Showing posts in 'Encouraging Young People to Read the Bible Series'

Engage 365: Learning How to Handle, Question and Explore God's Word

Alison Mitchell | 11 Jul 2023

One of the main ambitions of Engage 365 is to encourage you to dive into God’s word. Here’s a quick walkthrough of how you can use this resource to help you to handle, question and explore the Bible.... continue reading

Seeing Devotional Time as Essential

Alistair Begg | 3 Nov 2021

God’s word is a glorious gift.

Our Father has given it to us in order that we might know His Son and that we might live in the power of His Spirit, in obedience to His truth.... continue reading

Encouraging young people to read the Bible – Be a bombardier

Martin Cole | 2 Mar 2012

Being a bombardier can be a useful tactic when trying to encourage children and young people to read their Bibles. Try lots of different things. Bombard them with different ideas to help them get stuck into God’s Word.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3 v 16-17)

We want to see children and young people training in righteousness, so that they’re fully equipped to serve God. For that training, they need to be studying, learning from and memorising God’s Word. So we need to try every method at our disposal to encourage them to do that. Be a bombardier. Carpet bomb them with the Bible!... continue reading

Encouraging young people to read the Bible – A weekly habit

Martin Cole | 2 Mar 2012

Since enthusiasm breeds interest, it's a great idea to get our young people encouraging each other to study the Bible. If some of them are particularly keen on it, set up small groups where they meet together regularly, with the specific aim of studying the Bible and praying together. It could take the form of an optional Bible study meeting for the keenies, or something more informal between just three or four of the group.

You may think it’s appropriate for an adult to lead this group or you may want to leave them to it. The former option allows you to shape a Bible study programme for their needs, whereas the latter encourages them to discover Bible truths more for themselves, without being spoon-fed. It also provides them with an environment where they can honestly share their thoughts, worries, problems and prayer requests with each other, without the embarrassment of having a leader around. This way they start to become accountable to each other, plus there’s an element of excitement if they’re starting up something of their own without adult intervention.

For younger children, new Christians, or those asking questions about Christianity, a one-to-one approach could prove more beneficial. You might like to meet up with them once a week to study the Bible together and pray. This allows you to give the child/young person the spiritual food they specifically need. For example, if they’re not yet a Christian, you could work your way through Mark’s gospel, or perhaps a short evangelistic course (there are several good ones around at the moment including the CY youth edition). If it’s a new Christian you’re meeting with, perhaps Colossians or 1 Peter would be a good starting point. Find out if the person you’re meeting with has any particular issues they want to deal with.

If you do meet up for one-to-one Bible study, try not to be too heavy-handed. Make sure they are comfortable. This might involve showing them how to actually find different parts of the Bible. Or it might mean a few ice-breaking questions before you start. Try to get them to do most of the hard work, so that they discover what the Bible is teaching. Don’t just tell them, but let them work it out for themselves, so that they're truly interacting with God’s word. Then stand back and watch God speaking directly to them.

Encouraging young people to read the Bible – A daily habit

Martin Cole | 1 Mar 2012

The simplest way to encourage regular Bible reading is to promote daily Bible reading notes. Do some reconnaissance work to find Bible notes that are suitable for the age range in your group. Most important is finding notes that teach the Bible faithfully, that encourage the reader to interact with God’s word and apply it to their lives. That’s much more important than finding ones that look the part.

If you’ve got the funds, buy everyone in your group an issue to get them started. If you haven’t got the cash, maybe a few people in your church will sponsor subscriptions. It’s a good way for older church members to get involved with children and young people in your church, and it provides a link between them. Maybe they’ll even ask them how they’re getting along with the notes (there’s nothing wrong with a little friendly pressure).

The reason why Bible reading notes are so good is that they encourage children and young people to read the Bible regularly. Hopefully, the notes will also take them through different books of the Bible, explaining the tough parts along the way, and highlighting the specific relevance of God’s word to their lives. Remember there are horses for courses, so not everyone will take to the notes you choose, and you might have to try a different approach with them.

