Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Whispering The Truth

We all wrote down the name of a Bible feature we knew our Bibles had, on a Post-it® note and then walked to the front of the class to stick it on the wall. 

  • index
  • concordance
  • cross references
  • chapters
  • verses
  • maps
  • explanation of format
  • charts
  • list of promises

What was this all about? We were in a seminar on how to “Whisper the Word” to our children, led by Sarah Poling, Emmaus TED faculty. Sarah (who happens to share one set of great great grandparents with me) was demonstrating a method of getting our kids excited about the Bible. How would your children react if you let them stick Post-it® notes all over the wall?

Sarah says Post-it® notes are “magic” teaching tools. When children get to peel one (or more) off, write on them and then stick them somewhere, they think and they learn. She did this activity with the Sunday School children at the local church she attends and watched them look through a pile of Bibles they had each brought that day to discover what they can learn by just looking through the Bible. The kids were amazed and went home excited to ask their parents their homework questions: What is your favorite Bible feature? Which ones do you use?

Sarah has three children, boys 10, 7, and a 2 year old daughter. Her passion is to “whisper truth with her kids.” As a teacher and education teacher she knows all the strategies to get kids to love to read, and she wants to transfer these to getting kids to love the Bible, whether they are her Sunday School students or her own children. 

The number one way to keep the JOY present? Use the privilege of reading the Bible to get to know God!
The top way to do this is to always point back to God in the story.

After reading a Bible story or passage, ask questions to help your children see God in the story, even in ways He’s not specifically named. I personally LOVE the story of Abraham offering Isaac. It’s so exciting to get to the point of Isaac tied down, Abraham raising the knife to sacrifice Isaac, all the while the mother in me is screaming, “No!”  At the last moment, God sends the angel of the Lord to stop Abraham and provide the ram with his horns caught in the thicket. Relief! I see God loves to bring us to the point where there is nothing else to do but trust Him and watch Him provide. I’m getting to know God and how He works. Can I pass that enthusiasm on to others?

I’m looking forward to the day when several grandchildren are visiting and after a meal I give them Post-its® to write what they know about David or the birth of Jesus! Maybe I’ll even think of something for my grown kids to do!

Another way to inspire our kids to read the Word of God is to provide opportunities to read it for themselves. Sarah enthusiastically showed us example after example of children’s Bibles--from wordless to full translation texts--that she had picked up “at Goodwill, garage sales, bookstores, and online.” She has a list of Bibles in the livebinder part of her blog. 

This was another idea I came away excited about. I can’t wait to start looking for good children’s Bibles in order to stock a bookshelf in my living room for my grandchildren to “find” when they visit me.  I always loved reading to my children, and I’ve already read to our one year old Anna. What could be better than reading the Bible to her? 

When she’s older, she can begin to look at and then read them for herself as she discovers how fascinating the Bible really is.

Sarah has her children carry Bibles with them whenever they go out in the car. Even the two year old won’t go out without one. How did she do this? By modeling it, by having interesting looking Bibles available to her children, by making it a special privilege to take a Bible with them. Her boys even argued over who got to carry The Action Bible  until she bought a second one. What a great problem!
Of course the photo was staged--that's why no seat belt!

My prayer is that my love for the God and His Word be contagious to those around me. Sounds like Sarah’s on her way to that. How about you?

I encourage you to take a look at Sarah’s blog  and especially her two part post  on getting kids to love the Bible which contains much of what she told us in the seminar. 

Then write and tell me how she motivated you to get your kids excited about the Bible!


Photo Credits: Post-It Notes, arrow, and last two by Sarah Poling 

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