Saturday, February 16, 2013

7 Ways to Breathe New Life into Family Bible Reading

It's Lent.  We're supposed to be reading the Bible to our kids, with our kids, around our kids, like, all the time.  Right?
I'm kidding.

But it is a good time to dust off the Bible and encourage the little ones to examine God's word.  Without subjecting ourselves to the young 'uns groans or glazed-over, vacant stares.  Or our self-imposed guilt-ridden torture.

Here are a handful of outside-the-box ideas for infusing our families with a little more Bible time.

1. Make a Bible Date 
Aaaaaaawww.  Cheesy, but cute!
Snuggle on the couch with blankies and popcorn.  Take turns reading verses.  Or, if you are a family with multiple Bibles, compare a Bible reading across different translations.  (Even if you don't have multiple Bibles, you can do this by searching multiple translations on a Bible search engine, like, and printing them out.)

2. Bible Bomb your Family 

Yarn bombing by Suzanne Tidwell in Seattle
Have you heard of or seen yarn bombing?  Knit or crocheted works pop up in the most unexpected places.  It's part public art, part yarn vandalism.  So, how do you Bible Bomb?  Please don't chuck the good book at unsuspecting people.  Just print out some cute little verse cards and sneak them into surprising places.  Hubby's briefcase.  Daughter's jewelry drawer.  Son's Lego display.  In a cereal box.  (Speaking of which, whatever happened to toys in cereal boxes?)  Taped to the dental floss.  (A good way to see  who's flossing and who's not.)  Tucked behind the sun visor in the car.  You get the idea.  It's like being a scripture-card-carrying Verse Ninja.

3. Rock Out
Pull up a Seeds Family Worship video on You Tube and crank the volume.  These clever videos put Bible verses to song in a catchy-but-not-sugar-coated way.  They are great for encouraging memorization of Bible verses.  Maybe you'll be hooked and then you can your own favorite verses to music and make your own famous YouTube video...!
4. Set a Verse to Song
Start with a familiar tune like "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" or "Jingle Bells" or "Three Blind Mice" or the latest Justin Beiber hit, then change the lyrics to the words of a favorite Bible verse.  Sing it at bedtime, in the car, while washing hands for 120 seconds or brushing teeth for another 120 seconds... you get the idea.  Make up dance moves to go with your catchy scripture song.  Get out the video camera.  Post said video to YouTube and become an overnight sensation.  Wheeeee!    

5. Get Techy  
My daughter came up with this idea.  There I was, inspired by the kinetic typography of the aforementioned Seeds video, trying to do something simpler with iMovie.  "Mom," darling daughter said, like she couldn't believe I was still in the dark ages blogging on the cave wall with a piece of charred wood, "you should use Animoto."    

Oh.  Yeah.  Animoto.  Duh.

Animoto, for neophytes like me, is a website that allows you to create free short videos from pics, vids, text, whatever.  Easy peasy.  Even a cave-mom can do it. So half an hour later we created this...   You, too, can make your own slide show at Animoto.  
A 38-second video featuring one sweet and uplifting Bible verse.  I bet we could do the next one in under 20 minutes.  And the one after in 10.  How fast can your family make a verse video?     Undoubtedly there are hundreds of other cool apps that our kids know all about which would lend themselves to engaging creatively with Bible verses.  Let me know what the next generation surprises you with!   

6. Have a Bible Story Art Show    
Using a favorite Bible story, give everyone thirty minutes to create a work of art inspired by the scripture passage.  Get out the Play-Doh, crayons, markers, paints, pipe cleaners, old newspapers... whatever gets your creative juices flowing.  Display the artwork in your living room, serve sparkling cider (unless your kids are old enough to drink champagne) and fancy hors doeuvres with frilly toothpicks.  Play jazz softly in the background.  Ooh and aah over the creative genius in your very own blood lines. 

7. Turn it into a Game 
Play "Who Can Find This Bible Story the Fastest?"  The winner gets to read the story and pick then next one.  Looking for a list of stories?  Click here. 

Play Bible story hangman.  Have Bibles out for handy reference (because you can only use "Jesus" and "David" and "Golgatha" so many times.  Or play Bible Pictionary.   Hmmm.  I'm running out of steam.  These ideas seem a little tame after the thrilling possibilities of Setting a Verse to Song or Bible Bombing.  What are YOUR favorite ways to inspire more Bible reading in your family?

 P.S.  You can also checkout this pastor's ideas on Making scripture fun for kids

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