As almost any teacher knows, it is difficult to explain truth without context. Facts need examples to make them real, especially when conveying them to young children. This is especially true when it comes to biblical truth. Sunday school teachers and children’s ministry directors understand the challenge of the Bible for kids: teaching simple truths in the sometimes-complicated context of ancient Israel. Fortunately, there are verses, stories and applications to make it easier.
Bible for Kids – Most Beloved Stories and Online Resources
Among the Bible verses for kids (all from the NIV) that present simplicity amidst complexity is Acts 16:31 – “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.” Of course, this is only part of the verse but it contains the nub of it, as Paul and Silas respond to the jailer’s question on how to attain salvation. Yes, they will spend the rest of their lives learning the implications of these words. For now, however, they know the centrality of Jesus to eternal life and can memorize this snippet easily. It is an effective verse when introducing the Bible for kids.
This verse reads, “The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.” Again, it has the advantages of simplicity and easy recall. When teaching kids Bible verses, instructors want to convey that God loves them; is not out to get them, and does only right all the time. It has the added benefit of reminding them that even when they do bad things, God is ready to forgive them. Teachers can break the verse in half, pointing out God’s goodness in one lesson, and his compassion in the next.
This verse is a little more packed, but a powerful instruction when understanding the Bible for kids. In all, it states “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” It follows from the first two verses in that it serves as a call to action for those who recognize Jesus Christ as the instrument of God’s mercy. Like Psalm 145:9, it can be taught in parts. Best of all, it involves each child in the work of the Gospel as they interact with one another.
Adam and Eve
When selecting Bible stories for kids, begin at the beginning, at least in this case. Knowing God is always good, and that he sent Jesus to save us, children will doubtless ask their inevitable question: “Why?” Why do we need saving? Why do we need compassion? The story of Adam and Eve, found in Genesis 3, makes clear that God said one thing and humans did the opposite. Even at their tender age, children understand disobedience and—to a lesser degree—temptation. Showing them that this is the human condition helps children see why we may all need the guidance of the Holy Book from time to time.
David and Goliath
Located in 1 Samuel 17, the story of David and Goliath can be a most memorable part of the Bible for kids. Giants are part of children’s lore anyway and Goliath represents them in all their menace, arrogance and intimidation. Unlike the giant who fell down the beanstalk to his ultimate demise, Goliath was real, as was David, and was an experienced and skilled warrior. David had every disadvantage save an abundance of faith. His willingness to challenge the Philistine when the rest of Israel’s host shrank in fear underscores the power of faith and obedience. These kid Bible stories free them from the paralysis of fear that plagues so many other young ones.
Jesus Stills the Raging Sea
To be clear, fear is a companion to most children and adults, Christian and non-Christian. This is why Matthew 8, Mark 4 and Luke 8 are so useful in recounting the Bible for kids. When a life-threatening tempest tosses the boat of Jesus and his disciples as they cross the sea of Galilee, the latter are terrified and wake their sleeping leader. In short order, Jesus calms the sea and rebukes the winds with a curt command. His followers are astonished while he chides them for their lack of faith. These passages illustrate Jesus’ humanity in that he needed sleep, as well as his divinity in that the violence of the elements receded at his word.
The Beginner’s Bible
With a plethora of great verses and stories to teach, what then is the best way to convey the Bible for kids, particularly for tech-savvy kids? One effective means of delivery is The Beginner’s Bible, downloadable on any iPad. It combines storytelling, exciting music, and vivid sound effects to present a total of 94 biblical narratives. Geared for two to six-year-olds, this interactive Bible app for kids makes an impression on this very impressionable demographic. The Beginner’s Bible is available in several editions.
Jesus Calling Kids
It is never too soon to start the discipline of daily devotionals. Jesus Calling Kids is an excellent way for parents to spiritually bond with their children since it tracks with a corresponding devotional app for adults. The devotional text and accompanying scriptures are easy to read and understand. Additionally, there is an installment for every day of the year. Jesus Calling Kids keeps children exposed to the Word of God outside of Sunday school or children’s church. It is a daily dose of Bible for kids.
The positive news is that there are scores of ways to communicate the Bible for kids: Bible games for kids, Bible trivia for kids, the list goes on. The bad news is that parents and teachers must sift through all of it to determine the optimal teaching tools. In the end, the Bible’s content is what makes it so powerful and life-changing… and not just for kids.