Bible reading for adults is often a stretch and a struggle. Imagine what it’s like for teens? The struggle is real. With their busy schedules of homework, extra murals, home responsibilities, having a social life, keeping up with what’s trending on social media (the list goes on); it’s no wonder there is often very little time for the Bible.
How are you able to assist the young people in your world in this part of their faith?
First things first – HELP THEM CHOOSE A BIBLE
With so many great translations out there, it might take a while to choose one but choose one that they really like, one that is easy for them to read. Remember, they are the ones that will be reading it, so it’s important they have a Bible that they want to read.
If starting with Bible reading is tough, get something like a devotional to help kick start their reading and engaging with the Word. Devotionals are great because not only do they encourage us in a relevant way on this faith journey but they also send us straight to the Bible.
Scripture Union South Africa, knowing that the struggle is real for many young people in the area of Bible reading and devotionals, have developed a really great devotional APP, Wordspace, specifically for teenagers.
Wordspace is a way to help teens encounter God during their busy day through short (100 words), real, relevant, and Biblical daily posts. The posts are written by a team of (mostly) local volunteer writers who really understand what it’s like to be young person. The Wordspace APP is available for free on both the Google Play and APP Stores.
MOTIVATING A TEEN TO READ THE BIBLE
I don’t know about you, but for me it really helps to know why I need to do something. The reason for Bible reading and setting aside time for devotions may be obvious for most of us, for others (especially with teens) more motivation and encouragement is needed. I’m sure a popular question asked by most young people at some point is “What will I get out of it?”
Here are a few benefits you could share when it comes to reading the Bible and following a devotional:
THEY WILL GET TO KNOW THE BIBLE
Devotionals point us to the Word. It is not a replacement for Bible reading but most definitely encourages more of it. The more time spent reading, the more they will get to know this amazing book. They’ll learn the layout of it, learn what is covered in each book, and learn about the writers. They’ll get to know what they believe as Christians and how to live out their faith.
THEY WILL GET TO KNOW JESUS
John 1:1, “In the beginning, the Word was already there. The Word was with God, and the Word was God”. The Bible is God on paper. The more we read it, the more we read Him ultimately, the more we know who He is. How amazing is it that we have a book that tells us all about our creator. Everything we need to know about God is found in the pages of the Bible.
THEY WILL GROW
Scripture will challenge growth in their relationship with Jesus and cause them to become more like Him. As they read about how they should live out their faith. As they action what they have read, change and growth takes place. Their reading will bear spiritual fruit (Galatians 5:22).
THEY WILL BE ENCOURAGED
This Christian thing is not always going to be a walk in the park. They will face trials and troubles, heartbreak, disappointment, shame, guilt, weariness, temptations – the list goes on. Our sinful nature is not automatically switched off just because we believe in Christ.
More often than not every single teen needs encouragement. Encouragement to keep believing in Jesus and His promises, to persevere through the struggles of life, to push through feelings in the moment, to continue fighting the good fight. The Bible or going through a really good devotional is where they can find encouragement.
THEY WILL BE ABLE TO ENCOURAGE OTHERS
One of the coolest things in life is when we are able to encourage one another. When the Bible sinks and settles in our hearts and becomes a part of who we are, giving encouragement is the easiest thing in the world. I love what Proverbs 11:25 says, “…those who refresh others, will themselves be refreshed.” Encouragement is refreshing. When we give it and when we receive it. Double whammy!
Our communities and schools would experience radical transformation if every young person who is encouraged by the Word, encouraged a peer!
Bible reading and devotions is not only for the individual doing it but for all within their day. It truly is life changing! Here’s to more teens connecting to God through the Word.