I’ve been teaching and working with some great Children’s Ministers from the state of Louisiana today. We\’ve been working on creating outlines to help churches develop Transformational Classes that will make an impact on the community and world around them. It’s been exciting to work alongside others who realize that kids can make an impact, too!
As we talked about how we can help children develop a love for the Bible as we teach them to Hear God’s Word, Know God’s Word and Do God’s Word, a new question was brought to light that I’ve not come across yet in Children’s Ministry. Someone asked the group’s opinion about allowing children – more specifically, preteens – to use electronic Bibles in class – such as those found on computers, smart phones and the like.
We had a lively discussion – not heated mind you, but lively, with some differing opinions and all made some very good points. Here are just a few…
- What about taking notes – some of us love to take notes in our Bible – dates, reference notes, and the like. How do you do that in an electronic Bible? I mean — I want to leave my Bible with my children when I leave this world — how can I do that with an IPad?
- Today’s technology is taking away from relationship building.
- But…if preteens who have never shown much interest in using their Bible in class are now excited about participating, there’s no way I\’m going to say no!
- But…what if they\’re really texting, or checking out the "social network"…how do I know?
- What about Bible skills?
Like I said, good points on both sides. So…what do YOU think? Is this just a fad or a trend that we need to get on board with to reach today’s kids? Looking forward to hearing your opinions!
I am an engineer by trade and helped build an electronic document browser application for pilots to use instead of their paper manuals on the flight deck. I also teach an adult SS class. I have two twenty somethings using e-bibles on their iPods and one 75 year old man using his iPad bible (sometimes he needs help from his wife finding the verses, but he’s still using it)!
I probably have 15 different paper bibles at home in various translations, I have bible software on my computer, I have three bibles on my iPod touch, I have a Kindle ebook reader with a bible on it. Notetaking is possible on some of these platforms and will get better with time. The problem most of us have is that we don’t read the word in whatever format we have. I need to spend more time in God’s perfect, holy word. eBibles are not going away, but God’s word endures forever, and we can be thankful for that. The important thing is that we read and study God’s word, not the format.
I think it’s important to embrace both. But I am constantly telling my preteens that one day that iPhone/iPod may break. Sometimes the battery runs out. Sometimes you may even get it taken away as punishment. What then? Just put off reading your Bible till you get it back? No way! Also, they’re not supposed to be able to have they’re phone out at school, but they can have their Bible. They need to know how to use a physical Bible. But I’m all about new technology as well! Especially when it comes to kids who wouldn’t read it other wise. (I usually call on a kid who’s got an electronic Bible to read aloud … Just to make sure they’re not doing something else!)
But in today’s world of technology, shouldn’t we adapt to the different ways of reading the Bible. Maybe searching for scripture verses on an iPad Bible app is a new skill that our children need.