Fall is always a busy season of travel for me. Lots of conferences. Lots of training events. Lots of opportunities to see my college and young adult ministry friends and colleagues across the country. With the travel, of course, comes lots of GREAT conversations about ministering to this new generation of young adults … and LOTS of questions. Probably the most common question I get is something along the lines of, “If you could only teach one thing, use one resource, or center ministry around one thing in the coming semester, what would it be?”
When answering this question, I should probably look at some extensive research findings or academic thesis project. But, in those moments, my first instinct is to think through my own faith journey. Without a doubt, one thing stands out: discovering how the story of Jesus and the gospel is the one thread that connects all of Scripture, bringing lots of individual stories and books into one grand narrative.
As I reflect on my own journey, I think this understanding should have happened through years of childhood Sunday School lessons (and, in some ways, it did) or during my seminary degree (again, in some ways, it did). But, I remember the light bulb moment for me came during a study with my local church AFTER seminary while I was serving in MINISTRY on a college campus. Intentionally doing a study with other believers, showing how the storyline of the gospel ties all of Scripture together, forever changed the way I read the Bible. It also helped me in my own personal study be able to better understand and engage with the Bible.
So, here’s my answer to the “What is THE one thing” question: In the sea of great resources and amazing Bible studies that are available, if I could only prioritize one thing to teach young adults, it would for sure be a study showing that Jesus is the star of Scripture from Genesis to Revelation. One great resource for this is the Gospel Foundations series, but there are lots of other studies that can also help you to accomplish this goal with the young adults you lead. Help them gain this skill, and you will be giving them a tool that will help them continue to engage God’s Word and grow as a Christian for the rest of their lives!
Bill Noe is the Collegiate Ministry Specialist at LifeWay Christian Resources. A former campus minister (and current collegiate ministry volunteer at church), Bill loves being a part of seeing college students grow in their walk with the Lord. Connect with Bill on Twitter.