Bible learning is lifelong process that should be taught to children early

Bible learning is lifelong process that should be taught to children early

By Carolyn Tomlin
Correspondent, The Alabama Baptist

While watching a group of children in a Bible drill, I was amazed at how fast they could locate the books of the Bible as well as specific verses. They also could recite them from memory.

Silently I wondered how many adults in the audience could have done the same.

A marvel like this didn’t just happen. Their parents, grandparents, Sunday School teachers and missions leaders made this a priority. Learning the Bible is a lifelong process and, like other important values we teach children, it should begin early.

Why should we teach children Scripture? Does it make any difference? How does knowing the Bible provide faith and Christian strength in the world in which we live?

Steve Heartsill, managing editor for Royal Ambassadors (RA) and Children in Action (CA) publications, said there is no better way to understand the mission of God than to learn it firsthand.

“Since WMU (Woman’s Missionary Union) was founded in 1888, we have taught children the importance of personal Bible study,” he said. “When parents and missions leaders point their GAs (Girls in Action), RAs and CAs toward the Bible, they help them understand God’s call upon their lives in context and in a personal way.”

When families make studying the Bible a priority, children see that their parents are involved. It’s a home where “do as I do” not “do as I say” is a way of life.

A widely held belief is that parents are their child’s “first and best” teacher. When parents set an example of reading and studying God’s Word, this image continues through adulthood. A good way to involve younger children is through “Bible Thoughts” provided by WMU.

The following ideas are only a few ways WMU suggests to bring the Bible to today’s children and to make it a tool for daily living. By finding creative and fun ways to study the Scriptures, children look forward to Bible study.

Ideas for teaching the Bible

  • Craft box. Provide each child with his or her personal art supplies — for instance a plastic shoebox filled with colored non-permanent markers, colored paper, glue sticks, scissors, sticky note pads and simple craft items.
  • Small group Bible drill. It’s more fun if several children participate. Learn the correct commands, such as “attention,” “salute” and “find.” Call on different boys and girls to read the verse.
  • Learn a verse a day. If a child learns one verse a day, that’s 365 new memory verses at the end of the year. How can you make this a daily learning project that will be an exciting approach to knowing the Bible?

Try including a verse and reference on a sticky note in a lunchbox, on a bathroom mirror, in a jacket pocket, inside the refrigerator, on a cereal box or anywhere the child daily checks.

Type a verse on a beautiful nature scene as a screensaver for their computer or tablet. This will be the first image they see when they log on the computer.

  • Find the hidden verse. Print verses on cardstock and hide them throughout the house. See how many cards can be found in a given number of minutes. Read each verse and work on memorizing them.
  • Paper plate spinner. Use a paper plate, a spinner cut from cardboard and a brad to make this game (see photo above). Write references of verses you are memorizing on the edge of the plate. As the spinner points to each reference, say the verse.
  • Memory verse bank. To make a bank, cover a large coffee can or other container with paper. Cut an opening in the plastic top. Using items from the craft box, let your child draw designs on the bank. Then print or type each verse. As the child memorizes the verse, place the slip of paper in the bank.
  • Timeline of verses. Using a roll of butcher paper, write the date and the reference of verses learned. Use this as a progress chart.
  • Matching verses and references. Using a Styrofoam board, write Bible verses on cards and pin them to the left side of the board. Write references on the left. Use a ribbon and pushpins to connect the correct verse with the reference. Change often.
  • Bible trivia. Choosing Bible characters, print cards with a description of the person on one side and the correct answer on the back. For example: This baby was hidden in a little basket and placed on the Nile River to protect him from Pharaoh. What was his name? Moses.
  • Bible songs. Setting Bible stories to music helps kids remember biblical truths. Check out “Cedarmont Kids” on YouTube or “Sing to the Tune” from WMU.


Songs for children

  • I am Climbing Jacob’s Ladder
  • Deep and Wide
  • This Little Light of Mine
  • I Have the Love of Jesus Down in my Heart
  • Zacchaeus
  • B-I-B-L-E
  • The Wise Man and the Foolish Man
  • Climb, Climb Up Sunshine Mountain
  • Jesus Loves Me

Source: Carolyn Tomlin


Examples of Bible thoughts for young children

  • All that the Bible says is from God (see 2 Tim. 3:16).
  • I will sing to God (see Ex. 15:1).
  • Give thanks to God and praise Him (see Ps.100:4).
  • Love your father and mother (see Ex. 20:12).
  • Look at the wonderful things God made (see Job 37:14).
  • God made me (see Ps.139:14).
  • Jesus went to church (see Luke 4:16).

Source: WMU “Bible Thoughts by Concept Areas”