Try to emphasise that they needn’t worry if they miss a few days or weeks. They can pick it up and start again. It doesn’t matter whether or not they’re reading the notes allocated for that specific day, as long as they are reading the Bible. And if those notes aren’t working for them, maybe it’s time to try something else.

If a number of children/young people in your group are regularly reading their Bibles, get them to feed back what they’ve read or learned that week. Perhaps you could prime someone different every week to report on what they’ve been reading, and to share some of what God has taught them. This will encourage them to read the Bible and hopefully will encourage others in the group to give it a go too. It might even spark off discussions and questions about specific passages or certain teaching in the Bible. Enthusiasm breeds interest.

And do check back on Friday for some great offers on daily Bible reading notes!

Encouraging young people to read the Bible – Creating a culture of Bible reading

Martin Cole | 1 Mar 2012

If you’re anything like me, one of the things that limits the enthusiasm you put into encouraging regular Bible reading is the state of your own Bible reading efforts. It’s something we all struggle with at some point, and often ends up with us wallowing in guilty feelings rather than coming up with a new strategy.

Just do it—as Nike’s adverts annoyingly told us a while back. Set yourself a time which you can fully commit to reading your Bible and praying most days. Make sure you have daily Bible notes or a reading plan—it’s much easier to jump into it every day if you’ve got a plan laid out. And if you miss a few days, or weeks, or even months, don’t wallow! Pick up where you left off, and get stuck in again. If your last Bible notes or reading plan weren’t your cup of tea, try something else.

Once we start reaping the benefits of regularly reading the Bible, it’s so much easier to encourage children and young people to do the same. Then we can start creating a culture of Bible reading within the Sunday School class, kid’s club or youth group. Encourage them to bring Bibles along to meetings, so that they expect to be reading the Bible. Show them that reading God’s word is normal and natural for young Christians. If any of them don’t have Bibles, give them one!

It’s obvious, I know, but we can be guilty of expecting unchurched kids to fit straight into our churchy ways, without meeting them half way. So you might want to give them a crash course on the Bible: what it is, who wrote it, what’s in it, how to find different books, the big picture etc. You could do a short Bible overview spanning a few weeks. And when you mention Bible passages or verses, get them to turn to them (and read them out loud), so they get used to handling the Bible and reading it for themselves.

If we take the alien-ness out of the Bible, it becomes a normal practice to turn to God’s Word, not a last resort.

Encouraging young people to read the Bible – Why bother?

Martin Cole | 29 Feb 2012

Overhearing children or teens talking about the Bible is one of those rare treats—the great realisation that they’re reading it for themselves, plundering God’s Word, and it’s having an impact on their lives and their friends’ lives. We can spend so much of our time teaching and talking about the Bible with them, yet we’re surprised when they take it in and start delving into it by themselves. We sometimes forget the power of God’s awesome word, and the work of the Holy Spirit in opening up the Bible to them.

Perhaps we’re even guilty of not expecting them to read the Bible for themselves at all. There can be the assumption that young people hardly read books anymore, so they’re not going to open up a dusty old Bible. And because we don’t expect them to get stuck into the Bible, we don’t encourage it as much as we could. Let’s not sell God’s Word short.

If our heart’s desire is to bring children and young people to know Christ and to live for Him, then we need to employ the best home tutor we have available—the Bible itself. Let's strive to get them into the habit of reading the Bible for themselves—it’s the best teacher they’ll ever encounter. Over the next few days on the blog we're going to be encouraging each other to do just this.

Need any further reasons? Well, it pleases God, as they get to grips with the word of truth (2 Timothy 2 v 15); they need it for growth, just as a baby craves its mother’s milk (1 Peter 2 v 2); it aids their discernment of spiritual truth (Acts 17 v 11); and will build their knowledge and understanding (Psalm 119 v 130); so they can share their faith more effectively (1 Peter 3 v 15); and it helps them to fight against sin (Psalm 119 v 11).

So what are we waiting for?

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