The Gospel-Centered Life for Teens Leader's Guide

Robert H. Thune
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Something or someone will always try to define you. Maybe others call you the “techie,” the “jock,” the “class clown,” or the “smart kid.” It’s easy to think that those labels sum up who you really are, express what really matters in your life, and define the things you should pursue.

But your identity goes far deeper than the positive or even the negative labels people use to define you. There is something at the core of a satisfying and meaningful life that can’t be summed up by any label. The Gospel-Centered Life for Teens offers you the chance to center your life on the only thing in the universe that actually has the power to define you, give your life meaning, and shape how you live each day.

This 9-lesson Bible study, adapted from The Gospel-Centered Life by Bob Thune and Will Walker, gives teens and young adults a road map for living a life centered on God and the gospel. Each lesson is self-contained, featuring clear teaching from Scripture, and requires no extra work outside the group setting. The self-explanatory Leader’s Guide helps small group leaders with discussion questions and background material that clearly explain and apply the gospel truths from each lesson.

Nine-lesson small group study defining and applying the gospel in a teen-friendly way
Adapted from Thune and Walker’s best-selling The Gospel-Centered Life 
Appropriate for believers and non-believers alike, with self-contained lessons and clear teaching from Scripture
Easy-to-use, requiring no homework
Brings teens together, making community the context for gospel change 
Self-explanatory Leader’s Guide available with discussion questions and background material for each lesson


Bob Thune, MA (Reformed Theological Seminary), is the lead pastor of Coram Deo, a gospel-centered church he planted in 2005 in Omaha, Nebraska, after serving as a megachurch college pastor and a Campus Crusade staff member. He is the coauthor of The Gospel-Centered Life and The Gospel-Centered Community, and he is the author of Gospel Eldership. Bob and his wife Leigh have four children. 

Will Walker, M.A. (Covenant Seminary), is the lead pastor and church planter of Providence Church in Austin, Texas, a gospel-centered church plant sent out from Coram Deo, where Will was on staff. He is the coauthor of The Gospel-Centered Life, The Gospel-Centered Community, and Journey to the Cross: Devotions for Lent.Will and his wife Debbie have two children and are looking forward to planting more churches in Austin. 

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"The Gospel-Centered Life for Teens is a remarkable, easy-to-use curriculum for helping young adults go deeper into the glories of all that God has done for us in Christ. Important theological concepts—including God's holiness, our sinfulness, and the relationship between the law and the gospel—are explained in simple, clear, and compelling language. This is a resource that can simultaneously introduce teens to Christ and help committed Christians grow in their faith. I'm excited to recommend it."
Alex Chediak, Professor at California Baptist University; author of Thriving at College: Make Great Friends, Keep Your Faith, and Get Ready for the Real World!

"Fantastic study! Creative, innovative, refreshing, and biblically focused!"
Joe White, President of Kanakuk Kamps

"I know so many teens who need these lessons. They’re living in an image-gripped world where acceptance seems based on this or that label. The Gospel-Centered Life for Teens turns that on its head, steadily and sweetly pointing students to 'the only label that really matters: "in Christ."' What great lessons! They take on the tough issues teens deal with every day, like gossip and greed, and they show how believing the gospel changes everything. I wish every teen I know could do this study."
Jack Klumpenhower, Author of Show Them Jesus: Teaching the Gospel to Kids

"Thune and Walker have given us a gift by reminding us that we never move past our need for the gospel. It is always shaping, always informing, and always transforming us more and more into the image of Christ. If you want a clear, easy-to-understand guide for teens on the theology and application of the gospel in your life, this guide is for you!"
Brian Cosby, Author of Giving Up Gimmicks: Reclaiming Youth Ministry from an Entertainment Culture

"The gospel is a crucial topic for this next generation and one we must invest in as we raise up future leaders of the church. The Gospel-Centered Life for Teens is therefore a great and timely resource for helping to form spiritually mature teens with a life cemented in the gospel, which unleashes them to make a profound difference for the Kingdom."
Dave Ramseyer, Vice President, National Ministries, Youth for Christ

"All human beings are religious. Everyone worships someone or something. There is always a center to our lives. In a world offering teens a constant barrage of 'centers' that lie and can never fulfill, The Gospel-Centered Life takes teens on a much-needed journey into the place where they can hear God's voice, understand God's grand story for their lives, and assume the place for which they’ve been made."
Dr. Walt Mueller, Author of Youth Culture 101; founder/president of Center for Parent/Youth Understanding

"There is nothing more important in discipling students then helping them grasp the power of the gospel for their own lives. The Gospel-Centered Life for Teens is a powerful tool and welcome resource! Many thanks to Will Walker and Bob Thune for developing this excellent tool."
Chuck Klein , Executive Director, The Campus Alliance

"Serge's distillation of gospel truth for teens is a great tool for churches and ministries that are seeking to raise up the next generation of church and culture leaders. I heartily recommend it."
Rev. Jason Dorsey, Lead Pastor Redeemer Presbyterian Church, Indianapolis

"The Gospel-Centered Life for Teens is a thoughtful, age-appropriate adaptation of The Gospel-Centered Life. I like using GCL for one reason: it helpfully illuminates just how big the gospel really is for people like you and me living out our lives right here and now. It helps people like us see that following Jesus affects more of our lives than we might ever have imagined. It's relentlessly relational and hopeful."
Aaron Baker, Pastor, Covenant Presbyterian Church of Chicago

"After seeing such great fruit in my years as a youth pastor and small group leader, I'm so thankful that this great curriculum has been rewritten with teens in mind. In twenty-four years of youth ministry and the shepherding of my own four teenage children, I have found no other study so important and foundational in the way they are to think and live. I wholeheartedly recommend it."
Rev. Mark Kuiper, Senior Pastor Kirk of the Hills Presbyterian Church, St. Louis, MO

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2 Reviews

  • 5
    The Gospel-Centered Life for Teens

    Posted by Unknown on 11 30 2023

    This is a great guide that is extremely helpful in leading teens through this study.

  • 5
    Great Contextualization

    Posted by Nathaniel Hillmer on 06 03 2023

    I'm a big fan of the original format of the Gospel-Centered Life. It has benefited me greatly in my walk with Christ. This format helped contextualize the content for my students (I'm a youth pastor) to make it more applicable. It wouldn't be bad to take them through the original version, but if you have a bit of extra money in your budget, this one is the way to go.

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