Cooking up a Bible Study - Part 5 : Compliments to the chef | Youth Group Games, Youth Ministry Resources, Youth Group Ideas

Cooking up a Bible Study - Part 5 : Compliments to the chef

At the end of the night, always give credit where it's due.

There comes a time in any set of articles when the analogy just does not fit any more, and unfortunately I've just hit it.  You see, in cooking, the person who cooks up a meal is the chef and, if the dish tickles and tantalises the taste buds, the chef deserves all the praise.  Not so with cooking up a Bible study.  If everything goes beautifully and your youth group all understand the passage deeply and are changed as a result, compliments must be passed not to you, the chef, but to God, the Master Chef.

In order for the compliments to be passed to the right place you'll need some humility, plenty of prayer, and a desire to keep improving.

Humility should be the watchword of any Youth Group leader.  When you're working regularly with young people, there is a temptation to talk yourself up in many ways.  You may think you're the only one who can save them; you're the one solely responsible for their Christian successes and failures; you're the one they look up to as a role model; or that your fantastic Bible studies are setting the foundation for the rest of their Christian life.  Some of this may be true, but talking yourself up will not help.  However He may choose to use you, God is ultimately responsible for bringing His people into the Kingdom, and you can claim no credit for His work.  We can do nothing more than thank God for allowing us to be used in some small way during someone's salvation.  Remember Paul's words in 1 Corinthians 3 – you may well plant or water someone's faith, but it is God who gives the growth; it is God's field.

This is also helpful to remember when things don't go to plan, when the study you've cooked up tastes terrible.  If you were solely responsible for your group's salvation then a few bad studies could shipwreck their faith before it really got sailing.  But, thankfully, God is always in control and He will work in spite of your occasional poor study, your nervousness, and your occasional untrue statement.

Prayer is also an important way of giving God the glory for any study.  You can lead by example by making sure that someone always thanks God for the study during prayer time.  Your group members will quickly learn that this is a common thing to do in response to the study and will hopefully be reminding you about it in no time!  But these should not just be empty words.  Encourage your group to thank God specifically about what they have learnt in the study, to be giving Him praise for every step in understanding.  And as you pray through these things in your own time, you will see just how God has been working and praise Him all the more.

Finally, you will need a desire to keep improving.  No matter how practised and comfortable you may become with creating and leading Bible studies, you should never rest on your laurels and think you know it all.  Instead, look for ways to improve your leadership – attend conferences; listen to talks; read books; talk to other leaders specifically about leading; and do your best to sit under someone else's leadership to watch how others lead.  It is sad that capable leaders often become so busy leading that they never get time to be led, and therefore never learn from others older or more experienced than themselves.

Leading a youth group Bible study is a significant responsibility, but it can also be a fantastic and rewarding experience.  Why are you doing it?  Jesus said that the point at the end of the day is to hear the words “well done, good and faithful servant... enter into the joy of your master.”  So, work faithfully at it, and remember to give all compliments to the Master.