Thanksgiving Bible Study for Youth

By Doug Franklin October 23, 2020

We compiled 4 Thanksgiving Bible studies for your youth ministry to help your students cultivate a spirit of gratitude during the Thanksgiving season.

From considering how to live a thankful lifestyle every day to helping students develop a heart that is content and grateful toward God no matter their life circumstances, these interactive Thanksgiving lessons will take students deeper into the many reasons we have to be thankful.

In each youth Thanksgiving Bible Study you will find:

  • Facilitator guides
  • Student handouts
  • Biblical examples
  • Debrief and discussion questions
  • Activities
  • Media and Graphics

thanksgiving bible studies for youth

thanksgiving lesson #1: bless the lord

Thanksgiving Bible Study for Youth

This free lesson is from our Pursuit One-Year Bible Study Curriculum.

This Thanksgiving lesson encourages students to reflect on all God has done in their lives and in the lives of his people. The Israelites would sing each other the psalms to remember who their God was and hope again in his goodness. Psalm 103 specifically encourages readers to respond by “blessing the Lord,” which is praising and thanking God for what he’s done and who he is. Students will be challenged to consider what it looks like to praise God in good times and in bad and will end with making a “Psalm 103” of their own.


Psalm 103


  • How might someone who’s truly thankful for God’s work and presence act differently from someone who takes those things for granted? Which person are you?
  • How has your gratitude for God’s goodness changed your life?
  • Out of the action verbs in Psalm 103, which one means the most to you and why?


Disciples of Christ gratefully recognize that all good gifts come from God.


Psalm 103:2-5

thanksgiving bible study #2: one big family

Thanksgiving Bible studies for youth

This Thanksgiving lesson is from our Vantage One-Year Bible Study Curriculum.

Help students see that the family and social unity that Thanksgiving promises can only truly be found in Jesus.

Jesus has overcome the world by uniting believers to God and to each other. Students will see how special it is that through Jesus, we who were once far from God have been accepted into his family. They will be challenged to maintain unity in their relationships with other Christians and to readily accept others as brothers and sisters in Christ


Ephesians 2:11-22


  • What does this passage say Jesus does for those who are far from him? What about for those who are near to him?
  • What do you think it means when Paul says Jesus “is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility” (v.14)?
  • Do you see more unity or division in your relationships with other Christ-followers?
  • Where is there division or a need for more unity in your life?


Disciples of Christ are thankful for the broad and diverse family of the Kingdom of God.


Galatians 3:28

bible STUDY #3: cultivating gratitude

free thanksgiving lesson

This Thanksgiving lesson is from our Intersections One-Year Bible Study Curriculum.

Help students develop a heart that is content and grateful toward God no matter their life circumstances.

By examining a psalm of praise, students will see how the condition of our hearts impacts our abilities to truly experience and express gratitude for all God has done. From a real-life example, they’ll learn how living a life of gratitude leads to contentment with God and a desire to share him with others. And through a final activity, students will be challenged to identify and grow in their own gratitude.


Psalm 95


  • What does the author mean that those who harden their hearts won’t enter God’s rest?
  • Think of your last five interactions (in-person or online).
    • How many would fall in the grumbling category? In the grateful category?
    • What does this tell you about the condition of your heart (hard or soft)?
  • If soft hearts lead to feelings of gratitude, perhaps the opposite is true. How can looking for things that make us grateful help to soften our hearts?


Disciples of Christ experience and share God’s rest as they cultivate grateful hearts.


Psalm 95:8a

lesson #4: who’s entitled to your thanks?

This free lesson is from our Black Letters of Jesus One-Year Bible Study Curriculum.

Help students learn what it looks like to live a thankful lifestyle every day. Each year we set aside one special day to focus on the things we are thankful for. But even for those short 24 hours, we often focus on turkey, stuffing, and football instead of gratitude. If we can’t keep a thankful attitude for a single day, how will we ever remember that thankfulness matters all year round?

This interactive Bible study will take students beyond “thankfulness” in church or on a holiday, and help them develop a thankful attitude that will motivate them to serve, love and worship God differently.


Luke 17:11-19

discussion questions:

  • What are some of the most meaningful or memorable ways you’ve been thanked?
  • Has anyone done anything for you recently that you might have forgotten to thank them for? What can you do to say “thanks”?
  • How do you see thankfulness being linked to worship in this story?
  • How do you show your gratitude and worship to Jesus for his work in your life?

memory verse:

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

If you love each of these Thanksgiving Bible Studies for Youth, check out our similar free lessons for Christmas.

About the Author

Doug Franklin

Doug Franklin is the president of LeaderTreks, an innovative leadership development organization focusing on students and youth workers. Doug and his wife, Angie, live in West Chicago, Illinois. They don’t have any kids, but they have 2 dogs that think they are children. Diesel and Penelope are Weimaraners  who never leave their side. Doug grew up in…  Read More