Question:

I am going to host a Bible study in my home for my sonís friends who have indicated an interest (17-21 year olds).† Any pointers, subject, etc.?† I plan on starting out with the reliability of the Bible.


Answer:

At this age range the ability to reason has kicked in strongly, so it isn't enough to know what needs to be done. "Why" is a much more important question. This often throws older people off because what is being asked about appears to be obvious. As example, it is wrong to lie. Obvious, right? But young adults are interested in the why. What harm does it cause? Is it always wrong? Are there cases where you have to lie or that you should lie to avoid harm? They want to see the reason and logic behind the rules. It isn't that they disagree with the rules, but they need to know the logic so that when faced with new situations that are subtly different, they know how to make good choices.

Also at this age, the subtleness of adult conversation still doesn't work. Young adult begin to use vague expressions but often in ways that are different than adults do. As an example, What does "we're in a relationship" mean to you. I can guarantee that to a young adult it means something vastly different and usually not in a good way. Even "we're dating" carries different connotations. Therefore, the best response is to be blunt in your descriptions. Don't assume the other person understands what you mean. Say things in two or three different ways so the meaning is clear. If you have the least inkling that what is being said or ask is using different definitions that you use, ask what is meant. I find it really helpful to feedback what I think I heard in different and more blunt terms so that the other person can say "No, wait! I meant ..."

The difference between male and female thinking becomes strong by this age. Guys will give you short answers and expect you to draw it out of them if you want more. Guys also tend to have trouble phrasing what they want to say exactly how they think it needs to be said. Gals tend to give you long answers that approaches the subject from several directions. But in either case, listen for the complete answer, even if you know what your response will be. The common complaint for young people is that adults don't listen and that generally means the adult either cut them off before they got their answer out or didn't try to clarify what was being stated before making a response. It means you don't go as fast through material, but young people are thrilled to find an adult who really listens to them and treats them with the same respect as an adult.

The reliability of the Bible is a good subject. Also consider covering the nature of God (The Lord Your God is an Awesome God!). Issues like the nature of sin and temptation is of strong interest in this age group (The Nature of Sin, Temptation, and Lust). And relationship issues, not only between guys and gals, but how to deal with different types of peoples. Proverbs is a book written for young men in particular and look at how much of it deals with relationships, identifying the motives of people, and dealing different types of people. Young people are interested in knowing how to deal with fellow students, teachers, employers, and even parents. It is usually at this age that young people have the rude awakening that their parents aren't what they always thought them to be.