Developmentally, youth can be very concrete thinkers. When we want to discuss an abstract theological concept like the Holy Trinity, it can be tough to tackle. Here is a great youth ministry lesson put together by Georgia Harrison that both engages youth in conversation and teaches youth how to search Scripture for answers.
Holy Trinity Batman!
1. Play 1 or 2 games that encourage the youth to work together to accomplish something. Going with the Batman/Superhero theme, you could open with an icebreaker question such as “Which superhero do you relate to best?” or “Which superhero characteristic do you wish you had and why?”
2. (2 mins.) Read Article I (below) of the “Articles of Religion of the Methodist Church ” (incidentally, these Articles were derived from the Anglican Church’s doctrinal statements, put to paper in the 16th century). Print this on whiteboard or a big sheet of paper for reference.
“There is but one living and true God, everlasting, without body or parts, of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness; the maker and preserver of all things, both visible and invisible. And in unity of this Godhead there are but three persons, of one substance, power, and eternity – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.”
3. (15 mins.) Break up into small groups and look for the scriptural basis for this belief in the Trinity. Specifically, look for the basis of the claims that are underlines – that God is of one, singular substance and that God is experienced in three persons. Each group can start with their assigned scripture passages, and then expand to others if they have time.
a) Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 41:21-24, 42:8
b) Genesis 1:1-3; John 1:1-5
c) Matthew 3:13-17; Acts 2:38; Matthew 28:19
d) John 1:14, 18; John 14:25-26
e) Acts 1:3-8; Acts 2:1-4; Joel 2:27-28
4. (10 mins.) Each group can share their findings with the whole group. Keep some notes on white board or paper.
5. (5 mins.) Share a couple of helpful metaphors, to help us wrap our minds around the Trinity.
a) Show Ice, water at room temperature, and water vapor (humidifier) – same substance, different forms
b) People in a relationship or community (see 1 John 4:16; Augustine’s Lover, Beloved and the Love itself; relationship)
6. (10 mins.) Return to the small groups. Re-write Article I in your own words, based on what we have discovered today.
7. (5 mins.) Share any final insights from the groups. Close by reading either or both Exodus 3:13-14 and Isaiah 55:8-9, to say that ultimately the nature of God is beyond our comprehension.
What resources/lessons have you used successfully on teaching the Holy Trinity? If you were teaching on this, what would you say? We’d love to hear your creative ideas!
Georgia Harrison is a veteran and certified youth worker in the North Texas Conference. She’s an ordained deacon and an all around awesome person. She is married to Charles Harrison and they have two amazing kids. The whole family has a heart for missions like you wouldn’t believe. In fact, if you’d like to tell her how great she is or just hear more about mission opportunities, you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be blessed. (Georgia didn’t write her own bio, just in case you were wondering. -EJ)