One of the phrases I use with my high school small group guys is “unpacking scripture”. It dawned on me this week that most of them probably didn’t know what that term means. Tonight we had decided to do a Bible study on Romans chapter 8. I used this as an example for “unpacking scripture”, to show them what God is telling us in the verses in the Bible. We only “unpacked” verses 1-16 and we spend an hour and a half discussing what they mean. We spent half an hour alone on Romans 8:1, “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus”. – NLT
We talked about what condemnation meant, how God wants to change us, not punish us. It was an awesome experience for me to show them how to do it, and then just sit back and watch them do it on their own. I’m guessing for most of them they won’t look at Romans chapter 8 in the same way again.
The hard part for me was not doing all the talking. Once they got the hang of “unpacking scripture”, I just sat back and let them run with it. Most of the time being a good leader means you lead and then sit back and let your students run with the ball. If you’re doing more than 50% of the talking then your students are not participating enough and probably aren’t getting as much out of a lesson as they could if they were doing more of the talking. I have a few guys who can be quiet at times; I wait for the right opportunity to call on them for an answer to something without making them feel like I’m putting them on the spot. I recommend you try a lesson on “unpacking scripture” with your student small group. Once students know how to unpack scripture, it makes Bible reading and quiet times a lot more productive.