One way to encourage students to read the Bible at home is to make Bible Bookmarks with daily Bible reading references.
Type the references for 2-5 verses for each day of the week. Anymore than that will frustrate young readers. There are two ways to do this. You can have all the verses from one chapter or passage. Or you can have various passages on one topic. Either way, it should go with the message you’re going to teach the next Sunday or with your monthly or quarterly theme.
Make Bookmarks from a Template. Once you make a template for the bookmarks, all you have to do is type in the verses for each week. You can make your own Bible bookmarks by using MS Word, MS Publisher, or any other publisher program or use an online program or download.
Here are some links to bookmark templates on the Internet:
- Free Download Bookmark Templates
- Bookmark Templates
- Free Online Bookmark Templates
- How to Set up Templates for Bookmarks on MS Word
- Free Printable Bookmark Templates
- Free Microsoft Bookmark Template Software
- How Do I Create a Bookmark in Publisher
Copy Bookmarks. Copy the bookmarks on colored copy paper or cardstock. If you use a paper cutter, you can place 3-4 bookmarks on one sheet.
Enlist Help. It take a little time to do this every week, but you could ask a computer guru (ususally a teenager) to do it for you. This person doesn’t need to be a worker in children’s ministry. Find someone in the congregation with computer skills who wouldn’t mind spending an hour or two a week. Make sure you provide the verses at the beginning of each week to give the person plenty of time.
Reward Children for Completing Weekly Reading Plans. There are varying opinions about rewarding children for praying and reading the Bible. Some feel we shouldn’t get them use to doing something only to get a reward. Others think it’s okay. Here’s my opinion about why we should reward children for reading the Bible.
Reading the Bible is a habit we want children to develop so they will read and study the Bible for the rest of their lives. Until that habit is established, children and adults will go back to their default setting. The rule of thumb is that it takes 21 days to establish a habit. That may be true when it comes to brushing your teeth, but when it comes to spiritual things like prayer, church attendance and Bible reading, spiritual warfare is involved. That means Satan will do anything to distract. So that habit takes much longer. Rewards are a way to encourage children not to give up on this habit.
The other reason I think we should reward children for doing right like reading the Bible is because God rewards us for seeking Him. Hebrews 11:6 says “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” If God rewards us for seeking Him, shouldn’t we reward our students for seeking Him.