Helping students get into God’s word should be easy, but it’s not. Many students hate reading, creating an immediate gap between them and the bible. We need to find ways to help them learn from scriptures that aren’t analytical, like studying a text book or memorizing for a quiz at the end of the week. As pastors, mentors, and friends we have a responsiblity to help students get into God’s word and grow in own faith.
Here are a few ideas we can help students creatively get into God’s word.
- Draw the scriptures. Some students love to draw or digitally re-create what they picture in their heads as they listen to or read a story. Encourage students to buy a journal or a bible with big margins and begin to draw what they picture as they read. Even basic sketches and stick figures help students to think about the scriptures! This can also be a great mnemonic device, as our brains remember images way easier than a concept or text.
- Listen to them. Youversion.com has a killer audio application that can help students hear the word of God. It is read by Max Mclean, who reminds me of the grandfather on The Princess Bride, and can really make the stories come alive.
- Look into what you love. Over 50 years ago, Howard Vos had a great concept that encourages students to dig deeper into areas they love to learn about. Help a student find areas that they want to know more about. If a student loves nature, get them into the psalms; If they love plants and animals, encourage them to read James, If they like war or technology help them trough the Old Testament battles. Overall, this can be a great way to help students see that what they love is even in the bible. (Want more? Read Effective Bible Study by Howard Vos.)
- Get digital! I have a friend who currently gets up early every morning and Skypes devotional readings with some students. He then posts them on Facebook and YouTube to encourage any students who didn’t make the before-school online devotional. This is a great idea that not only encourages getting into scriptures, but encourages doing it together. It also promotes a great example to follow.
- Pray for students. If we really believe in God’s word being inspired, then we know the strength it can provide in a student’s life. The apostle Paul makes it pretty clear in 1 Corinthians 2 that God reveals himself to us in his word through his spirit. Pray that the Holy Spirit illuminates his word in the lives of your students.