How do you get students to read the Bible?

Apathetic Students

This past weekend between services, I had a mother come up to me and ask a question that started a good conversation between her, my wife, and myself, but it also struck me as one that I know a lot of Youth Pastors surely get. With that in mind, I thought I’d throw it out to our readers and see what answers came out.

Here was her question:

My son has no problem coming to church, doesn’t mind sitting through the sermons, and seems like spiritually he wants to grow, but he has no interest in the Bible. How do I get him to read his Bible?

 

So how would you answer this mom? How DO you get students to read their Bible?

18 Comments

  1. The first thing I would ask the parent is does your son know whether or not you read your bible with any regularity? Do you talk about its applications to everyday things (Deut 6) as you go as a family? In our ministry one whole program is devoted to teaching and modeling how to read the bible. I really like the SOAP method (scripture, observation, application, prayer). I made up a monthly reading and on it is the SOAP description. We made a basic plan just one chapter a day on weekdays for those just getting into it and added additional chapters both NT & OT to balance it out for those more srcipturally hungry.
    • I think thats a big part of it, are the parents modeling it. I remember my mom always talking about what she was reading in her Bible and what God was teaching her, and sure, as a 16 year old, I could care less most times, but it also influenced me a great deal to get into the word myself.
  2. The first thing I would ask the parent is does your son know whether or not you read your bible with any regularity? Do you talk about its applications to everyday things (Deut 6) as you go as a family? In our ministry one whole program is devoted to teaching and modeling how to read the bible. I really like the SOAP method (scripture, observation, application, prayer). I made up a monthly reading and on it is the SOAP description. We made a basic plan just one chapter a day on weekdays for those just getting into it and added additional chapters both NT & OT to balance it out for those more srcipturally hungry.
    • I think thats a big part of it, are the parents modeling it. I remember my mom always talking about what she was reading in her Bible and what God was teaching her, and sure, as a 16 year old, I could care less most times, but it also influenced me a great deal to get into the word myself.
  3. I'm not sure there's a blanket answer that works everytime here but with several of my students who fit this exact description I've begun encouraging them to use the NLT audio bible in the Youversion bible app so they can listen to the Bible instead of read. They have seemed pretty excited about it and have already shown evidence of being able to recall passages or stories. This is definitely just a good first step in letting them see why they should continue growing through personal ready and studying of the Bible, but starting with being able to see the big pictures or themes through listenening to it is a great step forward.
  4. I'm not sure there's a blanket answer that works everytime here but with several of my students who fit this exact description I've begun encouraging them to use the NLT audio bible in the Youversion bible app so they can listen to the Bible instead of read. They have seemed pretty excited about it and have already shown evidence of being able to recall passages or stories. This is definitely just a good first step in letting them see why they should continue growing through personal ready and studying of the Bible, but starting with being able to see the big pictures or themes through listenening to it is a great step forward.
  5. I would ask the mom what example is being set at home when it comes to how they treat the Bible. Secondly, I would tell her to help him find a version that he understands. Then reward him for studying. I know that sounds like bribery but as a student pastor nothing gets the students fired up more than a good challenge with rewards at the end.
  6. I would ask the mom what example is being set at home when it comes to how they treat the Bible. Secondly, I would tell her to help him find a version that he understands. Then reward him for studying. I know that sounds like bribery but as a student pastor nothing gets the students fired up more than a good challenge with rewards at the end.
  7. My first reaction to this questions would be to lead by example. The parents and youth pastor should be modeling the discipline of reading the Bible to the students. Just modeling it though will not always make a student sit down and read it for himself. I would suggest showing them how the Bible is practical for every area of their life. Most students don't care to read the Bible because they don't think it is relevant. In your teaching and conversations, show them how relevant the Bible really is to their life.
  8. My first reaction to this questions would be to lead by example. The parents and youth pastor should be modeling the discipline of reading the Bible to the students. Just modeling it though will not always make a student sit down and read it for himself. I would suggest showing them how the Bible is practical for every area of their life. Most students don't care to read the Bible because they don't think it is relevant. In your teaching and conversations, show them how relevant the Bible really is to their life.
  9. Get the student thinking about the bible for what it is.  Not a textbook, but a love letter written specifically for them!   If there is no interest in the bible, there will be very little growth!
  10. Get the student thinking about the bible for what it is.  Not a textbook, but a love letter written specifically for them!   If there is no interest in the bible, there will be very little growth!
  11. I agree with where everyone is going here. The parents must model what is important in the life of a believer. It's also a heart issue. The student needs to have his heart moved to spend time with Christ. He needs to understand why it's so important...not just reading the word. 
  12. I agree with where everyone is going here. The parents must model what is important in the life of a believer. It's also a heart issue. The student needs to have his heart moved to spend time with Christ. He needs to understand why it's so important...not just reading the word. 
  13. Totally agree that parent modeling is the best way to engage youth in reading their Bible.  We try to provide opportunities for parents and students to read at the same pace and through the same material to foster conversation - so we use Facebook and Twitter to post daily readings that will help them read through the Bible in a year.  For our teens who's parents aren't modeling Scripture reading, this gives them a resource for encouragement to read their Bible and a plan to use so they don't get overwhelmed.
  14. Totally agree that parent modeling is the best way to engage youth in reading their Bible.  We try to provide opportunities for parents and students to read at the same pace and through the same material to foster conversation - so we use Facebook and Twitter to post daily readings that will help them read through the Bible in a year.  For our teens who's parents aren't modeling Scripture reading, this gives them a resource for encouragement to read their Bible and a plan to use so they don't get overwhelmed.

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