December 6, 2012 by Will Ray
Last night we wrapped up a series entitled “2012: A Series on Revelation” at the Bridge. While this was only a three-week series, it could have easily been longer.
I wanted to do a series on Revelation because it was one of just a few topics that students actually requested we study. But doing a study like this for 40-50 students in a reasonable time period proved to be a significant challenge.
There are adult studies that go twelve weeks studying Revelation! That’s an unreasonable time period for the average student’s attention span, and furthermore I didn’t think a long study would be worth the time. We in youth ministry have a very limited amount of time with these students, and making sure they know the colors and meanings of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse isn’t really high on my list of priorities.
So how did we choose to do it? See below:
– Week 1 – I led into the series with a preview from the movie 2012. It was a great starting point because we were approaching December, and the date of the end of the world according to the Mayans was 12/21/12. It afforded me an opportunity to counsel students that when there are a lot of rumors and theories and confusion, to turn to the Word and be guided by that. That first week we focused on the introduction of the book and the letters to the churches in chapters 1-3.
– Week 2 – This second week focused on the major portion of Revelation, chapters 4-18 where we read about John’s vision of events in heaven and the judgments here on earth. We prepared for small groups by discussing two important things about Revelation: the fact that God’s judgement is not for his people, and the difference between literal and figurative text. I wanted to arm the students with principles for understanding some of the text if they (hopefully) chose to read it on their own. We broke up into small groups and discussed some of the larger events and figures of the Tribulation.
– Week 3 – This last week we focused on the last three chapters of the book, which cover the final battles, the end of the world, and the description of the new heaven and earth. We utilized small groups again as a way for students to interact with the material, and focused on the highlights of Jesus winning the battle, the devil being thrown into hell, and the new heaven and earth.
While this series was a challenge to put together, I think we ultimately helped more students than we confused. The nature of Revelation is inherently difficult to understand and teach, but I’m pleased with how it turned out. I need to give lots of credit for that to our leaders who prepared and helped “teach” by leading the small group discussions the last two weeks.
Question: Have you studied Revelation? How did you do it? (bible study, small group, personal study, sermon series, etc.) Did you think the presentation format was effective for Revelation?