More High School TalkSheets, Epic Old Testament Stories: 52 Ready-to-Use Discussions


In just four short years, high school students develop friendships and habits that affect them for the rest of their lives. They need to be inspired through strong role models who embody Christian values. Where better to look for these influences than in the godly heroes of the Bible?

The High School Talksheets series returns with a second year of thought-provoking stories from the Old Testament to discuss with your youth group or bible studies. David Lynn shares discussion ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (14) from $7.41   
  • New (10) from $7.40   
  • Used (4) from $8.55   
Sending request ...


In just four short years, high school students develop friendships and habits that affect them for the rest of their lives. They need to be inspired through strong role models who embody Christian values. Where better to look for these influences than in the godly heroes of the Bible?

The High School Talksheets series returns with a second year of thought-provoking stories from the Old Testament to discuss with your youth group or bible studies. David Lynn shares discussion topics and questions written specifically with high school students in mind, promoting meaningful and thought-provoking conversations. The stories in these pages highlight pure moral principles and practices for teenagers to learn about and emulate.

Each of the new 52 epic bible stories is easy to use and fit to your lesson plan, including hints and tips to facilitate conversation. These lessons also include optional activities, giving teenagers the inspiration and motivation they need to actively participate and have fun while they learn.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780310889380
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication date: 10/9/2012
  • Series: TalkSheets Series
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 1,531,439
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Youth and family ministry worker and counselor David Lynn has worked with young people and their families for more than three decades. He’s the creator of Talk Sheets and author of numerous books, the creator of Building up Your Ministry, and he conducts several leadership training workshops. He lives with his family in Tucson, Arizona.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

More High School TalkSheets, Epic Old Testament Stories

By David Lynn


Copyright © 2012 David Lynn
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-310-88938-0

Chapter One


You are holding a very valuable book! No, it won't make you a genius or millionaire, but it does contain a year's worth of instant discussions to help high school youth develop as disciples. Inside you'll find reproducible OLD TESTAMENT TalkSheets that cover 52 stories from creation to Gideon turning away from God—plus simple, step-by-step instructions on how to use them. All you need is this book, a few copies of the handouts, some young people (and maybe a snack or two), and you're on your way to landing on some serious issues in teenagers' lives.

These OLD TESTAMENT TalkSheets are user-friendly and very flexible. You can use them in a youth group meeting, a Sunday school class, or a Bible study group. You can adapt them for either large or small groups. And you can cover the material in as little as 20 minutes or explore it more intensively over two hours.

You can build an entire youth group meeting around a single OLD TESTAMENT TalkSheet, or you can use OLD TESTAMENT TalkSheets to supplement your other materials and resources. These TalkSheets are tools for you—but how you use them is up to you.

More High School OLD TESTAMENT TalkSheets is not your average curriculum or workbook. This collection of discussions will get your young people involved and excited about talking through important issues. The OLD TESTAMENT TalkSheets deal with epic stories and include interesting activities, challenging talks, and thought-provoking questions. They'll get your youth forming new opinions, learning about themselves, and growing in their faith.


Let's begin by agreeing on two primary principles:

1. Faith is essentially caught not taught, and

2. The Holy Spirit alone works best to establish faith within teenagers' lives, changing them from knowers to believers, from church attendees to lifelong followers of Jesus.

If we can agree on these two principles, then it's easier to explain how OLD TESTAMENT TalkSheets is designed. It's not so much a teaching tool as a tool designed to engage real faith connections and encourage faith vocabulary in young people's lives.

So many church attendees don't know how to articulate their faith, nor do they often perceive vital connections to their faith outside the church building. Which is why OLD TESTAMENT TalkSheets' exercises are designed to help young people connect what they believe to their day-to-day lives, as well as develop a living faith vocabulary as opposed to a church vocabulary used only during church to please adults and religious leaders. For faith to grow with us throughout our lives, we must discover faith's vital connection in "real time." To see how and where Jesus in our lives engages the real world. And we must express this connection through a "vocabulary of faith" that grows with us and goes with us as opposed to expressing "church language" we reserve for religious settings and certain occasions.

Our Lord Jesus used the concept of fishing to connect his first followers with what he was doing, using words and images that were familiar to them. In the same way, you can use these OLD TESTAMENT TalkSheets to create settings in which young people can talk about faith, employing familiar concepts that help develop faith vocabulary and deepen faith by connecting it to relevant life experiences.

OLD TESTAMENT TalkSheets as an Engaging Tool More Than a Teaching Tool

I believe we've often made a very fundamental mistake in how we assist young people in developing their faith: We've hammered down on obvious answers to questions that they're often not even asking. And as a result youth can answer questions "correctly" but don't see why the answers are relevant to their daily lives.

