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African Bible Study


Western Bible study tends to be individualistic and cognitive. The African style of learning and education is more communal, narrative, and holistic. Studies have found that African students tend to be field dependent; that is, appreciative of clear structure in methodology and content.

Bible study with African youth should give clear outlines and guidelines. Clarify the objectives and main points of the study. African students value authoritative statistics showing the relevancy and dimensions of what is to be studied. Drills with humorous twists can be used to master outlines and facts. African culture has been transmitted orally through stories. Theology is often limited to propositional truths. The Biblical and African form of religious beliefs are more narrative.

Youth love music and drama. Both of these should be incorporated into Bible studies. Perform songs about the major Old Testament events and stories of Jesus. Young people only need a few basic instructions and encouragement to enact the scenes of Scripture. Their dramatic creations can even be given competitive incentive if the main point of the plays is not lost.

Those who plan youth groups or conferences should ask these questions:

  1. What are the needs and special interests of this group?
  2. What has this group been studying/experiencing and where should the group go from here?
  3. What needs to be accomplished in this (these) session(s)?
  4. What Biblical story(ies) will teach lessons?
  5. What Biblical texts state such lessons explicitly?
  6. What songs can be sung to prepare for such a lesson?
  7. What questions about this Biblical story can be discussed in small groups? How can these small group discussions be best reported?
  8. Can small groups dramatize the story in a brief play?
  9. How can this session conclude in a way that reinforces personal application of the lessons?




Dean Borgman cCYS


      This process allows young people to be creative and have discussions in a manner that entertains while facilitating their growth as young Christians. It also builds a sense of community in the group and encourages friendship.






To provide a cultural foundation upon which youth workers of African kids can build meaningful Bible studies.

(Download African Bible Study overview as a PDF)