Discovery Land Blog

Paper Bible

Discovery Land - Wednesday, May 18, 2016
At Appleton Alliance Church, we recently had the privilege of hosting Pastor Job, the pastor of our sister church in Burkina Faso. As he watched our Sunday morning children's ministry in action, he was surprised that the kids were using paper Bibles. The perception in Burkina Faso is that Americans, even children, don't ​read​ paper books; they only use ​digital ​devices such as a phone or tablet. It gave us the opportunity to explain why we, a megachurch in a fairly affluent community, ​currently ​encourage our kids to own and bring a paper Bible:

Access - Not all kids have access to a​ digital​ device. Some kids have no choice but to use a paper Bible. And even those kids who have devices will often get them taken away as punishment. A paper Bible will likely never get taken away! As we encourage kids to read their Bibles at home, we want all kids to have access to God's Word at all times and know how to navigate through it.

Unity - Having all kids use a paper Bible creates a sense of unity among the kids. There is no dividing line between the "haves" and the "have nots," or comparisons of whose device is the newest or coolest.

Understanding - We want our kids to really understand that the Bible is one big book made up of smaller books and arranged by book, chapter, and verse. This is much easier for them to understand when they interact with an actual paper Bible versus a ​digital​ Bible.

Classroom Management - Even the best, most engaging teachers can have a tough time competing with a device. Our time with the kids in our ministry is very limited; we want our volunteers to be free from the time-consuming and distracting responsibility of ensuring that kids are using the device only as a Bible.

God's Word remains true and has the power to transform us whether we're reading it on our iPad or ​from ​our leather-bound study Bible. However, we want to put kids in the best possible position to cultivate a lifetime habit of being in God's Word.
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