This guest post for our monthly Let The Children Come feature is by Katie Johnson.
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About a month ago, I found myself with the task of choosing a new Bible study for my children to use each day in our homeschool. I have a 3rd grader and a 5th grader, and we have always used either a prepared children’s devotion book, Grapevine Studies, or some other version of a children’s Bible study or book to walk them through the word on a daily basis. These tools have always served us well, so I was considering the same type of options.
At the same time, a morning Bible study that I’m involved in called HelloMornings was about to begin a new session, using an inductive study of Ephesians called Glorious Grace. The study method used in Glorious Grace (from Quench Bible) looks at a short passage each week. Each day has a focus: on the first day you do an initial read, then each following day looks at truths, promises, or commands. The last day focuses on application, which I believe is the most important part of any Bible study. I have loved studying any book of the Bible using this method since I discovered it last fall; it has made a profound difference in my walk with God.
Inductive Bible Study With Kids
So, I found myself about to begin a new Bible study. I also found myself looking for one to do with my children.
Maybe you’ve already figured this out, but it took me a little longer to realize that I could just bring my kids along with me for the ride.
I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me sooner. I’m learning, though, that while children’s studies and devotions are wonderful tools, it’s a worthwhile effort to take older kids right into the word. Letting them experience firsthand how the Holy Spirit gives understanding (Colossians 1:9) is a priceless gift. I’ve seen this play out as we have gone through our first few weeks of studying the book of Ephesians. Both kids have shown an eagerness to discover what the passage is saying, and it has been thrilling to know that God is speaking to each of them through His word.
Patience and Practice
Practically, this isn’t a study method that kids master overnight. It’s not even easy for adults to master, if we’re not used to studying the Bible in this way. Right now, I’m leading my children to pray first, asking God to give them understanding of His word and the wisdom to know how to apply it. And honestly, there are days when I forget this step. But I’m trying to impress upon them the importance of praying before doing any Bible study. We ask God for wisdom and understanding as we read, and ask Him to reveal what He wants us to do with what we learn.
After praying, they read through the passage in their own Bibles. Then I ask them to see if they can find whatever it is that we’re looking for that day (truths, promises, etc), and we make a list together. They each keep a notebook and add simple notes as we go. On the last day of the week, when we look for application, I have been gently guiding them to think of things they can DO with what they have learned from the passage that week. Since I’ve been going through Ephesians with HelloMornings earlier in the morning each day, I’m able to share with them what I’ve learned through my own study. My hope and prayer is that they will gradually be able to do more of this on their own.
Especially after these past few weeks, I’m a believer of teaching children to go right into the Bible for themselves. It’s been an amazing blessing to see God working in the hearts of my own kids through the systematic study of His word. They’re learning that through His word, God can–and will–speak directly to them…and I pray that this will be the foundation of a sturdy faith in each of them.
Have you done inductive Bible study with your children? Can you do so while both incorporating your favorite children’s bible studies and with just the Bible at times? Share your ideas in the comments!
This guest post is written by Katie Johnson (@KJ_Clem on Twitter). Katie is a wife, homeschooling mom of two, and wannabe farm girl who lives in the South Carolina foothills. She’s learning what it looks like to love God, learn His ways, and lead others to do the same. She takes photos of sunsets, lives in flip flops, and gives too many treats to her backyard chickens. Connect with her onTwitter.