Take for example the primary question of faith: Who is your Lord and Savior? The right answer, of course, is "Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior." I've heard young people answer this question correctly for many years. But I've also witnessed many young people get stumped regarding what Lord means in a culture in which we're all our own sources of truth, or why we need to be saved when everyone is basically okay. We mistakenly believe that just having good information is enough. But the information needs vitality and relevance that youth can wrestle with.

This is why we believe that young people must understand the tensions of life from which questions arise and struggle with how to answer those questions before they hear how God addresses lordship and salvation in the person of Jesus Christ. Then we can ask, "If this is how life is, then who is YOUR Lord and Savior?"

By engaging young people inwardly—"INNER-gizing" them into a real dialogue about their lives, their perceptions, and their faith—we can create pathways upon which we can partner with them as they grow as disciples.

A Common pitfall to Avoid

Faith development is often a multi-step process. Some things must be set in place before other things can be embraced. For example, we might say a person moves from A to B before moving on to C and eventually arriving at D; but many leaders mistakenly view the move from A to D as a simple task and grow impatient for those under their care to make that developmental leap. And people may be willing to make leaps they're not ready for because they trust their leaders or are afraid to express doubts in "unsafe" environments. They also may believe they lack faith and feel guilty. And sometimes people just want to fit in.

I've witnessed these conditions where real faith isn't deep enough to sustain the pressures of real life, and substitutional faith is worn like a garment in God's house. Such followers attend gatherings but cannot pray for themselves, hold a secret doubt and guilt, and often defer to leaders on all matters of faith. Jesus says such followers are like shallow soil on which the seed falls and eventually dies.

Instead good Christian leaders understand that they're guides on the roadside as people follow the Master.

Essentially a discussion leader can fill three roles: A Tool, a Thorn, or a Stage Director:

• Tool: A force in the hand of the Holy Spirit that works in a young person's life during the process of faith building.

• Thorn: The leader becomes an irritant in disciples' lives, which can alienate them from the faith community due to the unsafe faith environment and unrealistic expectations and impatient discipleship methods.

• Stage Director: Leader inoculates young people against "catching" real faith by creating an environment that encourages wearing masks of belief and speaking a kind of church language, effectively insulating them from embracing a real, vital faith expressed in a living language.

Clearly only one role serves well here: the Tool.

OLD TESTAMENT TalkSheets Can help us be Good Stewards of a Sacred process

But if we understand that deep, rich soil may take time and much mulching if a seed is to take root, then we can as leaders trust that faith is not about us achieving something in others' lives but about the Holy Spirit shaping followers' lives. We can become stewards of a most sacred process. Young people can pick up useless notions of faith and life on their way to discovering real faith through vital discipleship, and if these useless notions are to be replaced with life-giving awareness in a living, vital faith in Jesus, we must offer patience and loving mentoring.

Remember that Thomas didn't at first believe that Jesus was resurrected even though the other disciples expressed to him what they had witnessed. It's a great testimony of those early followers of Jesus that Thomas was still with them "in their midst" a week later when Jesus showed up and confirmed himself to Thomas. In the same way it's important to create a safe environment where youth can explore their faith and express themselves without the expectation of correct performance or the pressure to make a developmental leap that they're not ready to sustain as a disciple until, for them, Jesus shows up.


OLD TESTAMENT TalkSheets can be used as a curriculum for your youth group, but they're designed as discussion springboards. They encourage your young people to take part and interact with each other while talking about real-life issues. And hopefully they'll do some serious thinking, discover new ideas for themselves, defend their points of view, and make decisions.

Youth today face a world of moral confusion. Teenagers are bombarded with the voices of society and the media—most of which drown out what they hear from the church. Youth leaders must teach the church's beliefs and values—and also help young people make right choices in a world full of options.

An OLD TESTAMENT TalkSheet discussion works to remedy this. While dealing with the questions and activities on the OLD TESTAMENT TalkSheet, your young people will think carefully about issues, compare their beliefs and values with others, and make their own choices. OLD TESTAMENT TalkSheets also will challenge your youth to explain and rework their ideas in a Christian atmosphere of acceptance, support, and growth.

One of the most common fears among high school youth group leaders is, "What will I do if the young people in my group just sit there and don't say anything?" Well, when young people don't have anything to say, it's because they haven't had a chance or time to get their thoughts organized! Most young people haven't developed the ability to think on their feet. Since many are afraid they might sound stupid, they don't even attempt to figure out how to voice their ideas and opinions.

