If you’ve ever spent time working in youth ministry or are currently working with youth, you know that it can be difficult to come up with good topics to teach youth at church. As youth pastors, the topics chosen should not only be important but also engaging and relevant to what they are going through in their lives.
So, to help you out with your search, here is a list of the 25 best topics that you can teach your youth in your church groups and why you should use them.
Why does the Old Testament matter?
Especially in mainstream Christianity today, the Old Testament in the Bible is often neglected, and young people are often given an incomplete view of the Bible. However, just telling youth to read their Bible isn’t enough. Many youths are motivated to learn only when they understand why they need to know something.
Teaching youth about the unity of the Bible and how all of it points to our Lord Jesus Christ is a great way to show them how the Bible is exciting and dynamic, not just some old ancient book that should collect dust.
By showing them how the Old and New Testaments work together to produce one cohesive story, you can give them a bit of a kickstart into their own Bible journey.
Possible Scriptures to use: 2 Timothy 3:16-17, Hebrews 4:12
How to be a good friend
One of the primary things young people deal with on a daily basis is friendship. To them, friendship could be anything from the people you spend the most time with to the person that you have the longest Snapchat streak with.
Teaching a lesson on what true friendship looks like would be a great way to change their perspective on friendship to value it more in their lives.
This would also be a great opportunity to talk about how friends influence you and how they can influence their friends either positively or negatively. They may begin to look at friendship quite differently.
Possible Scriptures to use: Proverbs 27:17, 1 Thessalonians 5:11, 1 Corinthians 15:33
The power of God’s love
Since so many people talk about God’s love, it’s great to actually dive into it with your youth. It’s also a great time to talk about what love actually is. Many young people have a faulty perception of love and may think that love is simply acceptance.
With this, you can hit the Gospel hard in terms of how much God loves them as the main idea. However, you can also give them a complete view of God’s love and teach them about how the reason He has given us commands is that He loves us and wants to see us live thriving lives.
Possible Scriptures to use: John 3:16, Romans 8:38-39, Romans 5:8
The importance of God’s Word
Many young people don’t understand why reading the Bible is important. They are often told to just do it, but they don’t know why. This is a chance to tell them about how the Word of God changes your very being and how it is how God teaches you and speaks with you most reliably and consistently.
As you teach this youth theme, be sure to give them pointers on where to start if they’re interested in starting to read the Bible. I would recommend beginner Bible readers start in the Gospel of John, but if you are currently going through a book of the Bible with your church youth group, you can have them start there.
Possible Scriptures to use: 2 Timothy 3:16-17, Psalm 1, Hebrews 4:12
How to love your family members
Family can be tough; we all know that. Some youth come from broken homes and families and can find it extremely difficult to love them or even want to be around them. This can cause them to struggle with things like honoring their parents or loving a specific family member.
In this teaching, you can sympathize with them, but also draw a parallel with the way that Christ loves us. It is dependent upon who He is, not who we are. If one wants to be a loving person as Jesus is, one must love because that’s who they are, not because of who the other person is or what they do.
Possible Scriptures to use: John 13:34, 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, 1 John 4:19
How to navigate mental health
This is a tough one. In church today, many young people are struggling with mental health issues and mental illness and have no idea how to handle them. Definitely handle this topic in light of who is in your ministry but emphasize to them most of all how God is always with them and how He can help them in their struggle.
Also, remind them that struggling with mental health does not define your identity. If you feel you have some youths that are really struggling in this area, also talk about how helpful counseling can be.
If you have a counseling ministry at your church, consider referring them to that ministry to get further help with their struggle.
Possible Scriptures to use: Philippians 4:6-7, Isaiah 41:10, Matthew 11:28-30
Who is the Holy Spirit?
While the Trinity is talked about quite a bit, the Holy Spirit often gets neglected in terms of understanding who He is and what His role is in our lives. Teaching about the Holy Spirit can clear up some confusion that your youth may have and also encourage them if they are born-again believers.
Here, you can teach about the Holy Spirit’s role in your life as someone who teaches you the truth and guides you into all righteousness. Emphasize how He helps us make tough decisions and do the right thing at the moment when we listen to Him.
Possible Scriptures to use: John 14:26, 1 Corinthians 3:16, Galatians 5:22-23
The Gospel is good news!
You may think that your youth know what the Gospel of Jesus is, but many times, they haven’t had a good teaching on what it truly is. Take an opportunity to simply go through Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection and what it means for us today.
This is a great time to talk about salvation and even do an altar call to connect with some of the youth who are responding to the Gospel either for the first time or for a fresh start.
