Family Bible Reading Plan
Reading the Bible helps us to know God. It’s hard to follow God if we don’t know Him. In the Bible, we learn to understand God’s character. We learn how He has acted in the past, and we are invited to be a part of His story and the work He is doing in our world today. When we know His story we can have confidence that His character is consistent—the same power and love He showed in the Bible is the same power and love He offers today.
Reading the Bible as a family is important because:
- It teaches our children God’s story
- It models for our children that God’s Word should have a regular place in our life. When we make family Bible reading a habit, our children help keep us accountable to it!
- It helps us learn and grow together. Family Bible reading is a great way to spiritually connect as a family. It provides a time for us to learn from one another as we listen to God speak to us through His Word.
Before you start, think through the following:
- When will we read? Consistency is key. You might not land it every single day, but if you don’t have a regular time scheduled into your calendar for family Bible reading, it simply will not happen.
- Where will we read? What is the best place where we can all engage well together? Family table? The couch? Child’s bedroom?
- What will you read? Do you have a plan? (see below for family Bible reading plans) Depending on the ages of your children you might want to consider reading from the NIrV. This is like the NIV, only with the larger words and concepts simplified. It reads at about a grade 3 level, so it is perfect for parents reading to younger children. Once your children are in a routine, they will get used to whatever version you typically use. We suggest the NIV or the NLT for reading along with kids.
- What do you need? Highlighter? Different version? Que cards for jotting down key ideas? A family Bible reading journal?
Resources to help you along the way:
Tips for reading the Bible with children:
- Pray together that God would speak to you. “For the Word of God is alive and active, sharper than any double-edged sword.” Hebrews 4:12a
- Pause and take breaks. As you read the passage, take breaks to talk about what is going on. This helps hold their attention and helps them follow along. You might pause and quiz them on a name or a number mentioned, or even see if your child can summarize in his/her own words.
- Highlight important words or words that stand out. Make space for asking questions, yourself included! If you discover things that you cannot answer take time later to research the answer or ask someone you know who can explain it. This shows your kids that they don’t need to have all the answers. We are learning together!
- Enter into the story. Have your child put themselves into the shoes of different characters. “How do you think they felt when…?” “What would you do if…”
- Ask the “so what?” Ask your child what this story says about God? About people? How would God want us to respond from what we read?
Tools to help you and your children understand:
Buck Denver – RightNow Media (excellent for adults and children)
The Bible Project – short overviews of each book to help you understand the big picture before you read.
Family Bible reading plans:
- We recommend you don’t jump all around. Choose a Bible book and go through it. Help your children understand the big picture; the flow. Before you start a book of the Bible makes sure to check out a book overview. This will really help get the big concepts as you slowly read day by day.
- Here are three different Bible reading plans you can use and adapt depending on your family context.
- Beginners Bible reading plan: This plan walks through the Big Story. It avoids passages that are geared to a more adult context, while still covering the different types of literature. It covers about 15 verses per day. This might be a great place to start if you want to read with younger children! http://dwightgingrich.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Beginners-Bible-Reading-Plan.pdf
- Reading the New Testament 5 minutes a day, 5 days a week:
- Reading the whole Bible in three years – roughly one chapter per day. http://www.moodychurch.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/bible_threeyear.pdf
*Lastly, don’t get discouraged.
Sometimes life happens. If you miss a day, a week, or even a month, just pick up where you left off! Ask your children to help you make Bible reading a priority.