- Created: Tuesday, 20 February 2018 11:24
As my kids got older I kept trying a bunch of things, but it was clear the picture Bibles and stories had to go; they were pitching too low and my kids needed some more ‘meat on the bone’.
I was struggling; the picture books and Bibles had been great but now what? Not wanting to make it feel like more homework and at the same time find something that pitched at their level, pushed them and was enjoyable seemed like a tough brief.
When your kids are too old for picture Bibles and story books, what next?
How do you regularly encourage the reading of the Bible and prayer with 9-13 year old’s?
Here’s 4 ideas that are both practical but also very ‘big picture’ and hence what I call, ‘Essentials’ for reading the Bible regularly with your older kids:
1. Show them what following Jesus looks like in practice through short biographies written for kids
Everyone loves a good story, especially when they’re true. Hearing about people’s real lives, how they grew up, how they were transformed by the gospel, what challenges they faced as the took steps of faith makes for engaging reading and listening. We bought some short biographies written for kids and have gradually introduced our kids to the lives of faithful Christians, missionaries, church leaders and martyrs who have trail blazed the gospel both in word and deed across the globe.
Stories like that of Amy Carmichael, Mary Slessor, Martin Luther, John Livingstone and Joni Erickson Tada have been immensely encouraging to our family. We’ve set aside about 10 minutes every couple of nights to continue reading a chapter and reflecting together on the story. Some are better reads than others, so be prepared for some ‘hits and misses’. Overall our kids have enjoyed these, and they really bring some variety into our ministry in the home.
One of the main benefits of reading them together is that as a family you get to see what faith in Jesus looks like in practice. You’ll see things like: Not everyone finds support from their Christian brothers and sisters when they pioneer a new ministry. Tragedy and opposition are common from all kinds of fronts. Incredible determination, love and perseverance are never wasted; God is faithful. Learning to have joy in all circumstances remain hallmarks of their lives.
Tip: Let the kids read sections as they gain confidence and at a length according to their ability as this drives up engagement through ownership.