How Come Kids Don’t Read Their Bible?

Boy Reading BibleOne day I asked for a show if hands in children’s church.

How many of you read the Bible every day or your parents read the Bible to you?

Out of 200 kids in my class only 30 hands went up. This was not good news. When I am having an 85% failure rate I can’t blame the kids, it’s a leadership issue.

I asked myself some hard questions.

  • How come kids don’t read the Bible?” 
  • What is stopping them?” 
  • I can talk about the importance of daily Bible reading, but how do I get them to actually do it?

The answer was incredibly simple.

Most kids don’t read the Bible because they have never done it. They know the Bible stories from children’s church and they have watched all the Veggie Tale DVD’s, but many have never cracked open a Bible.

I realized that I had not built Bible reading into my KidMin program. We talked about it a lot, but we never did it.

I know this is radical, but we stopped telling Bible stories in children’s church and let the kids actually read the Bible during small group time.

We purchased 200 NIV Bibles. Third graders and up sit in a circle of eight to ten kids. Each child reads one verse from the Bible, as we go around the circle. If one child has trouble reading we let them pass.

After reading the Bible story we ask questions. I tell my Small Group Leaders not to preach to the kids, instead lead by asking questions. (I want the kids to think for themselves.)

  • What did you get out of this story? 
  • Why did David run away from Saul?

This is my goal for small groups in my church: I want the kids to have the experience of reading the Bible and the Holy Spirit to speak to them as they read it.

Mark Harper

Pastor, Filmmaker and Coach, Mark Harper has over 30 years of experience in the local church. He is the creator of the Super Church 2.0 Curriculum, which is used in over 5,000 churches worldwide. The focus of Mark’s ministry is helping leaders build strong churches and helping parents build strong families.
Not only has Mark served in the local church as pastor, associate pastor, and family ministry pastor but he is also a certified coach with the John Maxwell Team.
Mark Harper

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5 thoughts on “How Come Kids Don’t Read Their Bible?

  1. Vanessa says:

    We started this in our small group. We take a section of scripture and each child reads and then we discuss it. We try to make it relevant to what they are facing today, and how they can apply the word to their lives. The kids like to ask questions and get to see what others are going through.

  2. Linda says:

    Hi Mark,
    Great post! I’ve found that to be true as well, so I started having the children occasionally read some of the Bible verses during our lesson. I also challenged them to discover the treasures God has in His Word, and now the children come to tell me some of the treasures they have read at home!
    Keep up the great work!
    Linda

  3. Jeanne Bowser says:

    Yes, thank you. Good post. I have found small groups to work great for us on Wed. night with our Preschool/first graders in with 7-12 yr. Olds.

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