Tuesday 30 March 2010

Krish Kandiah on From Bible Baddies to Storynory: 20 Ways to Engage Children with the Bible

Notes from a seminar at the London launch of Biblefresh (30 March 2010):

Krish began by saying that he was speaking mainly as a parent rather than a children’s worker, and had primary school children in mind for most of his suggestions… which were as follows…

20. We need to be enthusiastic about the Bible if we are to inspire young people to be enthusiastic about the Bible.

19. Make use of every available medium possible. Krish referred here to iPhone apps by Kore (providing a red-letter verse everyday) and one called Yahero (produced by the Canadian Bible Society), and the You Version.

18. Encourage children to read the Bible for themselves – help them be self-feeders. Krish mentioned The Toddler’s Bible, The Jesus Storybook Bible (especially recommended), The Lion Graphic Bible, and The Bite-Size Bible.

17. Family Bible reading – so that kids see Mum and Dad engage with the Bible too. Here Krish mentioned Easter Unscrambled, The Real Christmas Tree (an Advent calendar), and referred to resources designed to be used when a family is on holiday.

16. Make our Bible teaching EPIC – an acronym from Leonard Sweet – Experiential (e.g., where we teach could be important), Participatory (allowing children to contribute to stories and ask questions), Image Rich (allowing the images of the Bible to speak), Connected (building a community, asking what the Bible means for the way we relate to each other).

15. Do a journey through the Old Testamernt by enacting some of the festivals, such as Passover and Tabernacles.

14. Play Biblical 20 questions – ‘I’m a person in the Bible, can you guess who I am?’ – and doing this when we’re out walking, as a normal part of life.

13. Listen to the Bible rather than read it – using multiple media such as The Bible Experience.

12. Do your exegetical homework – and seek to enskill others as well. Read books, such as: Graeme Goldsworthy, Gospel and Kingdom; Mike Novelli, Shaped by the Story; Scot McKnight, The Blue Parakeet; Gordon D. Fee and Douglas Stuart, How to read the Bible for all its worth.

11. Make stop motion videos using a digital camera.

10. A book at bedtime – such as stories from Bob Hartman’s Bible Baddies, which don’t ‘Disneyfy’ the Bible.

9. Storynory – listen to Bible stories during car journeys; get involved in telling and recording Bible stories in 10-15 minutes for possible upload to the Biblefresh website.

8. Intertextual engagement of biblical worldview and Hollywood cinematography – help children read film through the Bible. Compare and contrast Finding Nemo with the Prodigal son; use Camp Rock to provoke discussion of moral dilemmas, or The Boy in Striped Pyjamas for the ideas it evokes about overcoming barriers.

7. All age obedience – underline the Bible is not just a text, but provokes action. If we can do that collectively as a church, so much the better.

6. Raise up peer Bible teachers – young people to teach the Bible.

5. Echo the story – Mike Novelli’s Bible storying scheme – telling the Bible stories, and then getting young people to retell the story, then going round the group and ask ing ‘What if?’ questions.

4. Photo storyboard – issue a challenge to come up with a three-picture storyboard of a parable. When people have to produce something in response to the Bible text, that helps them to think it through.

3. Memorise the Bible reading for a church service.

2. Create a voiceover video, getting kids involved in producing something.

1. Art project – referred to earlier in the day by Krish – an example of a local church getting involved with schools through leading assemblies on the parables of Jesus, combined with an art project and competition, displaying pieces in the church, and inviting parents to view the art.

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