century lives. They will see why it matters. 

Seems Doable?

These steps are foolproof. But it does take time to create this structure. 

Which is why we’ve done it for you. 

In Venture: The Bible Timeline for High School, we bring together some of the top Catholic presenters and evangelists.

In eight lessons, they break the Bible down into bite-sized pieces that, all together, tell the overarching story of salvation.

In each lesson, there is a “tough questions” segment where we have compiled the most difficult questions with the most qualified answers. AND there’s a segment with practical applications relating the Bible characters to your students’ everyday experiences. 

All you have to do is push Play and connect with your students through discussion (which is all you wanted to do in the first place!).

See the whole first lesson now by signing up for a free preview of Venture

A Fun, Easy Way to Show Teens the “Big Picture” of the Bible

Venture: The Bible Timeline for High School introduces teenagers to the “big picture” of salvation history in a way that is simple to understand and easy to teach. 

Sign up for a free preview!

Julia Amting is passionate about using modern communication channels to share the gospel and God’s beauty. A senior at Central Michigan University completing a Bachelor’s degree in Integrative Public Relations, Julia manages a small painting business and loves writing, hiking, trying new things, and adventures of all forms.

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