Helping kids love the bible: Stay one bible ahead


One of the keys to helping kids love their bible – stay one bible ahead of them.

I have this theory (I have lots of little theories) Kids don’t love their Bibles because we keep them in a Bible that is to young for them for to long. Why do we do this?

  • We attach sentiment to the Bible they currently have
  • We want to keep them babies forever
  • We don’t know what Bibles are out there

One of the best kids Bibles ever written is the Jesus Storybook Bible. I gave it to my oldest son around a year and half ago. We have read each story at least 3 or four times each I started noticing something in the fall. He was becoming more interested in Harry Potter and Lego’s than he was in the Bible. I knew it was time for a change. I started looking for a new Bible.

My son was asking about Harry Potter I told him that I don’t really like witches. To which he said why? I told him I don’t like them because they try to do things without God’s help. We all do that sometimes witches do it more often. I then told him there are witches in the Bible, he didn’t believe me, I told him there are dragons, and stories of people getting killed with swords while on the toilet. He didn’t believe me because non of those stories where in his kids bible. I then knew getting a new Bible need to happen soon I searched and I found the perfect Bible for my boy it’s called “The Action Bible.” The Action Bible is basically a revamp of The Picture Bible. It is done in cartoon style so kids can see the story unfold. It is the perfect transition Bible to one full of words.

I wrapped up my son’s new Bible I was a bit nervous. He unwrapped it and didn’t react to much I explained that this Bible had more stories than his last one. There were witches, battles, and dragons. His eyes were huge. I started reading him the story of the witch of Endor, The dragon in Revelation, the story of Jesus casting demons into the pigs, and the valley of the dry bones (did I mention my oldest is a boy). When we were in the middle of the second story he looked up at me and said “Dad, I love my Bible.” It was right then and there my newest theory was formed. This Bible is a bit older for my son but it’s perfect. I think the reason many kids don’t love their Bible is their parents don’t stay one bible ahead. I have seen 6th graders come to Uptown with precious moment Bibles and likewise have seen some 2nd graders with Ryre study Bibles.

Am I sad my oldest has outgrown the Jesus Storybook Bible, Yes. Am I glad he loves his Bible? You betcha.

Here is my stay one Bible ahead plan for my kids.

Board book Bible
Beginners Bible
Jesus Story Book Bible
The Action Bible
The Day by Day Bible
The Edge Study Bible –

Student’s Life Application Study Bible NLT –
ESV Study bible –

What theories do you have about helping your kids love the Bible?
Here is another post I did about Bibles for kids

My take on the Fammin vs. Kidmin debate

Last year a couple of other kids pastors posted how they are Children’s pastors not family pastors.

Here is Justyn Smith’s Take
Here is Joe Mcalpine’s  take

Justyn and Joe had some great points but here is my take on the debate between family ministry and kids ministry.

When I first started doing kids ministry we had fewer kids than we do today and I also knew less about leading a children’s ministry then. I still have lots to learn but one of the things I have learned is that if I focus on being a “Kids Pastor” I produce a model of ministry that is not reproducible.

Why thinking of yourself as only a kids pastor limits your effectiveness

1. You create a Hero mentality – You feel like it is your job to connect with and to be solely responsible for each child’s faith journey, as a family pastor you see the bigger picture and realize that no matter how talented you are you need a team at church and you need a team at home.

2. You create a co-dependent relationship with parents – One of he biggest problems in kid ministry is parents who hand the spiritual responsiblity of for their kids over to the kids pastor who is the “spiritual expert.” At the same time you have kids pastors willing to except the role as the spiritual expert in the life of every kid at church because they want to be seen as the hero in the eyes of every kid and every family. As a family pastor you focus on teaching kids how to connect to God and parents how to connect to their kids you see value in helping others be the hero.