Again, OLD TESTAMENT TalkSheets let your youth deal with the issues in a challenging, non-threatening way before the actual discussion begins. They'll have time to organize their thoughts, write them down, and ease their fears about participating. They may even look forward to sharing their answers! Most importantly, they'll want to find out what others said and open up to talk through the topics.

If you're still a little leery about the success of a real discussion among your youth, that's okay! The only way to get them rolling is to get them started.

Your Role as the Leader

The best discussions don't happen by accident. They require careful preparation and a sensitive leader. Don't worry if you aren't experienced or don't have hours to prepare. OLD TESTAMENT TalkSheets are designed to help even the novice leader! The more OLD TESTAMENT TalkSheet discussions you lead, the easier it becomes. Keep the following tips in mind when using the OLD TESTAMENT TalkSheets as you get your young people talking.

Be Choosy

Each OLD TESTAMENT TalkSheet deals with a different story. Under the title of each OLD TESTAMENT TalkSheet is a subtitle expressing its theme; you can use the subtitle to choose an OLD TESTAMENT TalkSheet to match your group's needs and maturity level. Don't feel obligated to use the OLD TESTAMENT TalkSheets in the order they appear in this book, either. Use your best judgment and mix them up however you want—they are tools for you!

Make Copies

Each student will need a copy of the TalkSheet—which is the right-facing page. The material on the reverse side (the Leader's Guide) is just for you. You can make copies for your group only—but not every group in your town!—because we've given you permission to do so. But U.S. copyright laws have not changed, and it's still mandatory to request permission from a publisher before making copies of other published material. Thank you for cooperating.

Try It Yourself

Once you've chosen an OLD TESTAMENT TalkSheet for your group, answer the questions and do the activities yourself. Imagine your young peoples' reactions to the OLD TESTAMENT TalkSheet. This will help you prepare for the discussion and understand what you're asking them to do. Plus you'll have some time to think of other appropriate questions, activities, and Bible verses.

Get Some Insight

On each Leader's Guide page you'll find numerous tips and ideas for getting the most out of your discussion. You may want to add some of your own thoughts or ideas in the margins.

Set Up for the Talk

Make sure the seating arrangement is inclusive and encourages a comfortable, safe atmosphere for discussion. Theater-style seating (in rows) isn't discussion-friendly; instead arrange the chairs in a circle or semicircle (or on the floor with pillows!).

Introduce the Topic

You may introduce the topic before you pass out the OLD TESTAMENT TalkSheets to your group and then allow the topic to develop as you use the material. We have a simple format on the Leader's Guide that can help your introduction: In the "Read Out Loud" section, simply read the paragraph/s aloud, and then ask a young person to read the story from the Bible. After the story is read, you can use the question in the "Ask" section to get the group primed for a discussion of the story.

Depending on your group, keep your introduction short and to the point. Be careful not to over-introduce the topic, sound preachy, or resolve the issue before you've started. Your goal is to spark their interest and leave plenty of room for discussion, allowing the material to introduce the topic.


Excerpted from More High School TalkSheets, Epic Old Testament Stories by David Lynn Copyright © 2012 by David Lynn. Excerpted by permission of ZONDERVAN. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents


