One of my favorite ministry times is the annual Bible presentation event my church offers to rising first graders. This special night marks their transition from preschool ministry to children’s ministry. All first graders sit on the front row of the worship center and smile as their names are called. They receive their new Bibles from their pastor, and hopefully their love of the Bible begins.
Including the whole family
Bible presentation night can be a milestone event in the spiritual life of a child and their family. Imagine if leaders took this opportunity to expand this important occasion and made it a time that also equips and trains parents to disciple their children at home. What if this was a fun family event that offered a Bible scavenger hunt for everyone? Here is a sample of how your church could practically transform Bible presentation night:
- Begin the festivities with a family meal. Consider showing this Lifeway video clip as an overview of how the Bible is comprised of many stories that make up God’s one big story.
- Consider presenting Bibles to the children after dinner. Have the parents and their first grader work together to find answers to Bible questions that have been scattered throughout your church. Questions could include: Where in the Bible do we find the story of God’s creation of the world (locate the answer near trees or plants)? Where is a songbook in the Bible (locate the answer near the choir room or worship center)? Where can we find the story of Jesus’ birth (locate the answer in the nursery area)? Find and read together as a family John 3:16 (locate near a cross).
- When all the questions/clues have been discovered, have the families return to the large group area for a short time of celebration. Dismiss the children to a planned time of Bible skill games and snacks (visit Creative Circle Media for a list of games that teach Bible skills).
- For the next 30-40 minutes, train parents on ways to develop their child’s Bible skills as a means of a discipleship. A great resource to use for planning your training and sharing with parents can be found through LifeWay Ministry Resources.
The importance of discipleship in the home
Lifeway Research has found that 83% of parents claim they are responsible for the spiritual development of their child, yet less than 30% of parents regularly spend time reading their Bible or spending time in prayer with their children. This same research discovered that the number one reason young adults remain faithful to their beliefs and the church is their commitment to regularly reading the Bible as they grew up. This activity exceeded any other reason that might contribute to a young adult remaining in church. (Nothing Less by Jana Magruder, Lifeway)
For an outline to develop your own Bible skills scavenger hunt and training event, contact Cheryl Markland at [email protected].