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Bible engagement trends highlight bigger problem

USA (MNN) — In this year’s State of the Bible report, Barna Research Group notes that fewer than one in four believers regularly spend time in God’s Word. Yet the same number of people say the Bible influences how they live.

Keys for Kids’ Ministries’ Greg Yoder observes, “We’ve basically become disengaged in the Bible here in the United States. There [is] only five percent of people that consider themselves biblically-centered. Only 19 percent say that they’re ‘Bible engaged.’”

If adult Christians don’t invest in their own spiritual lives, how does it affect the next generation of believers? Barna explores the spiritual formation of children in this March report.

Most Christian parents will acknowledge they are ultimately responsible for their child’s spiritual health, Yoder notes. However, “I think we replaced our social lives as families with gizmos, with smartphones… and we’ve become less interactive.

“I think that’s why we’re relying more on the Church to teach our kids and to train our kids. Unfortunately, when you don’t get that backing in the homes, you start seeing kids step away from the faith because it really doesn’t mean much to them.”

Keys for Kids helps young people discover Christ for themselves through daily devotionals – available in print and online – radio programs, and more. See what Keys for Kids has to offer here!

How do you get kids to read the Bible?

As any parent knows, kids are curious. Even the smallest hint at Christmas presents leads many children to investigate every nook and cranny of their parents’ closets in a search for hidden toys. Yoder says the same principle applies to spiritual matters, especially for young people between the ages of four and fourteen years old – a range he calls the “4/14 Window.”

Pray kids who don’t know Christ will encounter His love this summer through “Word with Zach.”
(Graphic courtesy of Keys for Kids Ministries)

“Eighty percent of kids are looking for some kind of spiritual truth,” Yoder notes. “With that desire comes the opportunity for many Christians…to help teach spiritual truth.

“As we invest in our kids’ lives spiritually, you’re not going to necessarily see it today…. But…you might be surprised in a month or two when you start seeing your young person really change.”

Timmy* is a perfect example. He was one of the 5,500 children who signed up last year for Keys for Kids’ summer reading program, “Word with Zach.” Along the way, Timmy gave his heart to the Lord.

“He changed so significantly that [his] mom and dad wanted to know what was going on. They started reading the devotional and they, in turn, gave their heart[s] to Christ,” says Yoder.

“You can’t help but see lives transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit through His spoken Word.”

This summer, “Word with Zach” starts on June 1. Register now to enter a prize drawing.

“We’ve got a lot of great prizes in store for young people. Plus, at the very end – if you read every single day – your name will be entered to win a brand new Kindle Fire.”

*Name changed

Header image courtesy of Samantha Sophia via Unsplash.

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