If I gave my kids (or the kids I teach) a short passage of Scripture, would they have the skills to interpret the passage?
Or would they cherry pick the bits that make sense or they like most?
Cherry picker, right?!
Kids love reading the Bible, but their early enthusiasm will soon be lost if they can’t see the Bible’s relevance for their lives. Unless they can learn how to link ideas in a passage together and break out beyond the straight narratives they’ve become familiar with, they’ll grow bored and miss God’s purpose for them.
But we're not giving up right?
Kids can kick goals for Jesus!
Kids can make a difference in the world, in their families, in their schools if they believe God’s word is relevant to their daily walk.
So, how do we make sure they ‘grow into God’s word’? Not grow out of it!
Why your kid needs to interpret the Bible, verse by verse, for themselves.
Initially stories and lessons from the Scriptures will be fine but as they grow toward their teens, they’ll need more ‘meat on the bone’. Actually, they’ll need to know how to find the bones of Scripture, link them together and what they mean for our daily lives.
Unless they learn to read and interpret the Bible for themselves it will soon become a fog of disconnected, random ideas that don’t clearly seem relevant to their daily lives.
Then, it’s another young life, ineffective and unproductive in the Lord.
Or worse, a ‘I don’t want to go to church anymore’, teenager.
The old parable stands true for personal Bible reading:
Give a person a fish and they’ll be fed for a day. Show a person how to fish and they can feed themselves for life.
Yet most kid’s ministries, most families, just give their kids a fish. We fail to teach them ‘how to catch a fish’ or ‘how to interpret the Bible, verse by verse, for themselves.
Give a child a Bible story and they’ll be fed for a day. Show a child how to interpret a passage of Bible verses and they can feed themselves for life!
The problem with most kid’s Bible teaching programs
Now there’s loads of programs out there promising to help you teach kids from the Bible.
Most take a topical approach, a rare few take kids through a book of the Bible.
The problem with the topical approach is that we tend to impose our notions of what kids need to hear on to the Bible. We think of a topic, a cool hook or theme and then go ‘prove it’ from the Bible. This approach does little to help kids navigate and read the Bible for themselves. Instead when they do come to try and read the Bible, they’ll easily get discouraged by not having the necessary tools to interpret a set of verses without being directed there and told what to look for. Bummer.
But the same applies to devotions you buy from the Christian book store…
The problem with most kid’s devotions:
Most devotions for kids pick a verse and raise some contemporary issues and offer personal application. Often these can offer pithy encouragement, a quick boost from the Word for the day. Occasionally they bomb, either wrongly applying Scripture or leave us feeling cheated. Once again, we easily impose our ideas onto the Bible, rather than let the Bible speak naturally to us. What they don’t do is show us how to link ideas before and after the verse, together. When we don’t consider context and the flow of a writer’s thought, we not only risk misinterpretation, we cheat ourselves out of learning the art of interpreting the Bible for ourselves.
The Bible is more than a random candy jar.
We need to wean our kids off the sugar Bible
We need our kids, as they grow toward their teens, to see the Bible as much more than a candy jar.
We want them to have God’s word as a go to…
“It’s a light to my feet and a guide to my path” Psalm 119.
Which is why I started making some videos for kids that teach them how to interpret just a few verses, one after another, inside a letter or book of the Bible.
We don’t jump all over the Bible.
We pick a book, like the book of James and we start at the beginning, understand and apply a few verses then move on to the next verses, building on what we learnt. It’s super practical and shows kids how to break follow the Bible author’s thought and understand difficult concepts.
Would you like to try it?
You can for FREE with a free trial video and activity page.
All you have to do is sign in for a free account on the landing page, where you'll see the iimage of the polluted waters above
The Free video is the first in a series from James 1:1-12. There are about 5 or 6 videos and the total running time is about 1hour.
What’s to lose?
You're about to start a brand new day in equipping your kids for life from God's word!
All I ask is for some feedback so you can let me know how the video went in your home or ministry.
Go to the landing page and set up your free account today, road test the video and activity page and let me know how it went? Deal?