I’ve been doing this series of talks on the nature of the Bible with the senior high’s – it has been pretty good so I thought I would try to adapt it for the junior high crowd and here’s how I am going to do it.
Object: to help youth grasp the complexity of how the Bible has arrived to us. In so doing I want to help kids to have an increased confidence in the authority of Scripture and a desire to ‘worry’ the WORD.
I will have one of my sponsors come up with a paragraph of important text. (This will likely be some message about where the students can find the snack for the night or the location of a prize of some sort)(4 or 5 sentences)
I will have that sponsor tell three students that same message separately. Each time the sponsor will use a slightly different approach. One will be a motivational speech. One will be a factual dictation. One will be in the form of an experience (In the case of the message being about the snack I will have the sponsor go and show the student where the snack is instead of reading the paragraph that he/she wrote.
Each of these students need to then write down in their own words the basic idea about what the sponsor has said. They should use three different styles of writing (prose, poetry, drama, song, story, facts or illustrations. One of them should draw the message as a picture.
Then these students will present what they wrote to two other people who will copy what they wrote after seeing it for a minute. The original documents will get discarded (only put them away for later use – but they can not be seen by anyone again till the whole thing is finished)
These six documents will contend for supremacy.
Each of the six people will choose someone else to represent their document. These next six will play a simple game of rock paper scissors until only two contestants remain.
Then the two documents will be shown to the rest of the group. The group then tries to determine what the original message was. They write down what they think is the original message of the sponsor.
Make it even more bizarre have one of the original three write the message down in a different language.
Drawing out comparisons
-talk about the different way that God is like the sponsor. and how God uses different ways to communicate truth to people.
-talk about different writing forms in Scripture and how we have to interpret them differently.
-talk about how certain material was discarded and certain material was kept through dynamics like habitual use, canonical councils etc.
-talk about how important it is that we use our brains in the act of interpretation to find the real message.
Driving home the point:
-help kids realize that they can trust this process precisely because of its intricacy. Reinforce God’s supervision of the construction of the Bible.
-help kids to realize how spectacular the Bible is in its diversity and complexity. Encourage kids to eagerly wrestle through the stuff that is found in the Bible.
-encourage kids to be disciplined about reading and living with the Bible.
I will let you know how this all turns out.