Kids often feel the Bible isn’t relevant to them—and they’re certainly not motivated to dive into it on their own. Here are strategies for getting your kids hopelessly hooked on the Bible.
“What if a customer wants cheese on his hamburger?” the interviewer asks.
“I wouldn’t put it on,” says Jennie. “I’d be afraid I’d mess it up since I’ve never done it. When I first started making hamburgers, nobody wanted anything on them. I think what worked then will work now.”
“Hmmm. Okay. What if a whole table wanted the fish special?”
Jennie answers, “Well, since I only do hamburgers, I’d just make hamburgers. My hamburgers are so good, I don’t think they’d mind.”
“How long have you just been making hamburgers, Jennie?”
“Oh, about 25 years now.”
“Well, thank you for your time, Jennie. We’ll, uh, be in touch.”
Sound ridiculous? Definitely—in the restaurant world. But this scenario’s not too far off the mark in many of our children’s ministries. Well-intentioned teachers stick with ineffective methods to get kids to read the Bible because it’s how they’ve always done it. The result? Kids don’t feel the Bible is relevant to them—and they’re certainly not motivated to dive into it on their own.
Are there Jennies in your ministry? Are you a Jennie? If so, don’t despair! Just keep reading — and learn how to make the Bible irresistible for your kids!
It’s About the Kids
If you want kids to be interested in the Bible, here’s the first step: Forget about yourself. Focus on the kids and giving them what they need — and even sometimes what they want! If our goal is to make the Bible an open book for kids, we need to stretch ourselves.
You’re probably thinking, “Okay, that makes sense. I think I can do that. But I still don’t know exactly what to do.” These six steps will help you captivate kids’ interest when it comes to reading the Bible.
1. Discover kids’ interests.
Are your kids into music? Is there a poet in the crowd? Do they come from families who travel a lot? Who are their heroes?
You probably already know much of this information because it’s a basic part of building relationships with kids. But you can also use this information to help get kids into the Bible. If you can tie their interests to a biblical event or passage, you’ll hook them.
Music is an excellent way to get kids into the Bible. Many contemporary praise and worship songs take their lyrics straight from the pages of Scripture, and many secular songs include biblical references. Merely having kids sit and listen as you read a psalm might not be very interesting to them. But if you start with a song they’ve sung in church or heard on the radio and then have them read and study the Scripture it’s based on, they’ll love it.
If your kids are veteran or wannabe travelers, use that to draw them into the Bible. Just hanging a map of first-century Israel on the wall probably won’t do the trick, though. Be creative. Research. Do your homework. Many of the places and landmarks mentioned in the Bible still exist today. Get travel brochures of Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Ephesus, and Egypt so the kids can see what it’s like today. Help kids imagine what it would’ve been like for Paul to travel the distances he did during that time in history. Make it real however you can. But whatever you do, base your teaching on kids’ interests rather than yours.