Inspiring kids to hone their bible-studying skills is a dream we all have, isn’t it? My kids are pretty good about showing up to church with a bible (I do offer incentives) but I notice that sometimes the books don’t make it home. That tells me that during the week, kids aren’t opening the bible at all. That’s not good. You know me–I’ve developed a plan to encourage kids to read the bible at home! I’m implementing and sharing with you these pointers in hopes that we can correct that.
1. Hide a bookmark. I printed and laminated bookmarks with each child’s name on it. As they came in to show me their bibles (and receive bible bucks) I gave each child a bookmark. I placed the bookmark at the chapter and verse where we would be reading that day. This way, kids could read along easily during the verse reading.
2. Pop in a few sticky notes. When you can, open the child’s bible to John 10 and put a sticky note on the page. Draw a little picture of a sheep and write, “You are God’s little sheep.” Personal notes make kids feel special and if they have to hunt for it, it adds a little bit more fun! Put a new note in each week.
3. Suggest a kid-friendly version to parents. As much as I love the KJV, I realize that this texting generation may not have the patience or skills to struggle through all those thees and thous. Would you want to read a book you don’t understand? Me either! Give parents a list of Bible version suggestions in your bulletin or mention it to them personally.
4. Give copies of bible pages and share highlighters. I do highlight in my bible but not all parents like this practice. Print bible pages from your teaching before the class and hand out highlighters. Tell kids to highlight the sentences as you read them. Putting action with reading helps kids comprehend what they just read a little better.
5. Teach children to respect God’s Word. Lastly, I think we need to remember that our kids do watch us. If we show respect for God’s word by handling it gently, taking it with us when we leave church and reading from it, we teach them to respect it too. It really is do what I do, not do what I say.
If we can get kids to fall in love God’s ancient book, the bible, we will give them a skill that will help them for a lifetime!
Read more from Mimi by visiting her blog at Tools for Kids Church.
More Ideas: We’ve written on this topic before and think you’ll enjoy more ideas for getting kids into God’s Word. You can also get help for reading the Bible aloud to children. Don’t miss our top 52 Bible verses for kids to memorize.