I have a youth group that meets weekly. Can I use By This Name to teach over the course of a year?
By This Name works very well with youths and young adults. It addresses many questions that they may have arising from New Age thinking, postmodernism and secularism.
In our teaching experience, and based on feedback from others who have taught it, we believe that By This Name works best when it is taught in as short a time as possible. This doesn’t mean you rush through the book but we would not encourage you to extend the study over a long period. This is because the gospel message is, in reality, a story—God’s Story. When it becomes stretched out—say over a year—the Story of God becomes a series of disjointed narratives.
Imagine reading just 20 pages of a novel once a week. Before long, you would lose the thread of the story line. Or, what if each week you watched just a 10 minute segment of a movie. You would lose interest in the narrative all too soon. It’s the same with By This Name. The book begins with key, foundational accounts found in Genesis and builds upon what is learned, story by story. The biblical narrative has the greatest impact when By This Name is completed within a short span of time: no more than eight weeks or over the course of a weekend retreat.
Our advice is to teach as fast as you can, but as slowly as is necessary. What is important is that, as you progress through the book, you pause to quiz your students to ascertain their comprehension. Their responses will help you determine the pace of your study. This is where you will find the workbook to be extremely helpful.
When used with the workbook and Worldview Rethink visual aids, By This Name will provide clarity for those who have no knowledge of the Bible. It is also helpful for those who are familiar with the biblical stories but have never understood how they connect together to form one continuous narrative. Either way, a study like this will give them an understanding of the central message of the Bible: the gospel of Jesus Christ.
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