Help Students Think Deeply with a Preaching Battle | UMC YoungPeople
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February 2020

Help Students Think Deeply with a Preaching Battle

By Jay Campbell

Helping students dive below the surface of a passage can be difficult. This activity will give students a reason to look deeper and find words to express what they see.

Give youth five minutes with your chosen passage (1 Corinthians 2:1-12 and/or 13-16 is a great one for this) and tell them they will be given a chance to give a two minute sermon. Tell them to come up with one sentence that explains how this passage applies to their life as the basis for the sermon. For those groups with more timid students, encourage them to get in groups and appoint a presenter. Once they are finished have them give their small sermon to the group.

Be sure to leave time for a group reflection afterwards about giving a sermon where we struggle with trusting in our wisdom verses seeking God’s wisdom. Which wisdom is easier to rely on when we only have five minutes? This exercise can also help show that many different sermons, teachings and lessons can be learned from the same text.

Jay Campbell is a provisional elder in the Virginia Conference. He lives with his wife Katie and their dog Rue in Alexandria, VA.