Schools are out for the summer! This is a great opportunity to focus on engaging your kids in reading God’s Word and helping them hone their Bible skills. Here is some food for thought:
In a recent survey, by Lifeway Research, 2000 Protestant adults were polled.* These adults had finished the parenting journey with one or more kids ages 18-30. These parents did not have to be perfect; they simply had to attend church once a month or more. They were asked: What can a parent do to most highly influence their children to become spiritually healthy adults?
The top five findings that really influence kid’s spiritual health were revealed and they included:
The child regularly reads his/her Bible.
The child regularly spends time in prayer.
The child regularly served in church.
The child listens to primarily Christian music.
The child participates in church mission trips and projects.
It is clear that we need to engage our kids more regularly in the Word of God. During the next two months, I would challenge you to invite your kids and the adults in their lives to read the book of Matthew together.
Here is a suggested reading plan: (Click here to download a printable version.)
It is vital to create a positive environment that will be conducive to spending quality time with God. Here are some important principles:
Talk to your child about this challenge and get them involved in deciding the best time to read the Bible together.
Decide on a special place to read together. Make sure the seating is comfortable and that it is a quiet space free of distractions.
As the grownup, it is important for you to model the importance of this special reading time. If you make it a priority, it will become a habit, and your child will stay engaged.
After you do the reading, ask a question that will lead into a spiritual conversation about what you have read.
As you wind down to the end of the book of Matthew, plan to continue the reading practice together. Allow this practice to become a regular part of your day!
Above all, enjoy the time with your child and communicate this regularly and enthusiastically.
I hope you will consider helping your kids and families get into the Word and establish healthy, long-term practices that will engage kids for their future!
Sandy Coelho serves as lay leadership development coordinator at the Baptist Convention of New England.
*Find more details in a book explaining the study: Nothing Less: Engaging Kids in a Lifetime of Faith by Jana Magruder.