Studying the Bible is a trait that will benefit children their entire lives. Reading scripture is one of the greatest desires we can instill in our children - our own and those in our church.
How to teach children to study God's Word:
- Model it. Passionately, enthusiastically, and practically - make the Bible part of who you are. Carry it with you, memorize it, consult it often, and let your students know that you are obedient to it.
- Use the Bible. Keep your Bible in your hands or nearby throughout the lesson. Let the children see you referring to it as you tell the story. Read verses from the Bible, not from the teacher's guide. Let the Bible be the ultimate authority in your class.
- Make Scripture interesting. Use teaching techniques such as drama and role-play to bring the past into the present. Explain unusual Bible customs, serve Bible-time food, and explain and enjoy the imagery of Bible poetry.
- Get children to dig in and find answers for themselves. It probably never will occur to children to read the Bible unless they are introduced to reading it. Whenever possible, have children look up passages themselves. Make sure they understand how the Bible is organized - that 66 smaller books make up the Bible. Make sure they know what chapter and verse numbers mean. Then help them understand what the Bible is saying to them. Teach them how God's Word applies to their lives.
- Teach that God's Word is important and eternal. Children won't know that God's Word is more important than any other book unless you tell them. Treat the Bible with respect. Explain that the Bible is true and that it will last forever. Help children understand that the Bible tells how God has worked through history to bring people into relationship with Him.
- Encourage children to read the Bible on their own. Do everything you can to ensure that every child has an age-appropriate Bible at home. Explain that it's important to know what God says. You might want to give children fun, easy, and nonthreatening "homework" assignments that require them to look in their Bibles.
Reprinted by permission from Quick Relief For Sunday School Teachers. Copyright (c) 1998 by Group Publishing, Inc., 1515 Cascade Avenue, Loveland, CO 80539, 1-800-447-1070.