Possible Scriptures to use: Romans 3:23, 6:23, 5:8, 10:9, 5:1, 8:1, 8:38-39
How to live a Christian life
Some of your youth may think that they are Christians or are newly Christian, but don’t know what that actually looks like. It is always good to remind your young people that Christians are called to live differently from the world.
You could take your pick in terms of choosing a few specific issues to touch on in how a Christian’s life should look different from the world’s, but above all, give your young people encouragement on how God’s way of living is for their good, not to limit their fun.
Possible Scriptures to use: Romans 12:1-2, 1 Peter 2:9
What are spiritual gifts?
Depending on your denomination and beliefs about spiritual gifts, tackle this topic in a way that fits what you believe. However, we should talk more about spiritual gifts with our young people to enable and empower them to serve in the church in the way that God has gifted them.
Take the opportunity to make this really practical and allow kids who are interested to get involved in various areas depending on their gifts. Stress how important service is and how we can follow in Jesus’ footsteps by serving one another and building up the church with the gifts God has given us.
Possible Scriptures to use: 1 Corinthians 12:7, Romans 12:4-6, Hebrews 2:4
How can you experience spiritual growth?
When you teach this topic, feel free to use the analogy of a tree. Use Psalm 1 to teach your youth how important growth is for someone’s well-being and how you need to be rooted in the right thing, the Word of God.
Talk about the importance of reading your Bible and prayer and how those things build up your relationship with God, causing you to grow and become more like Christ. Really encourage your youth to get involved in these practices daily and help them as much as you can to get started.
Possible Scriptures to use: Psalm 1, Hebrews 6:1-2, 1 Peter 2:2-3
Building relationships with others
Before Christ Jesus left this earth, He gave His disciples a new command to love one another as He loved us. In fact, when He talked about the two most important commandments, they can be simplified into loving God and loving others.
Our relationships with other people are extremely important but very under-prioritized in the culture that we live in today. Take the time to teach your youth about how important it is to build relationships with others and how they can go about doing that in a godly and effective way.
Possible Scriptures to use: John 13:34-35, Matthew 22:36-40, Luke 6:31
How to be a young man/woman of God
It could be very helpful for your youth to split them up into gender for a lesson and if you have youth leaders, have a man speak to the young men and a woman speak to the young women.
Talk to them about how difficult it is to be godly young men and women today and give them some guidance on how they can navigate that alongside the Bible.
What is also very effective with a topic like this is giving them an opportunity to do some Q&A. Allow them to ask questions that they maybe wouldn’t normally have anyone to ask and give them good answers based on biblical truth.
Possible Scriptures to use: Proverbs 31, Ephesians 5:22-33
What is the kingdom of God?
When Jesus was on this earth, He talked a lot about the kingdom of God. Yet what exactly is the kingdom of God? With this topic, shed some light on this question and explain how the kingdom of God is both for eternity and for now through us, His followers.
Help your youth understand what it means to seek first the kingdom and how they can contribute to building up God’s kingdom in their daily lives.
Possible Scriptures to use: Matthew 6:33, Luke 17:20-21, Matthew 6:10
How to handle peer pressure
Peer pressure is something that all young people deal with in their local schools, whether they’re in high school or middle school. I would even go as far as to say that it is one of the biggest threats young people experience to their spirituality and Christian faith.
Being able to deny your friends and peers for the sake of Jesus can be extremely difficult. It would most likely be very helpful for you to give them advice and biblical truth on how they can effectively handle peer pressure and how important it is to not give in to it.
Possible Scriptures to use: 1 Corinthians 15:33, Proverbs 13:20, Galatians 1:10
Social media and Christianity
One of the biggest topics among young people today is social media. Young people are spending more time than ever on social media, but not many are talking to them about how harmful it can be, emotionally and mentally.
For this one, you could even do some research and have some statistics on hand as to how social media affects you in real life. Just make sure they are youth-friendly and not going to go over their heads!
Regardless, have a conversation with your youth about how to use social media for the glory of God and how to keep yourself from being stained by the world through using it in an unhealthy way.
Possible Scriptures to use: Romans 12:2, 1 John 5:19
How to read and study the Bible
Many young Christians are encouraged to read and study the Bible, but they aren’t taught how to practically do so. With this topic, do some research on some practical methods as to how you can truly read and study the Scriptures.
If you already have a great way to how you personally do your Bible studies, share that with them! Above all, be practical with this topic and do your best to give your young people something that they can take home and immediately start doing.
Make it simple and provide some examples, studying different passages with your youth. You could even do this as a small group lesson where each small group studies a certain passage together as group members. This could either be a standalone message or a series on Bible study.
Possible Scriptures to use: 2 Timothy 2:15, 1 Peter 3:15
How to pray
Much like reading and studying the Bible, young people are often encouraged to pray but aren’t necessarily sure how to. All they know is what they’ve seen others do and may have incorrect ideas about prayer in their minds.
