This past weekend I was at a Finnish Youth Church Camp. While there, I was invited to lead a bible study on “resting at Jesus feet.” The focus of the study was Luke 10:38-42 – Jesus visits Martha and Mary. You know the story – Martha complains to Jesus that Mary is leaving her to do all the work and wants Jesus to tell Mary to get up and get back to work. There’s a ton of things that could be focused on with just these few passages – so many options.
Now understand, this was a group of 40 or so 15-18 year olds. My biggest concern was keeping them engaged for the full hour. I know what it’s like to be on their side of a presentation – being spoken at for an hour.
After we read the passage, I wanted their feedback and impressions on the passage. What was interesting, weird, unique. Good insights from the students. We then went on to talk about the characteristics of Martha and Mary, when it was a good time to be Martha and Mary, why it is important to be Mary. All great stuff, but also pretty abstract. I knew I needed something to really bring the topic home for them and make it relevant.
I toyed around is many ideas on how to do this when I was preparing for the weekend. Then it hit me – social media. I planned on using social media to drive the point home in a way the students would understand.
At the end of the study, I gave them time to work in groups of 5-6 to come up with tweets and hashtags about what it means to “rest at Jesus’ feet.” I told them I wanted some concrete examples too. And if they wanted, to come up with an Instagram image of what it means to rest at Jesus’ feet. The kids dove into this activity and really had some great tweets and hashtags as you can see here:
My insight from this experience is that bible study can be fun, engaging, and relevant if we bible study leaders let the Word work and speak to people where they are. Bible study can also go beyond the transfer of knowledge to something else – a way of living out what the bible really teaches – respect for others, learning about God, offering questions, and exploring truth. I was thrilled to have this opportunity to lead the bible study. And I was even more excited to see the students really get into the study and hopefully learn about and experience God in a unique way.