Most kids who grow up attending Sunday school love hearing Bible stories. Yet when they get older, they often find the Bible intimidating or boring. There are ways to get your pre-teens and teens excited about the Bible. If you start early, they will maintain that enthusiasm into their adult years.
Choose an Understandable Translation
Don’t start your teen or pre-teen off with a King James Version Bible, or any translation that uses archaic language. The English Standard Version (ESV) New International Version (NIV) or Contemporary English Version (CEV) maintain the integrity of the original language while making it easy for the modern reader to understand. Avoid translations like the Message, which are usually paraphrases instead of literal translations. If your child is interested, consider a parallel Bible with two translations right next to each other.
Show That the Bible Is Relevant
Many teens believe that the Bible has nothing to say to them. Actually, it contains plenty of guidance for everyday life. Show your teen where this practicality is found and how it applies to his or her daily situations. For example, verses in Proverbs can teach your teen how to deal with gossip, drama, and bullying at school. Advice from Paul’s letters can show your teen how to cultivate fruits of the Spirit.
Read the Bible Together
If you don’t currently have family devotions, it’s never too late to start. Read passages with your teen each day. Ask what he or she learned or what was confusing. If a passage stumps your teen, research the context together on the internet or through reputable print sources. Try cross-reference Old and New Testament passages to show how both halves of the Bible work together.