Tough Questions: Helping Preteens With Questions About Faith
Published: May 23, 2022
Preteens may have questions about faith, but where do they find their answers? Here is a sample lesson to provide you with the tools to help preteens with their questions.
Preteens have questions about faith. A lot of questions. They also have a lot of places to turn for answers. From friends to Siri to Google, they may not be finding the answers you’d like them to find.
Ignoring preteens’ questions won’t make the questions go away from your church. But it might make the kids go away. So instead of dismissing questions, embrace them! Help guide preteens in turning to the Bible and holding onto bold truths when they can’t find definitive answers. You can help preteens nurture their faith development and give them a friendship with Jesus that lasts through life’s ups and downs.
Try this sample lesson to help your preteens know where to turn with their questions.
- a copy of these student pages for each preteen
- whiteboard and dry-erase markers
- clear packing tape (optional)
Say: Today we’ll talk about this…
Write on the whiteboard: “How do I know who to believe when I have questions about God?”
Say: That’s an important question because if you don’t have questions about God now, you someday will. Even Jesus’ disciples had questions! Which means you’ll need answers. But who can you trust to answer your questions about God? Who’s on the list?
Gather kids’ responses on the board. Have enough markers so preteens can write their own responses if they choose to do so. Encourage kids to generate as long a list as possible, including people who might not be the best place to go for answers—like friends who have lots of opinions but no experience. Kids will probably also think of internet-based answers, such as Google, Alexa, or Siri. Be sure that you include “yourself,” and “the Bible” on your list.
Say: Thanks for sharing your thoughts. We’ll dig into who on our list is a good choice when you have a question, and who might be best to avoid. And know this: Some questions we have about God won’t get answered on this side of heaven. But some questions do have answers, so let’s figure out who can help us find them!
Question of the Week
Distribute page 9 from the Bold Action Student Book to each preteen, and form preteens into pairs.
Say: Lots of people have questions about God. For example, here’s a question I have…Briefly share a question you have about God.
Say: That’s a question I have. What’s a question you have about God? Tell your partner. After pairs share, ask for volunteers to share with the whole group what they told their partners. Thank kids for sharing their responses.
Indicate the whiteboard.
Say: Who can we trust when it comes to answers? Who can we believe? Let’s see if we can narrow down our list by seeing what the Bible tells us. The Bible is true, so what we learn there about who to believe when we have questions about God will be true, too.
Build Two Towers
Set out Legos and pompoms.
Ask willing readers to read each passage on the Who Can I Trust? sheet aloud. Pause after each passage to ask what, if anything, you should do with your list on the board in light of the passage. Is there a source for answers that should be added to the list? Crossed off? Circled as a good idea? For each source kids think is a good source, they can work with a partner or two to add a Lego to a stack to build a tall structure. For each source kids think is a bad source, partners should add a pompom to a tower of pompoms (which won’t actually tower!).
When each passage has been read and discussed, form kids into pairs.
Say: Look at your towers. Based on what you see, why is it important to have good sources of truth when you have a question? Of all the sources of answers circled on our board, which are you likeliest to try when you have a question about God? Why? Pick a source from our board. How would that person or thing answer this question: Which is better: to be smart or popular?
When you have a question, it’s worth looking for an answer. And now you know where to look! But what if you have a question and a Sunday school teacher answers it one way and your parent answers it the opposite way? As a whole group, let’s talk about this: When two good sources on our board disagree, what do you do then?
Thank kids for their thoughts.
Determine the Truth
Say: We know that the Bible is true. But sometimes, people’s understanding of the Bible can be different. If you have two good sources that disagree, bring it back to the Bible! Ask each source to show you what verses helped them form their conclusion. Then form your own conclusion, based on what the Bible says. People can be wrong, but the Bible never is! It’s also worth remembering what you already know to be true from the Bible. Sometimes the answers you want can be built on those truths.
We’ve talked about other truths in our BE BOLD classes—let’s do a quick review of what those are and make some bookmark reminders!
Say: There are some questions about God that nobody on earth can answer. But good news: If you love and follow Jesus, you’ll be in heaven someday and can ask God once you’re there. I say that because I know God is all-powerful (1 Chronicles 29:11) and has promised he’s holding a spot in heaven for all his friends (John 14:2).
Knowing those two truths about God helps me relax about not having all the answers I want because I know they’ll be coming! In our BE BOLD lessons, we come back to nine trustworthy truths time after time. Knowing these truths helps you feel better about not having all the answers. Because no matter what, at least you know these things are true! They come straight from the Bible, and the Bible is true.
Distribute pages 11-12 of the Bold Action Student Book. Tell kids they’ll cut the Nine Trustworthy Truths page into strips. They’ll then decorate and fold the strips in half to fold over the pages of their Bibles as bookmarks. To make the bookmarks more durable, preteens can also laminate them using clear packing tape.
After kids finish, encourage them to take home the bookmarks and place them in their own personal Bibles, preferably at the site of the references listed.
Say: These are truths worth remembering. They help answer your questions about God, and we can trust them because the Bible is true. And if you ever hear something that contradicts one of these truths, you’ll know not to believe it!
This lesson excerpt comes from Quarter 5 of BE BOLD preteen curriculum. Check it out here! Or click here to read a real-life success story from BE BOLD.
For more on understanding preteens, check out this article.
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