Sunday, July 21, 2019

First Bible Milestone

A first Bible ceremony is a great way to help you connect with the families of the children in your kidmin. Normally, a first Bible means a translation such as NIV or ESV or NLT, but I like to take it further. In our church, we give a first Bible storybook to our families. Group used to make a kit for a First Bible Ceremony as part of their milestone markers series.

I borrowed some ideas from the Group kit I purchased, and then made up my own. I like doing a storybook Bible because you can reach the really young children then. Parents are so much more open when their children are young. They don't have as many secular distractions. In addition, I think it is great to catch everyone as young as you can and begin making that parent/church connection. This is one way the church can come along side parents and support them.

There are a lot of good storybook Bibles out there. I think the best is The Beginner's Bible. The pictures are simple and the stories are well told. That being said, we have used a different story Bible for all of our ceremonies because it correlated with our Bible teaching material for the children. I chose the My Awesome God Bible storybook. It has more stories than The Beginner's Bible, but less pictures. So each has their own advantage. One think I do not care for in My Awesome God is the advertising on the last page for their curriculum. It is great curriculum, but I would prefer it were not advertised in the books our church is giving as a gift.

The main reason we use My Awesome God is because children will see the same pictures in it that are on their take home papers. I want them to make the connection that what they are hearing in class has come from the Bible. It gives a second chance to reinforce what we learned when children see the same pictures in their Bible at home. We encourage our parents to read the Bible with their children each night.

This year we had a child going into second grade. While he really still enjoys examining the pictures in the My Awesome God Bible storybook, we felt he would outgrow it soon. We purchased The Action Bible for him by David C. Cook. His father does not attend church, but the next week we learned that his dad was intrigued by the pictures in the Bible.

You can design your own ceremony. We took pictures of the children ahead of time and then put them up on the screen with their names as each one received their Bible. We SHOULD have taken a picture of each child receiving them, and then given a framed copy to parents, but this was hindsight.

Our Pastor wrote up a very simple ceremony, a bit like taking vows. You can access the entire ceremony here. He first explained the importance of the Bible and a parents responsibility as the primary faith influencer of their children's lives. Then he asked them if they would be faithful to read to their children each night and parents responded in unison, "We will."

Most of our children are unchurched, but all but one parent came for the ceremony. I gave each the picture of their child that we had taken ahead of time and used in the power point. I also gave them a copy of "More Than Just a Book," my testimony of how a children's Bible had made a difference in my life.

This is a pretty simple thing to do. It helps connect you with parents, supports the family and gets Bibles into children's lives when they are young.

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