The New York Times recently published a story about the correlation between Bible knowledge and GPA in high school students. According to the story, the average GPA of students with high Bible knowledge was 3.31. Compared to the average GPA of students with low Bible knowledge (2.63) it is clear that studying the Bible corresponds directly with improved performance in school.
But we know that studying the Bible is not a favorite activity among young people. For whatever reason, and it is probably the fault of the church as a whole, young Christians don’t get excited about studying the Bible. Using indirect learning methods, you can make studying the Bible more inviting to middle school and high school students.
Indirect learning refers to any method of instruction that teaches a lesson during another activity. Teachers have used indirect learning for years to teach difficult or boring concepts to students who may otherwise not learn them at all.
Board games can be an effective tool for use in Bible study. Here are some ideas on how to incorporate board games into your Bible education.
1. Modify Existing Games.
Some commercial board games can be modified to become Bible teaching tools. A perfect example is the popular game Outburst. In Outburst, two teams compete to come up with lists of words in different categories. Each team has sixty seconds to guess ten people, places, or things written on different cards. The first team to sixty points wins.
You can make your own Outburst cards. Using categories like The Ten Commandments, Animals in the Bible, and Parables of Jesus, you can turn the standard Outburst game into a Bible study icebreaker or lesson.
Other games that can be easily modified to incorporate Bible study lessons: Pictionary, Jeopardy! home edition, and Buyword.
2. Look for Bible-oriented Games.
A few popular board games have come out with editions aimed at a Christian audience. These are perfect for Bible study. The above game, Outburst, even prints an official Bible edition.
Many great games for Bible study are available free online–one example is HolyBibleTrivia.org, an interactive trivia game available for skill levels from easy to difficult. Players can choose questions from the Old or New Testament.
Popular party game Apples to Apples (a true board game phenomenon) recently released the Bible Edition, which teaches Bible lessons while players make unique comparisons between people, places, things, and events from the Bible.
3. Read the Big Book of Bible Games.
This book contains more than 200 ideas for games based on the Bible. Though these games are aimed at kids aged 6-12, many of them can be adapted and updated to be played with older students or even adults who want to learn about the Bible.
Published by Gospel Light Publications, the Big Book of Bible Games can lead you to create your own unique Bible study game, or just get your Bible study group to let off some steam before the serious study begins.
Studying the Bible is good for people from all walks of life. Based on the New York Times report about the impact of Bible study on student’s GPAs, learning about the Bible just makes a person smarter. Try any of the above ideas for ways to teach Bible lessons indirectly, or just to add some fun to your Bible study group.
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