Your Bible students have NIrV Bibles at home or Bible apps on their phone. You’ve tried challenges and competitions, but your Bible students are still lackluster about independent Bible reading.
Don’t despair! Try taking a page from librarians and bookstores all over the world to engage kids and teens in reading the Bible. Here are some ideas you may not think of using, but translate well to the Bible.
- Staff recommendations. This can be ministry staff or change the name and invite people from different age groups to suggest their favorite book of the Bible to read. Place a display in a prominent place where everyone will see it. Feature a photo of the person, a picture of the “book” (you can do a mock up as if Proverbs or whichever book is actually a stand alone book) and a brief blurb saying why that person loves that book and suggests others read it.
- Story hour. Library and bookstore story hours are popular. Why not have a great story hour where someone reads or tells a Bible story? Add a craft and you may find a really crowded room.
- Banned books. Various groups dislike books in the Bible for various reasons. Feature books of the Bible left out of Thomas Jefferson’s “Bible” or Judaism. In your display, share why that person or group didn’t/doesn’t care for that book of the Bible. This can also be a great launch on topics like how we got the Bible, absolute truth, etc.
- Visitor book reports. Have various members visit your class and give a creative book report on a book of the Bible. They might want to bring a food or craft featured in the book for your class to try.
- Bible book clubs. Sponsor a book club with snacks and crafts. Instead of a regular book though, read a book of the Bible as if it were a book club book. If possible, pick a fun location for book club meetings to increase interest even more.
- Special interest book groups. Have students struggling with loss? Maybe a dealing with loss group focusing on Lamentations or parts of Psalms. There are many special interests that can attract kids and teens to read those parts of the Bible and discuss them.
- Favorite book day. School dress up days are a little silly, but fun. They also may interest kids in a book they didn’t know about before as people share the books they represent. Why not have a church wide dress up day where everyone dresses up like someone in the Bible? Have fun guessing who people represent and having them share why they chose the person and where their story is found in the Bible.
Sometimes doing something unusual can encourage kids and teens to read the Bible. Try some of these ideas. If nothing else, the continued focus may make them wonder what all the fuss is about and read the Bible to discover for themselves.