At a recent conference, Jim Wideman, one of the pioneers of children's ministry, made this profound statement, "I wish I hadn't spent so many years teaching kids to love Jesus. I wish I would've taught them to love the Word, because if they love the Word, they will automatically love Jesus."
As Christian parents and leaders, we yearn to see our sons and daughters not only read the Bible but fall in love with God’s Holy Word. We know that this is how their knowledge and understanding of God will grow. But how do we help our reluctant readers develop this important spiritual discipline?
Unfortunately, there’s no magic formula that will turn a child into a Bible-lover, but there are numerous things we can do to help. Hosting the 2018 EAT THIS BOOK challenge is one of those things.
We've created the Eat This Book challenge in response to so many parents telling us how their children showed no interest in the Bible. They knew (sometimes through painful experience) that nagging and bribing wouldn't work, but they had no idea how to ignite in their children's hearts a genuine and lasting love for the Bible.
As a children's pastor I wanted to give them a tool, or better yet, a process that would teach children how to enjoy the Bible and the God who inspired it. I also wanted to make sure that the parents were a part of this exciting process, and that they were falling in love with the Bible as a family. (See exactly what we came up with HERE.)
After we launched the Eat This Book challenge in our church, parents started telling us about some exciting changes they saw in their children.
- Kids were reading the Bible without being prompted.
- Kids had their own "quiet spots" for their times with God.
- Kids loved doing the hands-on extra-challenges, and they even loved memorizing large portions of Scriptures.
- Kids had been caught choosing to read the Bible over their chapter book for quiet reading.
A totally unexpected outcome was that some parents told us that they found themselves reading the Bible more because of their children's renewed love for God's Word.
As the parents were telling us about the impact the Eat This Book challenge had on their families, other churches started asking us to help them host this challenge in their congregations. To which we said, Yes! Totally unexpectedly, the challenge that we designed for families in a small Pennsylvania town ended up in other churches, not only in the US, but also in Japan and the UK.
This gave us a bold idea—to launch a nationwide Eat This Book campaign where we would equip other churches with all the resources we've created and the experience we've gained, and together capture the hearts of children and families with the love for God's Holy Word.
With the 2018 Eat This Book campaign we want to fight the apathy and disinterest towards the Bible that is prominent in so many families. We want to invite parents and the children on a 5-month long expedition that will move them from a have to attitude towards the Bible to a get to attitude, where they will start seeing the Bible as a pathway to true intimacy with God. We also want to make sure that this journey is a fun one.
If you would like to join the 2018 Eat This Book campaign and lead the families in your church into a love relationship with the Scriptures, you can choose between the following two* options.
Complete Package: $129
- Tailor-made 2018 Eat This Book guide (PDF file with your churches or children's ministry logo, web-site, prizes, contact information, unique details and so on. Print and distribute as many copies as you want.)
- Extensive media bundle including 23 high-resolution professionally designed (no Canva!) images of everything you need to promote the Eat This Book challenge and to celebrate the Bible on social media, in your classrooms and in the church halls.
- Classroom decor featuring The New Testament Bookcase poster (print, laminate, display!)
- 30 attention grabbing digital images of must-know Bible verses for preschoolers.
- 25 weekly emails to parents casting the vision, providing the encouragement and practical advice. Copy, paste, put your name at the bottom, send. Done!
- Celebrate the Bible! Award Ceremony outline packed with practical and creative suggestions to help you have a grand finale to the challenge.
- A digital digest packed with interactive, hands-on activities to help you ignite in children appreciation for the Bible and excitement about discovering what is in the Bible.
- Closed Facebook group where we will exchange ideas, resources and encouragement to help each other make the Eat This Book challenge the best it can be. I have no doubt that this group will make a big difference in how your church experiences the challenge. Let me give you a real-life scenario. Shortly after we launched the Eat This Book challenge in our church, one of the parents told me that her son struggles with dyslexia and so reading was very difficult for him, and he did not like to read. She asked if I had any suggestions on how to get God's Word into a child who doesn't like to read. To be honest, I was not prepared for this situation and ended up spending several hours researching the subject and looking for available resources. If I had had a closed Facebook group of like-minded people available to me, I am sure I could have come up with a list of effective suggestions and tools in a much shorter time.
This package is designed to help you have maximum impact without needing to spend a lot of extra time. You'll have all the tools and a clear timeline that will make hosting this challenge completely stress-free.
Basic Package: $49
- Generic 2018 Eat This Book guide (PDF file which you can easily print and distribute to the families in your church)
- Limited media bundle (Facebook promo pack, 1 editable poster and 4 slides to share on your web-site or Facebook page)
- 2 digital images with Bible verses (print them as cards, posters or post them on social media platforms)
- 1 complete lesson to help you spark in children the hunger to read the Bible
- 6 email letters to help you communicate the vision behind the challenge to the parents in your church. These emails will give you examples of a weekly communication that equips parents and keeps the momentum going.
- Closed Facebook group where we will exchange ideas, resources and encouragement to help each other make the Eat This Book challenge the best it can be.
I am convinced that there's no greater gift we can pass to the new generation than the gift of loving, knowing and understanding the Bible. Placing God's Word in the heart and mind of a child is an investment in the future kingdom of God that will pay hundredfold, maybe thousandfold in future returns.
Let's do what we can to hear our sons and daughters echo David's words, "I delight in your commands because I love them. I love your commands more than gold, more than pure gold." (Ps. 119)
* If you are passionate about passing the love for the Bible to the new generation yet your church is not able to afford either one of the packages, please contact me and I will make sure you get the tools you need to help the families in your church fall in love with the Bible.