By Alison Zeller
Teachers worry about “brain drain” and the “summer slump” when it comes to math, reading, and any other school subject. They urge kids to keep reading and learn something new every day during summer break. But alas, the first month of the new school year is always focused on review, getting the students back up to speed.
The same situation happens in kids’ ministry. You may be cruising along in midweek classes or Sunday school, but boom - summer hits and the kids don’t pick up a Bible for three months!
Before your students leave this summer, encourage them (and their families!) to actively work on their Bible literacy during the next three months. Convey these three ideas to the kids in your program or use them as part of a send-home Bible literacy packet for your students.
Set a Simple Schedule
From toddlers to teenagers, setting a schedule for Bible reading is a great way to stay accountable and on track for the summer. Remind students that they don’t have to commit to hours per day. In as little as 15 minutes per day, they can really dig into God’s Word. Plus, you can create a flexible schedule that allows for “off days.” That’s not too much to ask, is it?
Check out these options:
- This 61-day plan will take older students through the Bible chronologically, hitting all the major events. It provides just the right amount of biblical detail, without being overwhelming. This 90-day plan is very similar.
- For younger students, consider encouraging parents to focus on one specific book of the Bible or a specific person in the Bible each month. Provide families with a fun schedule to keep the excitement going all summer long!
Go Beyond Reading
Children learn better, and remember more of what they learn, when they activate multiple senses. Reading the words in the Bible is only one way to learn about Jesus - there are many, many other ways! Children can:
- Draw through the Bible
- Listen to Bible stories on CD
- Sing Scripture verses set to music
- Write in a faith journal
- Play Bible trivia games
Make the Bible an Adventure
Sitting still and reading for 15 minutes each day may sound like heaven to a busy adult, but it can feel like torture to a kid! The Bible is full of epic, exciting stuff! Let the kids in your ministry experience it!
If you’re setting up a Bible reading schedule for your kids, consider highlighting some of the more adventurous stories in Scripture. Think about the plagues, the journey to the Promised Land, the flood, David and Goliath, the story of Samson, Jesus walking on water, the Last Supper, and other passages that may pique your students’ interest. Send home in-depth information about these stories like background facts, maps, images, and more.
Another great resource is Focus on the Family. Their website offers three Bible adventure kits for families.
What’s your favorite way to encourage kids and families to build up Bible literacy at home?
The external links included in this article are provided for informational purposes only. CTA makes every effort to ensure the information included in these links is accurate and relevant; however, CTA cannot guarantee the content, nor does CTA endorse any of the products or services offered on the external sites.
You are welcome to copy this article for one-time use when you include this credit line and receive no monetary benefit from it: © 2018 CTA, Inc. Used with permission.