Don’t just tell kids to read the Bible daily, teach them!

Set the Stage for the Word

by John Hailes/ April 13, 2017

It’s so easy to fall into the trap of finishing a lesson and concluding with the sweeping statement, “Don’t forget to read your Bible and pray every day!” Of course, I’m not against telling kids they should read their Bible or pray every day, but I am against making broad statements when our kids are not always positioned well to comply with them.

The truth is we need to help our kids get to the point where they are reading their Bible daily, but this is a journey. It isn’t something that most of our kids could just do alone.

One of my goals in children’s ministry is that every child develop the ability to read his/her Bible daily by the time he/she has completed elementary class. More than that, my desire is that all children would come to understand God’s Word and how to apply it to their lives.

When we give blank instruction to read the Bible, we can fall into the trap of raising a generation of kids who just “read” God’s Word and who don’t meditate or study it.

It’s definitely important to read God’s Word daily. It’s a discipline that, when begun as a child, can last a lifetime. However, we must work hard when kids are young to equip them to ensure that this discipline is effective and fruitful.

Here are some things to consider if you are telling kids to read their Bible at church and at home:

  • Do they see you reading a Bible from the stage?
  • Are kids ever asked to open Bibles in your kid’s church?
  • Do you challenge them to bring their Bible to church?
  • Have you helped them learn the structure of the Bible (testaments/books/chapters/verses)?
  • Have you sent them home with a reading plan?
  • Have you told their parents about helpful devotional resources? (See great devotional resources for kids.)
  • Have you taught them any techniques (such as SOAP: Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer)?

We often communicate importance by telling kids, but we need to teach them and help them to understand the value of these disciplines!

Here’s the bottom line: Don’t just tell kids to read the Bible daily, teach them!


SidebarTips for Bible Memorization:

Be realistic: Choose monthly Scriptures, and send them home to parents: Don't try to do it alone!

Be monotonous: It takes repetition. There is no way around that!

Be creative: Search Scripture memorization games—removing words, use songs and make them into raps. Just keep it fresh.

Be generous: Don't throw prizes at kids every time, but reward kids sporadically.