3. You tend to try to do most things yourself – When you view yourself as a kids pastor first you focus on your relationship with the kids you serve to the detriment of the infrastructure you need to build to support future growth. When you look at things through the eyes of a family pastor you see the need to get the whole staff, the whole church to understand that no one can do ministry, especially kids ministry alone. As a family pastor I realize my #1 responsibility is not ministering to kids but in raising leaders to minister to kids. When you try to do things yourself and you think like a kids pastor you leave a legend and you don’t leave a legacy.

The best way to transform the life of every kid in your ministry is to change the environment they go home to Sunday morning. One of the reasons I have a hard time with most inner city outreaches is because kids experience heaven at the park where your tent is set up but that night head back to hell on earth where they live. Having said all of that I believe as a pastor the best thing I can do is work on how the church can impact the family.

One of the trends I find disturbing and this could be what caused Justyn, Joe and everyone who commented to react is how much energy we put into trying to get into the homes of the kids we serve. As a pastor the best thing I can do is create environments at the church where life change can take place, where kids can hear, understand, and respond to the Gospel. I need to work hard to make sure I have a team that makes that happen. With whatever resources I have left I need to empower parents to do the same at home. The church must never forget that we are called to be the church. (I am way to long in this post here is more on that thought

Families are more mobile then ever. Our influence is temporary. We need to leverage our influence to help parents become what God intend them to be the primary influencers of a child’s spiritual journey.

So even though my business card says I am the children’s pastor at my church I am really a family pastor at heart.

Free Bible Lessons: Psalms "The book of Worship"


– Book of Worship

Key Point – Worship comes from a relationship with God.
Memory Verse – Psalm 8:21  From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise

Skit – What you spend your time doing is what you worship. – We worship what we spend our time doing. Where do you spend most of your time? Have someone mime the entire skit with someone speaking as his thoughts. The person miming the skit wakes up looks around as the person speaking his thoughts says “I am so excited to worship God today.” He gets up walks around thinks “I should read my Bible and pray.” As he is going over to his desk to read his Bible and sees a sports magazine he thinks, “what should I do read my Bible or read this sports magazine?” He decides to read the magazine. He then decides to pray as he is praying he sees his xbox he thinks, “should I play my video games or should I pray?” He decides to play videogames. He then feels bad and decides that he is going to pray. As he sits in his chair to pray he starts to think about one of his friends from school that he hasn’t talked to in a while. He gets up and gives his friend a phone call they talk for a short while he hangs up sits down in a chair facing the kids and looks up to heaven frustrated and says out loud “God how come it seems so hard to worship you today Lord?” “Why don’t I hear your voice any more or feel your presents.”  He looks down and freezes.

Object Lesson
– Rocks can cry out – Have a rock explain how this rock can praise God but worship comes from knowing him. How many of you think that this rock can sing? What for a response; no, I don’t think that it can sing either but the Bible does say that if we do not praise God that could cause even the rocks to cry out.

Object Lesson – Don’t need fancy instruments to worship. You can worship God anywhere anytime. People in the Bible didn’t always have fancy instruments to praise God with sometimes they had very crude simple instruments. God is not looking for perfection from us but just for people who love him and are willing to make a joyful noise.

Puppet – I’m ok because I don’t worship idols like people in the bible – The MC points out that even if you don’t worship carved pieces of stone you still can have idols anything you put before God. That is an idol.

Bible story – 2 Samuel – David worshiping before the ark.

12 Now King David was told, “The LORD has blessed the household of Obed-Edom and everything he has, because of the ark of God.” So David went to bring up the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David with rejoicing. 13 When those who were carrying the ark of the LORD had taken six steps, he sacrificed a bull and a fattened calf. 14 Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the LORD with all his might, 15 while he and all Israel were bringing up the ark of the LORD with shouts and the sound of trumpets.
16 As the ark of the LORD was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD, she despised him in her heart.
17 They brought the ark of the LORD and set it in its place inside the tent that David had pitched for it, and David sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings before the LORD. 18 After he had finished sacrificing the burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the LORD Almighty. 19 Then he gave a loaf of bread, a cake of dates and a cake of raisins to each person in the whole crowd of Israelites, both men and women. And all the people went to their homes.
20 When David returned home to bless his household, Michal daughter of Saul came out to meet him and said, “How the king of Israel has distinguished himself today, going around half-naked in full view of the slave girls of his servants as any vulgar fellow would!”
21 David said to Michal, “It was before the LORD, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the LORD’s people Israel—I will celebrate before the LORD. 22 I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honor.”

