What Resources Are Available For A Family Bible Study?
When I took on this writing assignment I was eager to tackle this topic because I wanted to learn about resources available for family Bible study lesson plans. There are many, many devotional books available for families. These often have short, one-page fictional stories and a scripture. These devotions are great resources for starting conversation with your family about principles outlined in the Bible. However, if you’re looking for resources that actually study the Bible itself, written for families, the choices are more limited. I have found that the three resources listed below do go right to the Bible as the purpose of the study and are really fantastic tools for those looking for family Bible study lesson plans.
HAND-ON BIBLE NLT This New Living Translation is published by Tyndale and it is incredible! It’s ideal for ages six through twelve, but could be used for younger and older children as well. It’s jam packed with hands-on lesson. One example is that in Genesis they have the family use sculpting clay and create their own creatures and name them. The lesson plans have colorful images, and there are object lessons, experiments, and other hands on activities that make this Bible a great resource for a family Bible study lesson plans.
LET’S EXPLORE INSIDE THE BILE by Fiona Walton I checked out this book at my local library, and it would provide a fantastic framework for a family study. It explains how the Bible came to us, how it is made up, and then it goes through Old and New Testament Bible stories. For example, one of the stories this book features is the miracle of Jesus turning water into wine. It tells the story in two pages, with brightly colored pictures, and questions to ask your child(ren). Then the next two pages have lesson plans about this miracle. It has recipes to make as part of the celebration of a wedding, decorations to make for a celebration, and other places you can go to in the Bible to read about marriage.
MY GIANT FOLD-OUT BOOK OF BIBLE STORIES Reader’s Digest is the publisher of this book. It only has 5 stories, but this resource is ideal for young children. Each story has a giant, fold out flap that opens up and reveals more of the story being told. The five stories covered are Noah and the Ark, David and Goliath, Daniel in the Lion’s Den, Jonah and the whale, and Jesus’s birth. While there are no lesson plans accompanying this book, as there are with the other two resources listed, this is a very age-appropriate book for zero to five year olds and it can be challenging to find resources for this age group.
Making Your Own Lesson Plans For Family Bible Study
Is it possible to put together your own family Bible study lesson plans? Certainly! What would the benefit be when there are already resources created for family study? If you wanted to study, in-depth, a certain portion of the Bible, you may want to create your own plans. You also may want to cater the study to meet your family's needs. For example, if you are working on kindness in your family, you may want to create a Bible study around that, and include personal questions to get conversation rolling around this topic. To do so, keep in mind the following tips.
- Try to keep the size of the passage appropriate to the age of your child(ren). If you have multiple children it would be best to gear the study to the median age. Have your children read to you, the portion selected, to keep them engaged.
- Come up with follow up questions. You can create your own questions to be asked after the Bible passage is read. You could include comprehension questions and some personal application questions as well.
- Be creative. Ideally after you read the passage and ask questions a fun thing to do next would be to do an activity, craft or game together. See the sample lesson on page two for ideas.
- Pick hymns or worship songs that go with your passage. Play the piano, CD player, or sing a capella, and incorporate songs into your family devotion time. Picking songs that go with what you are learning about ties the whole study time together.
- Memorize a passage of scripture that goes with what you are studying. Pick one scripture from what you are studying to memorize together. You could post the scripture on your refrigerator to help everyone remember to practice it on their own.
Family Bible Study Lesson Plan: Genesis 1
Songs To Sing Before/After Lesson: This Is My Father’s World, For The Beauty Of The Earth, All Things Bright and Beautiful, How Great Thou Art, He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands, All Of Creation (Mercy Me), Let Creation Sing (Hillsong), Awesome God (Rich Mullins)
Scripture Verse To Memorize (for young children): "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." Genesis 1:1
Scripture Verse To Memorize (for older children): "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, "Let there be light, and there was light." Genesis 1:1-3
Comprehension Questions for young children: Name one thing God created. What was the name of the first man? How many days did it take God to create everything?
Comprehension Questions for older children: Where is the trinity represented in this chapter? In what way are we made in God’s image? Do you think that the Adam and Eve were vegetarians based on Genesis 1…why or why not?
Personal Application Questions: Which day would you most like to see God create? What would you like to ask God if you could ask him anything about the making of His creation? Look out the window, what of God’s creation do you see and enjoy today?
- Take pictures of creation. Even young children can participate in picture taking if they have a durable camera, or you help them with an a regular camera. Have the family take pictures of the beauties of creation. Print out the pictures.
- Frame the pictures. Decorate dollar store, wooden picture frames with scriptures or words describing God and put a picture of God’s creation by each child’s bed.
- Make animal finger jello. Make a large jelly roll pan of finger jello. Use small, animal shaped cookie cutters to cut out shapes of animals, birds, and other shapes that represent what God created.
- Paint with water colors. Water colors have an amazing way of blending together to make beautiful sunrises and sunsets. Take out paper, paint brushes and water colors for everyone in the family and paint sunrise and sunset pictures.
- Sample new fruits and vegetables. God created all the vegetation we enjoy. Buy a new fruit or vegetable to try.
Enjoy Studying God’s Word As A Family
As you model the importance of learning about God’s word, your child will see what values you hold. By making it something you do together as a family it will bring about a bonding that nothing else can. By finding ways to make it personable, applicable, and enjoyable, your child will enjoy the time together, too!
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