With this topic, encourage your youth to just start speaking to God. Emphasize the fact that God truly wants to hear from them and that He sees them as His child. Also, take this opportunity to remind them that prayer is not just a way for us to get things from God.
Encourage them to truly speak to God about what they are thinking and feeling through prayer.
Possible Scriptures to use: 1 John 5:14-15, Philippians 4:6, Ephesians 6:18
What is true love?
Many of your youth are getting to that age where they are consumed with dating, relationships, and love. However, most, if not all of them, probably have some misconceptions about what love really is.
It is great to go through the passage in 1 Corinthians 13 that is all about what love actually is, but also be sure to point them to Jesus’ love as our best example of what sacrificial love truly looks like.
Encourage them to change their perspective on love and also remind them that love and physical attraction is not the same thing!
Possible Scriptures to use: 1 Corinthians 13, John 15:12-13, 1 John 4:18
How to navigate dating as a young Christian
As your young people are navigating love and relationships, it would be a great opportunity to talk about dating and how dating should look as a Christian. This may also be a topic where you would want to split up into guys and girls if you have the youth ministry leaders that you need for this.
Although the Bible doesn’t necessarily talk about dating as a practice, there are great principles that we can gather from the Scriptures such as what a relationship between a man and a woman should look like, proper biblical boundaries, and the importance of staying pure. Share these with your youth and allow them to ask questions as well.
Possible Scriptures to use: 2 Timothy 2:22, 2 Corinthians 6:14, 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
How to cultivate a relationship with God
The most important part of the Christian walk is your personal relationship with God. Devote an entire session with your young people to talking about how to practically develop that relationship with God as their top priority.
Here, you can talk about the importance of getting into the Word of God, praying, and being in fellowship with other believers through events like worship services. These are some of the best things that your youth can learn to do.
You can also consider teaching them about the importance of being discipled and encourage them to find someone to disciple them. Add some personal testimonies about how others have developed their relationships with Christ and encourage them to start today!
There’s no better time than the present when it comes to building a relationship with God.
Possible Scriptures to use: Proverbs 3:5-6, Hebrews 11:6, John 15:5, James 4:8
Why did Jesus need to die?
Most of your youth will have probably heard the Gospel by now in Sunday school, but sometimes we leave out the ‘why’ of the Gospel. This is an opportunity for you to teach your young people about sin, what things were like at creation, and why we needed the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus to cleanse us from our sins.
Teaching on this will hopefully inspire your youth to develop their relationship with God and have them realize how much love was shown in Christ’s actions for us. Be sure to emphasize God’s love for each of them and remind them that we are then called to love Him in return for what He has done.
Possible Scriptures to use: John 3:16, 1 John 2:2, Hebrews 9:12, 1 Timothy 2:5, John 14:6
Being a servant
Possibly one of the most important concepts that is glossed over when it comes to young people is the fact that we are all called to be servants, just as Jesus was a servant. Take this opportunity to inspire your youth to serve, not to be served.
When you teach this, definitely emphasize the example of Jesus in how He was fully God yet chose to be a servant of man. He lowered Himself and humbled Himself to lowly positions because it is those who serve who are first in the kingdom of heaven. Being a servant is a good thing.
Possible Scriptures to use: Philippians 2:5-8, Mark 10:45, Matthew 5:16
What is God’s purpose for your life?
Most young people are searching for purpose in all that they do. They feel disillusioned by school and don’t really feel like they have an aim yet. However, God does have a purpose for them, and you should let them know that.
This is a great time to talk about the purpose of the Christian life and how one can practically glorify God in all that one does. Give your young people some practical advice on how to actually love God and love others daily and on how they can hear from God about His specific purpose for each of their lives.
Possible Scriptures to use: 1 Peter 2:9, Proverbs 19:21, Psalm 33:11
How to be happy with who you are
One of the biggest issues that young people are facing right now is identity. Many are searching for their identity in all the wrong places and as a result, they aren’t happy with what they find. They look in the mirror and are disappointed because they are trying to find worth in the wrong places.
This is a great time to teach your young people that their worth comes from God, not from other people or even from themselves. When they realize who they are in Christ and that they are a beloved child of God, they can realize that the other stuff doesn’t matter. They can be satisfied with how God sees them alone.
Possible Scriptures to use: John 1:12, Romans 15:7, Genesis 1:27
Hopefully, you have found some gems within these topic ideas to teach in your youth meetings! Remember that God will guide your words and that He will work all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.
Be sure to trust God with your young people and He will make your paths straight as He uses you to teach them His truth and as you continue your great work in ministry.