Worship Comes from Relationship – We worship as a response to who He is and what he’s done –
Exodus 15:1-3
The Song of Moses and Miriam
1 Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the LORD:
“I will sing to the LORD, 
   for he is highly exalted. 
Both horse and driver 
   he has hurled into the sea.
2 “The LORD is my strength and my defense[a]; 
   he has become my salvation. 
He is my God, and I will praise him, 
   my father’s God, and I will exalt him. 
3 The LORD is a warrior; 
   the LORD is his name.

Worship is part of the reason we were created
– Everyone worships something. It doesn’t take long to see what consumes some people. Some people love Justin others love iCarley the curious thing about worship is you become like what you worship and at the same time the thing that consumes you causes you to worship.
Psalm 95:6-7
6 Come, let us bow down in worship,
let us kneel before the LORD our Maker;
7 for he is our God
and we are the people of his pasture,
the flock under his care.

How should we worship? David modeled it for us in the story.

With Passion – Because of what he’s done
With Focus – Because of who he is.
With Joy – Because of what He will do.



Have a cup ask the cup if they know why this cup was created (allow time to respond). Explain to the kids that this cup was made for one reason to be used as a cup, just like us we were created to worship God. That is the only reason we were made to worship Him.

When should we worship God?
Where should we worship God?
What can we use to worship God?
Who was a famous worshiper?
Why was David so happy worshiping God?
What do you do when you are happy?
We raise our hands jump around because we are happy.
What were we made to do? (praise Jesus)

YouTube Friday: The Man With A Golden Voice

Here is a video that is amazing for many reasons. Firstly this guy is crazy talented secondly because it is a great reminder that no matter what we do we need God’s help without his grace and the power of the gospel in our lives every day we are all capable of making choices that would destroy what God desires to do in and through us.

He’s been through a lot in his life and is now seeking help hopefully this can be a story of God’s Redemptive work.

Enjoy the video this guy is amazing.

What I learned from Jim Wideman Pt.4

What you actually do is more important than what you say you do!

One of the things I love most about the internet is being able to connect with like minded kids people from all over the nation. One of the things I like least is seeing people use their churches and use the internet to build a following for themselves.

In the internet age it is very easy to inflate numbers and talk about what other people are doing and in the process garner lots of attention, followers or what have you. The problem with that is when you do that you build your house, reputation and relationships on things that don’t last and won’t work. On more than one occasion a kids pastor has asked Brother Jim how they can become the next Brother Jim. I am not here to judge their motives but at best that is sort of like my 6 year old son asking if he can have my iPhone when I’m dead and at worst it’s self-focused egotism at best classless immaturity.

One of the things I care deeply about is helping others who are in kids ministry. Do I know everything? No. Have I learned lots of stuff by making stupid mistakes I can help others avoid. Absolutely. We all struggle from time to time with pride and focusing on the wrong things but if we can learn to live authentic lives and care more about building the Kingdom and not our own little fiefdoms the #kidmin universe will be much better off.

What we actually do is way more valuable than trying to maintain an image or build something Jesus isn’t apart of. God has given each of us gifts and talents and has placed us in places where you can influence others, we need to use what he has given us to build the kingdom. My goal in life isn’t to be know by masses but to be found in him. To reach the families in our area who are far from Christ and to help my three beautiful kids come to know Christ and live Gospel centered lives because, Jesus is everything.