LifeWay Research questioned 2000 parents of adult children who did not walk away from their faith after leaving college. The principal determiner of strong spiritual health in the young adults was consistent Bible reading as a child and teenager.
So, what can a church do to reinforce the importance of this spiritual discipline?
In many churches, the new school year is the time to present a Bible to first-graders. The presentation celebrates that first-graders are learning to read and can appreciate God’s Word in a new way. In addition, having all the children in one class using the same Bible helps Sunday School teachers teach new Bible skills to their students.
Choosing a Bible to present can be challenging due to the variety of styles and costs found online and at local bookstores. Here are five guidelines to consider when choosing a Bible for young children.
Is the Bible a size that allows a child to carry and handle it easily with print large enough for young eyes to read?
Is the Bible cover a good quality that will last for several years of use?
Does the Bible have both the Old and New Testaments? Be sure to purchase a Bible and not a Bible storybook.
Is the translation easy to read and understand? Does it complement the Scripture used in the Sunday School curriculum? Does it have a clear table of contents with Bible study aids like maps and a short Bible dictionary?
Do the pictures in the Bible reinforce the idea that the stories in the Bible really happened and are true?
A great resource for training leaders and parents on the development of Bible skills for children is “Bible Skills for Kids” from LifeWay. Consider having a luncheon after the Bible presentation and train parents to help their children love and use their new Bible. Try using the format of a scavenger hunt to locate answers to questions about their new Bible, or host a family game time with Bible skill questions.
Help your church and parents celebrate this significant milestone in the spiritual development of children so that children understand that, “The B-I-B-L-E is the book for me!”