I am honored to lead the Resources Division at LifeWay and serve with a team of leaders who are passionate to serve the Church in her mission of making disciples. Each Wednesday, I share the heart behind one of the resources our team has developed and give an opportunity for you to register to win a free copy of the resource. This week’s giveaway includes one Younger Kids Tool Kit and one Older Kids Tool Kit from Explore the Bible: Kids.
A recent LifeWay Research study shows that while the majority of churchgoers desire to honor Christ and meditate on biblical truths, few actually engage in personal Bible reading. Forty percent of church attenders surveyed claimed to read their Bibles less than once a month. Eighteen percent claimed to read the Bible rarely or never, and only nineteen percent shared that they read the Bible every day.
These statistics are deeply concerning.
If people who make decisions in churches are not spending time in God’s Word, how can these decisions be God-honoring? If parents are not spending time in God’s Word, they will be ill-equipped to disciple their kids. If people are not spending time in God’s Word, they won’t be sharing His Word with others.
Addressing this issue in our churches must include investing in children and helping them develop a hunger for God’s Word. Not that we should only focus on the kids, but kids ministry provides opportunities to implant the Word in children while they are greatly impressionable. We must prioritize biblical engagement in literacy in kids ministry for at least the four following reasons:
1. To help kids understand that the Bible applies to their daily lives
If they learn this, they will learn that they can rely on the Scripture as they enter their adolescence, young adulthood, and the later phases of their lives.
2. To help kids discover a love and passion for God’s Word
We spend time with whom we love and doing things we love. If kids will discover a love for God’s Word, their love will motivate them to spend time in God’s Word.
3. To help kids establish healthy spiritual disciplines
The apostle Paul encouraged the younger Timothy to “train yourself in godliness” for physical training has some value but godliness has value in this life and the life to come. In our research behind Transformational Discipleship, we discovered that the spiritual discipline of Bible engagement positively impacts engagement in every other spiritual discipline (giving, serving, sharing the gospel, fasting, praying, etc.). In other words, from a research vantage point, it is the one discipline that impacts all the other disciplines.
4. To help lay a foundation that will point kids to a saving knowledge of Christ
Faith comes from hearing the Word, so bringing the Word faithfully and consistently to kids prepares their hearts to understand the gospel and to receive Christ.
When kids develop Bible skills from a young age, they are likely to continue practicing those disciplines throughout the rest of their lives, which will help them stay committed to church and spiritual development. If we lead our kids ministries effectively, by God’s grace, we can see the statistics change.
To help kids ministries engage kids with the Bible, we offer Explore the Bible: Kids.