Theology in Youth Ministry

TLH010: Teaching Theology in Youth Ministry

Should you focus on teaching doctrine and theology in Youth Ministry?  In this episode David Hanson, from, and I tackle why you should, how to go about it, and where to start.  You’ll also hear about David’s fascination with pulling teeth on mission trips and how God used a Chemistry class to call him to Youth Ministry.

Links mentioned:



Resources mentioned in this Podcast:

Christian Beliefs: Twenty Basics Every Christian Should Know

Bible Doctrine: Essential Teachings of the Christian Faith

Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine

Willmington’s Guide to the Bible 30th Anniversary Edition

In this particular episode, you will learn:

  • Why Jody could never be a dentist, and how David almost was
  • Why teaching theology in Youth Ministry is important
  • Where to start and some practical helps with teaching theology in Youth Ministry

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  • Joel McDonald

    Great episode, thanks David for taking the time to share. Jodie, I have a question I would love your imput on if you get the chance: How do you personally go about preaching on issues that are especially relevant to students? I confess that I fall more on the side of naturally teaching theology, and I would much rather teach through a book of the Bible than teach on a topic. I have struggled with the content of teaching in the almost 3 years of being in my current position. This school year has been the best so far I feel, and I have mostly preached series that go for several weeks. We did “Know the Gospel,” “What Will Heaven Be Like?”, and “What is the Church?” Each week I have for the most part taken one passage of Scripture and preached through it. I would LOVE to preach through books like the gospel of Mark, etc., but I have struggled on whether or not that was the best idea. I have not done a series on love/sex/dating since getting here, even though that is obviously a HUGE issue that needs to be covered. I think you mentioned Jodie that you mainly wait to hit things as they come up in a book that you are studying. So in all that rambling, I guess I am saying, as you teach students theology, how do you go about covering the “hot topics” with students? Thanks brother!

    • @disqus_1YzUHpqjLG:disqus First let me say, I think you have to find what works best in your situation. I think it will also vary on what season you are in where you are. I’ve written previously about the benchmarks a Youth Pastor hits throughout their time at a church and I think that definitely comes into play here as well. For example, if you are new to a position, you may want to really focus on the gospel for the first six months or so before moving on to something else. You have to find out where your students are and reach them there. Second, we do not solely teach through books, but we do predominantly do so. We do take time to teach through some topics that our students are wrestling with as well as some major doctrines. Also, teaching through a book doesn’t necessarily mean that I am teaching every verse in a given chapter. I have found it more beneficial to teach the broad principles and get specific where the text lends itself to do so. In Hebrews for example there is quite a bit of redundancy for students. “Jesus is better than…” If I can teach the broader point I will do so and then move on to another part in the book.

      However, in either case we must be very careful and intentional with application. If we fail to give clear application we are really failing at everything. Knowledge for the sake of knowing doesn’t help anyone. I have also written on my sermon preparation process if that helps you at all Joel. You can find that post here:

      If you have more questions I’d be more than happy to help. Shoot me an email and we can go from there. Thanks man hope this helps!

      • Joel McDonald

        Jody you are the man. Really appreciate it.

        • Joel McDonald

          and I totally misspelled your name in my first comment. Sorry about that!

          • Haha! No worries man. I’ve been called worse!