One of the benefits of working at Headquarters is meeting leaders across the country … some of whom become close friends. One of those leaders is Lauri Bogart, a ministry team member from Pennsylvania. Even though we live hundreds of miles from each other, we’ve connected through our passion for reaching kids. In addition, Lauri and I have both worked in Cubbies … and in a weekday preschool setting. Recently we were discussing ways to introduce the Bible to non-readers. We put our heads together … and here is our list.
Preschoolers can’t read. They learn about the Bible from you – the adult. Yet, even though they can’t pick it up and read the words, they can learn that the Bible is a unique and special book. Here’s some things to do to make them understand the unqiueness of God’s Word.
1. Explain that the Bible is God’s message to us and that’s why it is so important. God made sure everything we need to know is in His Word.
2. Teach the children that God “talks” to us in the Bible. I would ask them – “How do we talk to God?” They would answer – “By praying.” Then I would say – “How does God talk to us?” and they would answer – “Through the Bible.”
3. Even though you might not be teaching directly from the Bible (reading the words), always keep it open to the passage you’re teaching from and in sight of the children so they see it. (Even if you use an iPad or your smart phone to look up Scripture during church – the children need to see an actual Bible while you’re teaching. Athough kids are tech savvy and you could show them that you can find the verses on the internet.)
4. Encourage the children to bring their own Bibles to class (and make a big deal about it)
5. “Borrow” one of their Bibles to teach your lesson. Not only do they love it when their Bible is chosen, but you are also teaching them that all Bibles are the same and it doesn’t matter which one you use to teach.
6. Teach them a song about the Bible. The old favorite is The B-I-B-L-E. You could change “I stand alone on” to “I love to hear.” Little kids might not understand how you “stand” on the Bible. A lot of newer songs have also been written.
7. Go on a Bible Treasure Hunt. (See page 79 of the AppleSeed Teaching Plans.) Children receive clues to find the treasure – a Bible. Then read Psalm 119:72 together.
8. When teaching a child a verse, look it up and show them where it is in the Bible. Even though they can’t read the Bible, they are learning that the words are from the Bible.
9. Use tools such as the Beginner’s Bible App to introduce the Bible.
10. Put a pile of books on the floor (favorite kid books and a Bible) and ask the kids which one of the books is different from the rest. Then talk about why the Bible is different.
11. When teaching a verse – write it out on a piece of poster board and then add a colorful picture that illustrates the verses. For instance, write I will trust and not be afraid – Isaiah 12:2 on the poster board. Add pictures of situations in which the child might be afraid so that the child connects the verse to a life situation.
12. Begin teaching them that there is an Old Testament and New Testament and help them find where the Old Testament stops and the New Testament begins. Each week you can start the lesson by telling them whether you’ll be teaching from the Old or New Testament and have them find it.
13. Challenge older preschoolers to actually find a book of the Bible. This works best with some of the bigger books – such as Psalms or Genesis.
14. Teach them Genesis 1:1 and show them how to find it in the Bible. They will be proud that they can look up a verse.
15. Begin teaching them the books of the Bible through song or repetition. Many preschoolers have learned to recite the books before they could read – but do this in a fun way.