Duffy Robbins’ 7 Tools to Help Students Grow Spiritually by Tyson Howells


I just finished reading a great youth ministry book by Duffy Robbins.

It is called “Building a Youth Ministry That Builds Disciples.”

I have to make a disclaimer right off the top, I am a fan of Duffy Robbins.  I like how he sees youth ministry and his focus on making disciples.

In the second section of the book he talks about building a faith that lasts in students. Here’s what he says…

He encourages us youth workers to give students tools and not just talks; to help them feed themselves spiritually and not be reliant on us, the youth worker.

In this section Duffy gives practical tools that we can give students, so let me pass on 7 of them to you. 

 1.  A 3 Step Guide to Inductive Bible Study

Teaching students how to do an inductive bible study on their own is a great way for them to feed themselves spiritually.  Here is a simple 3 step process.

Step 1:  Observation

  • read and observe what the passage says

Step 2: Interpretation

  • now they are ready to think about what the passage means.

Step 3: Application

  • this is asking the question, “what does it mean for me?”

 2.  Journaling Scripture

Give students a journal and encourage them, over the course of a few weeks or months, to copy a chapter or even an entire book of the Bible.

But as they’re copying the text, you can invite them to make other changes as they wish;

  • they can turn sentences into lists
  • they can underline, use all caps, or draw pictures for important words
  • they can use different coloured pens
  • they can decorate the margins with artwork or doodling
  • they can journal their thoughts, responses, and observations on the facing page or in between the lines.

 3.  Bible on the Wall

Invite students to adopt a wall in your meeting space and decorate it with a Bible text.  It can be done in a graffiti style or on a chalkboard.

 4.  One-Word Prayers

These are prayers limited to a single word or phrase.  With this form of prayer, students can be prompted with instructions: “Let’s think of one way we’ve seen God’s love in our lives this week,” or “Let’s lay before God’s throne one area of life that’s holding us down this week.”

 5Open-Ended Prayers

The leader begins the prayer time with a phrase that students may complete out loud.  For example, the leader might begin by saying something like, “Lord, I thank you for…,” and then individual students could take turns finishing the sentence as their own prayer.

 6. Written Prayers

 Students are given time to write out a prayer that can be read aloud by the leader or the student themselves.

 7.  ACTS Prayers

Teach students this formula to help them stay focused in their prayers:

A (Adoration): Praising God for who he is

C (Confession): Confessing to God or sins

T (Thanksgiving): Thanking God for what he does

S (Supplication): Asking God to supply our needs

I hope that this blog gets you thinking of great tools that you can give students to feed themselves.

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