I remember being in my parents’ Sunday School class growing up and they would have us “practice” using our Bibles. They said “practice”, but there was no practice about it. We were digging into our Bibles and using them. It was a great lesson in using our Bibles.
We teach children to read their Bible and use their Bible as a “How to” do life book, but we don’t always teach them how to use it. This is an important lesson that needs to be taught, and often! It’s not something that you do just once with your children. It’s something that needs to be done constantly and consistently.
Each time I teach, I have the children look up different Bible verses that go with our lesson. I expect them to bring their Bible because we’re going to use them. I want them to be comfortable with their Bibles and not let them be intimidated by them.
To start out, we discuss that the Bible is 66 books put together. It is organized into an Old Testament and a New Testament. There were 40 different authors who wrote over 1,600 years. I show them the Table of Contents in the beginning of their Bibles and we talk about how to use that in order to find the book they’re looking for. This always brings up page numbers. I have to talk with them that every Bible’s page numbers are different. They assume that since that the book of Daniel starts on page 1151 in their Bible that it must be that same page for every other Bible. So this brings on the discussion of page size, print size, footnotes, etc.
We then talk about the books, chapters, and verses. Once they find the book that they’re looking for, the next part is to find the right chapter. I tell them that these are the big numbers. After they find the correct chapter, they find the verse. I tell them these are the little numbers under the big numbers. It’s a little confusing at first until they do it a few times.
Now, the only way to get your children used to their Bibles is to actually have them us them. So have a list of verses (or pick randomly) for them to look up. Let them all look up the verses that you are using in class.
Practice – Practice – Practice!