One 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.
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.