Monday, November 1, 2010

Children's Bible Study Resource

Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Deuteronomy 11:19

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. Matthew 28:19

Jesus' call to make disciples begins for us in the home. It is certainly not limited to the home, but our own domain is the place to start. God must woo our children to Himself and give them repentant, believing hearts, but He's also given us the job of shepherding them.

One practical aspect of this responsibility is teaching our kids how to study God's Word for themselves, and to realize that feasting on the truth of the Bible needs to be a daily activity the same way eating food each day is a necessary part of keeping our bodies healthy.

I believe God's Word is full of power. He spoke it, after all! Therefore, I don't see much need for the entertainment factor when it comes to training children to read and study the Bible. What I mean is that quite often Bible materials or studies aimed at the younger set are either dumbed down, assuming that children cannot digest Scripture in its raw form, if you will, or they are made so splashy and gamelike that the meaty goodness of the Word doesn't shine through.

Some of the time, the big girls just read through a book of the Bible a chapter at a time. Often, one of us sits down with them to do this, so that we can try to guide and stir their thinking based on what they've read. Other times, we've used a lot of Kay Arthur's Bible studies for kids, which are a little cartoony, but they also expect a good bit from the child-student - scripture reading, digging, thinking, answering questions, as well as putting a great emphasis on the authority of Scripture.

But recently, when both of the big girls finished their current Kay Arthur books, God showed me a neat new-to-us resource for children's Bible study. It comes in lapbook form from In the Hands of a Child. Lapbooks are an interesting, hands-on project, usually requiring only file folders and printer paper. The project information must be purchased, downloaded, and printed.

I bought the Judges/Ruth Project Pack, and thought we'd try it out. I am impressed. My oldest 2 (ages 9.5 and 8) can mostly handle the project-y aspects of the lapbook work (mostly cutting, stapling, gluing), but what I love is that the hands-on element of it does not overshadow the point: digging into God's Word! The girls read a chapter a day of Judges, and each day they write a summary of their reading on little cut-outs, which will be stacked into a "book" once they've finished Judges. This "book" will then be glued into their lapbook. Every few chapters in Judges, there is a small project to encourage deeper thought.

For instance, the chapter on Gideon included extra questions designed to make the kids aware of how they see themselves, how God sees them, and how they feel about this. Gideon thought of himself as weak, as nothing, but God intended to use him for mighty purposes in the land of Israel. This mini-project sparked some great conversations with EG and MK!

The Spirit used it to help me urge Elizabeth to know what the Bible says God thinks of her, and it led into a sweet and quiet sharing/clarifying of the gospel with MK!

I did not intend to be so long-winded about this. I hope it is helpful, though. Either way, I challenge you to prayerfully and diligently seek to shepherd your children, pointing them to Jesus at every turn!
Yesterday, we got to get away for the day...

Many more mercies to add when I have more time!


  1. WOW!! Thanks Beth I needed that! We have been struggling with the boys to get into some type of routine and fine something that is age appropriate for our wide range of children. Thank you for the encouragement. What do you use for LC? I know I have asked you a million times :)

    Love, love, love all the photos!! The one of you and sweet baby C is priceless - and you look GREAT!! What happened to that post baby belly I always seem to have for like 6 months? :)

    Love to you all your beautiful girls (and BB too)!!

  2. Right now, I'm going through The Big Book of Questions and Answers About Jesus. Each day is a 2 page "lesson." We do one of the pages per day, and do the scripture reading part of it both days.

    There's a book before this, aimed at a slightly younger age range - it's The Big Book of Questions and Answers.

    Both are by Sinclair Ferguson. HIGHLY Recommend!

  3. I'm loving the stripe-y baby legs hanging out of the carrier. So cute! Praise God for a lovely, fun family day.

    I always enjoy your recommended resource posts; thanks for this one. I'm going to add it to my sidebar.

    Oh, been meaning to ask you about Proverbs People... for what age range is that targeted? I was thinking about it for C, who is 4.5. But, now I see your recommendations for Sinclair Ferguson's book, which I had completely forgotten about... must do these with him.

  4. Proverbs People - it's doable at 4.5 yrs, but it's easier and probably will sink in more if he's older and possibly even writing, since it's question and answer heavy...a workbook really.

    Ferguson's book (the first one, The Big Book of Questions and Answers) is probably good for C right now...MK had it in first grade, but LC already went through it at about 5.5 yrs old. If you've been doing catechism with C, then the truths in the book will definitely be familiar to him. Either way, I think it's a good one.