The Hows and Whats of Old Testament TalkSheets....................5
1. Barak Rocks (and So Does Deb) (Judges 4:1-16) Great things can be accomplished for God if we don't care who gets the credit....................13
2. Who Are You Becoming? (Judges 11:1-40) We imitate who (or what) we worship....................15
3. Is God Like a Genie in a Bottle? (Judges 17:1-13) God does not exist to bless what we do or give us what we desire....................17
4. Getting Caught Up in the Culture (Judges 14:1-3; 15:1-3; 16:1-3) What does it mean to be "set apart for God"?....................19
5. The Samson & Delilah Disaster (Judges 16:4-22) Learning from our sins....................21
6. Dagon Captures Samson (Judges 16:23-31) Giving credit to Jesus....................23
7. Naomi & Ruth Lose Loved Ones (Ruth 1:1-22) Bad things happen even to followers of Christ....................25
8. God Sets Up a Meeting (Ruth 2:1-23) What seems like a coincidence can be God working on our behalf....................27
9. Boaz Marries Ruth (Ruth 4:13-22) God has a plan for you—a plan you may not yet perceive....................29
10. A "Yes" Answer (1 Samuel 1:1-20) God answers our prayers with "yes," "no," or "wait"....................31
11. Dedicated Dude (1 Samuel 1:1-24) Who in your life is dedicated to your spiritual growth?....................33
12. Samuel Gets Called (1 Samuel 3:1-21) How is the Lord talking to you?....................35
13. God's People Get Conceited (1 Samuel 4:1-11) Confidence in religion won't save you....................37
14. My God Is Bigger (1 Samuel 5:1-12) How big is your God?....................39
15. Another Reminder (1 Samuel 7:1-17) We need periodic prompts to stay on track with Jesus....................41
16. Israel Asks for a King (1 Samuel 8:1-22) Getting caught up in the world....................43
17. God's Imperfect People Get God's Perfect Will (1 Samuel 10:1-10) God works in our lives even though we don't follow God as we should....................45
18. Saul Gets a Thumbs Down from God (1 Samuel 15:1-35) Our sin disappoints our Creator....................47
19. Outward or Inward? (1 Samuel 16:1-13) Is your self-worth from what the world sees or what God sees?....................49
20. God Gives David a Big Victory (1 Samuel 17:17-54) We're winners because of Jesus....................51
21. Saul's (and Our) Ironic Jealousy (1 Samuel 18:5-30) Your resentment hurts you more than those you resent....................53
22. First Things First (2 Samuel 6:1-12) Put Jesus in the center of your life....................55
23. David Listens to God (2 Samuel 7:1-22) Open your ears to Christ's voice every day....................57
24. King David Shows Mercy (2 Samuel 9:1-13) Have a heart for the physically challenged....................59
25. Don't Look Now ... (2 Samuel 11:1-27) What sin do you need to walk far away from?....................61
26. Wake-Up Call (2 Samuel 12:1-10) To whom are you accountable?....................63
27. David Is Broken (2 Samuel 12:14-23) Repentance means more than saying you're sorry....................65
28. David's Advice to Solomon (1 Kings 2:1-3; Psalm 72:1-20) "Walk with Jesus" is the best advice you could ever take....................67
29. Solomon Gets His Wish (1 Kings 3:5-15) What do you want God to give you?....................69
30. Solomon Uses His Wisdom to Judge Fairly (1 Kings 3:16-28) Solomon's wisdom can assist us all....................71
31. Elijah Speaks the Truth (1 Kings 17:1-24) God says it, and we do it....................73
32. Choose the Lord ... or Baal (1 Kings 18:16-46) Jesus ... or the world—we can't have both....................75
33. Elijah's Pity Party (1 Kings 19:1-18) Things aren't always as bad as they seem....................77
34. Elisha Wants to Be a Spiritual Leader (2 Kings 2:1-18) What kind of spiritual leader do you want to be?....................79
35. An Unusual Healing (2 Kings 5:1-16) God's ways are not always our ways....................81
36. Elisha Predicts a Miracle Victory (2 Kings 7:1-20) God is working in our lives whether we know it or not....................83
37. Nehemiah Shoots an Arrow Prayer (Nehemiah 2:1-7) We can pray wherever we are....................85
38. Nehemiah Struggles to Rebuild the Wall (Nehemiah 4:1-23) Prayer + action = a great leader....................87
39. Ezra Reads the Law Out Loud (Nehemiah 8:1-12) How should we respond to God's Word when it's recited aloud?....................89
40. Mordecai Remained Faithful (Esther 3:1-15) Beware of those who want to lead you away from Christ....................91
41. For Such a Time as This (Esther 4:1-17) God places us in situations so we can do good....................93
42. Better Than Everyone Else? (Esther 5:1-14) Self-importance can backfire....................95
43. A Famous Test (Job 1:1-22) We may never understand God's reasons for our trials....................97
44. With Friends Like These ... (Job 4:1-9; 8:1-7; 11:1-6) Your buddies may fail you—so put your trust in the Lord....................99
45. Job Gets a Response from God (Job 38:1-21) God is God and isn't required to give us answers....................101
46. Forced to Worship (Daniel 3:1-30) Make up your mind to worship only the Lord....................103
47. A Disembodied Hand Writes on a Wall (Daniel 5:1-31) There are consequences for our actions....................105
48. Daniel in the Lions' Den (Daniel 6:1-28) Is your life in the pits?....................107
49. Jonah on the Run (Jonah 1:1-17) Christ always reaches out to us, even when we try to hide from him....................109
50. Jonah Heads to Nineveh (Jonah 3:1-10) It's never too late to turn your life around....................111
51. Jonah Gets Mad at God (Jonah 4:1-11) We must see the world from God's point of view....................113
52. Missing Bible Found (2 Kings 22:1-13) Rediscovering the importance of God's Word in our lives....................115
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)