God Rules
Nick Margesson, Christian Focus Publications 2010

£6.99 (Approx)
3.4
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Overview

What does it say on the tin?

14-18 years old is a vital point in your life where you need help to study the Bible in a way that is challenging and mind stretching.

By covering the life of Joseph through Bible passages in Genesis this series of studies answers the question, ‘Does God really care when the going gets tough?’ Young people are encouraged to keep trusting whatever happens, keep godly whatever happens and to praise God unashamedly.

Seven Lessons include:

  1. God Chooses (Genesis 37:1-36);
  2. God Cares (Genesis 39:1-23);
  3. God Reveals (Genesis 41:14-43);
  4. God Plans (Genesis 42:1-38);
  5. God’s People (Genesis 44:1-45:3);
  6. God Provides (Genesis 45:1-28);
  7. God Rules (Genesis 50:1-26).

With the TnT Junction material you can be confident that you have material that is trustworthy, comprehensible and biblical. Each lesson plan, in addition to a lesson aim, contains study notes to enable the leader to understand the Bible passage. There is also a slot to encourage the young people to share experiences and learn from each other. Along with suggestions for prayer, praise and how to focus attention on the studies there are optional worksheets to help the young people engage with the passage.

Additional advice and tips are given to youth leaders to help make running a youth Bible study memorable and effective, with the minimal of cringe!

What do you get?

A 64 page book, containing a brief introduction, tips on how to run a successful youth group and how to teach the Bible to young people, followed by seven simple sessions to run with a youth group.

Each session follows a similar format, Welcome, Getting to know you (a chance to people to get to know each other and the leaders), Talk Time (discussions about their faith and following Jesus), Focus Time (a game or activity to introduce the session’s theme), Bible time (using seven or eight questions), Prayer time, Praise Time (recommending worship songs to sing or Psalms to read), ending with Extra ideas to top off the session.

Who is it for?

Christian young people aged 14-18, who are used to discussing their faith and exploring the Bible together.

Review

  • What is the overall quality of material presentation?

    The book is simply laid out, making it very easy to follow and to plan. Each session is only 4 or 5 pages long, plus an optional 2 page handout.

    How clear are its aims and outcomes?

    The overall aim is clearly stated as above, to answer the question, ‘Does God really care when the going gets tough?’. Each individual session has a one line teaching point: God chooses Joseph, but his brothers reject God’ choice; God cares for faithful Joseph, even when times are tough; God uses Joseph to show Pharaoh who is boss; God’s plan for his people is beginning to be worked out; Joseph tests his brothers to see if they have changed; God’s good care; Joseph looks back over his life and sees that God has been completely in control all along. Sadly, the sessions are lacking a clear ‘take home’ point for the young people on how they might apply the teaching.

    How accessible are the leader’s notes?

    The focus of each session is on a ‘traditional’ question and answer Bible study. Each session helpfully gives some guidance on how the questions could be explored with the young people and key points to make.

    Who could lead it?

    Anyone who is good at handling the Bible with others, and able to get alongside young people.

    How helpful are the participants’ resources?

    There is an optional two-page handout to use with each session, containing the key Bible passages to read together, and questions to go with them. The design is very basic, to make it easy to photocopy. Some young people may like having a copy to make their own notes on, but it would not be essential.

    How good is any digital material?

    There are no linked resources although the author does suggest doing some searching on YouTube to find clips to summarise the story each week. He also recommends using www.thebricktestament.com to help teach the Bible each week.

    How much prep will I have to do?

    The leader needs to spend time getting to grips with the Bible passage as well as thinking through how they want to lead a ‘Praise time’ (the author recommends either singing or reading from the Psalms). The leader also needs to plan the welcome and getting-to-know-you activities.

    Is there website support? Links?

    N/A

  • How well does it encourage interaction with the group?

    The ‘Getting to Know You’ and ‘Talk Time’ each week help the group to get to know each other more deeply, as well as getting to know their leaders and one or two people from the wider church. The sessions are then all discussion based, whether in pairs, small groups or all together.

    How well does it cater for a variety of both learning and delivery styles?

    There is mix of activity, games, discussion, Bible reading and questions and answers, to keep the pace well. It should appeal to most young people, if they are committed to learning from the Bible.

    How adaptable is it to my situation?

    It is easy to adapt as most of the activities do not require much in the way of materials.

    How well does it encourage people to work together in applying the material?

    Each session ends with a chance to pray for each other on a particular issue or challenge, such as tough situations they face, areas of temptation, or things to thank God for.

  • How much of the material is Bible-based?

    Each session is focused around a key chapter in the story of Joseph.

    How well is the biblical material presented and used?

    The material is clear and easy to follow, giving the Bible reference to read together followed by questions to explore in small groups.

    How well does it apply biblical material to everyday life?

    This is mainly done through the questions offered in the prayer time.

    Is there a particular theological perspective?

    Very clear focus on the Bible as the main focus for meeting together.

  • How well does it inspire people towards whole-life discipleship?

    The course teaches how God is with you always, even when life is difficult.

    How well does it encourage and enable people to grow in their faith?

    Each session has a practical side to it, even if it is simply through the prayer responses.

    How well does it stretch faith and vision of God and his purposes?

    The course helps the young people to understand how God has a bigger plan and works through all circumstances, and how he never lets you down, even when it can be hard to see what he is doing (e.g. Joseph running away from Potiphar’s wife and being falsely accused as a result).

    How well does it connect with real life issues?

    This could be stronger, as it really depends on how much focus and discussion the leader wants to give to this.

  • How well does it encourage personal evangelism?

    Whilst not coming up through the Bible studies, a couple of times the group are encouraged to discuss whether they have been talking about Jesus to their friends, or been involved in their school CU’s.

    How well does it encourage local or network-based community involvement?

    This is not a focus.

    How well does it connect with global issues?

    N/A

    How well does it encourage global mission?

    N/A

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