The world we are living in is a crazy, crazy place. How can we equip our students to analyze it and ultimately share Christ and contribute to the redemption of the world?
First, for those of you reading this thinking that teaching students a biblical worldview is too academic for me as a student pastor, let’s talk.
What is a worldview?
Simply put, it’s a way of viewing the world. I like to think of it more as a lens in which we see the world.
Let me say a word:
What came to mind? That’s a small portion of a worldview. It’s association with the mind, the heart, and the will.
How about this one?
All kinds of thoughts and feeling enter your mind as you think about it.
We all have one. It may not be consistent with what we would communicate it is, but it is there nonetheless. We make decisions everyday based on how we view the world.
In student ministry, helping students see how the decisions they make tie into what they believe about God, themselves and the world is crucial. We must help them see situations and choices tie into what they believe about the world. It’s much easier to do this in student ministry rather than children’s ministry because they are making more “controversial” decisions as teenagers than children.
Having sex with their boyfriend and creating a fake social media profile to view inappropriate materials aren’t momentary lapses, they are based on how we view the world and ultimately God and the gospel.
So how can we help kids understand and develop a consistent Biblical worldview?
Analyze their worldview
First, help them to see how the decisions they make tie into what they believe about God. Are they spending hours playing Fortnite, bragging about solo victories? Spend a few weeks in Ecclesiastes sharing the vanities of life and success. Selfie-crazed? How about Hosea the prophet who wedded a prostitute?
Help them see how their thoughts about “isolated issues” truly reveal how they see the world. Ravi Zacharias has helped me the most in the area of Apologetics and understanding the importance of seeing your worldview in other applications besides your “favorite” applications.
Ask “why” frequently and with enough time to listen.
All other worldviews will leave us wanting except that all of life is found in Christ.
Teach a Biblical worldview
Besides pointing out their worldview, you have to point them to Christ. Where do I start?
Here are 9 characteristics of a Christian Worldview according to Matt Slick of Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry:
- An absolute God exists
- God created the universe
- Man is created in the image of God
- If man is created in the image of God, all people are worthy of respect and honor.
- Man was given dominion over creation by God.
- Mankind is fallen.
- Jesus is mankind’s only hope for redemption.
- The Bible is the Word of God.
- God provides for His creation.
This is a great place to start in figuring out how I’m teaching a biblical worldview, week after week.
Which of these 9 areas could you supplement in the next few months of your ministry?
Here’s a couple of resources to get you started on this journey:
- A good systematic theology or biblical doctrine book.
- The Holiness of God
- The Bible
In your conversations with students, here’s a question that is always helpful.
What does the Bible say about that?
Address their mind and their heart
A worldview isn’t only an intellectual exercise. It ties into our heart and emotions. Those feelings you have about Fortnite, aren’t just intellectual understandings they are emotional connections we’ve made.
So when we start to address issues with our students like abortion, sexual preference, gender identity, politics, genetic engineering, artificial intelligence, and the like, we have to understand we can’t address these with purely intellectual practices. It’s why biographies are so important. Shared stories of faith. Testimonies of worldview shifts in real people.
Your volunteers are a huge repository for stories of worldview changes. At your next training meeting, ask this question:
What’s one way that the Bible has changed the way you view the world?
And then use some of those shared stories with your students.
Helping develop a biblical worldview in students can’t be done in a 6 weeks series. It’s consistent practices over an extended period of time.
And while this might go without saying, I want to make sure to say it, pray. Without the Spirit moving in a student’s life and mind and heart, they are enemies of God. No spiritual life = No Biblical worldview.