I'll be focusing some of my blog posts on resources that support the Book of Faith initiative, starting with Opening the Book of Faith.
However, before I even open Opening the Book of Faith, I wanted to think deliberately about books, and kids, and how kids open books, and how kids open Bibles. Here are some questions to ponder:
Do kids see a Bible in their homes? What print materials get priority in the home? Magazines? Novels? Kids books? Do they know where the family Bible is? Are there several Bibles in the home, and do they know the reasons why the family doesn't have just one? (The average household owns 4 Bibles.)
Do kids see Bibles being opened? Do kids see their parents opening their Bibles? What about other family members, their Sunday school teachers, and their pastors? Are lessons read during Sunday worship from the Bible or a piece of paper?
Do kids know the story behind the family's Bible(s)? Is it a Bible from long ago? Was it passed down from a grandparent? (I have my Grandma Nina's Bible in my bedside table.)
When I think about kids' experience with books, I've started to think about the actual act of opening up that book, of preparing them for what's inside, of setting the stage for wonder, questions, and excitement. Preschool teachers do this in amazing ways with their posture, their tone of voice, their eye contact with kids, and many other cues. What if kids saw the important people in their lives opening the Bible with this kind of energy: "I can't wait to share what's inside this book with you!"
As we open the Book of Faith in our congregations, let us think about the act of opening before we even begin to dive inside!
Hands-on Tip for Kids: I'm going to borrow an idea from my great pal Tera. She said that the moment she saw Opening the Book of Faith, she thought the debossed cover would be a great surface for making crayon rubbings with her kids! Wouldn't this be a cool way to add texture, color, and interest to posters, bulletin covers, and other Book of Faith promo materials?