Within its pages lies a rich revelation of God and of his plans for humanity. But simply pointing a child toward the Bible (or a book about the Bible), and hoping that will be enough to connect them with God...
From what I understand of surveys exploring how people come to faith in Jesus, a couple of pointers stick out for me.
Opening the Bible Early in Life
The first thing I note is that the majority of people who become Christians do so in their childhood or early teen years.
Secondly it appears that a high percentage of these are introduced to Jesus by a friend.
You don't need to be an expert in statistical analysis to conclude that it makes sense for the church to invest its energies in reaching children and young people.
It's also pretty clear that coming to faith in Jesus is more successful when it springs from relationship.
Three Series to Make the Bible Live
To help you, your church and your children, I have three book series designed for 7 - 11 year olds which are each designed to help kids get into the Bible:
• The 50 Bible Stories series go one step further and encourages the child to begin to explore the Bible for themselves.
• The Professor Bumblebrain books cherry-pick key biblical themes and help to bring clarity and understanding to sometimes difficult concepts.
• The Boring Bible books unpack the entire Bible in bite-sized bits and help the reader to see how it all fits together.
But there's more to being a follower of Jesus than just knowing your Bible and understanding kingdom principles.
The Bible isn't intended simply as a book to tell us about God. Its purpose is to draw us into a relationship with God. How does this happen? Well, according to those statistics, a key way (initially at least) is by journeying with other people.
Embedding your children in a church family that enables them to encounter God personally and helps to root them in the truths they discover in the Bible is also essential. It's here that children can be discipled and encouraged to become effective agents of God in their everyday lives.
So back to my question: 'How do you get children to read the Bible?'
Well of course I'll carry on doing my best to provide you with resources that help your kids understand the things of God. But, for me, it gets really exciting when a child comes to a place where the Bible is something they want to read of their own volition because they know for themselves the God to whom it refers.
Living a Practical, Sold-out Life for God
Lead a child into a dynamic relationship with God and the Bible is much more than a collection of stories (how ever fascinating) about people the child might well find difficult to relate to.
Instead, they become examples of what living a life sold-out for God looks like with practical principles of how to do it for yourself.
And for me, Andy Robb, that's the ultimate goal.
April 19th, 2013 - Posted & Written by The Editor