Sharing Bible Stories with Children

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Little Rock Connections: The Good News for Today
December 2016

Sharing Bible Stories with Children

Sharing Bible Stories with Children

Mary Kathleen Glavich, SND

Before telling a Gospel story about St. Peter, a teacher asked her first graders, “Does anyone know who Peter was?” A little girl answered, “I think he was a rabbit.” Wouldn’t it be wonderful if children heard Bible stories at bedtime along with fairy tales and nursery rhymes? Introducing Bible stories to children familiarizes them with their religious ancestors and traditions. More importantly, it nurtures their relationship with Jesus.

The Preparation
A prerequisite for sharing Bible stories with children is ensuring that they understand that the Bible is God’s Word. Refer to the Bible as “God’s Book” and the “Holy Bible.” Treat it with reverence and keep it in a special place. Tell the children that in the Bible God speaks to us. The stories in it show how much God loves us.

In selecting stories, choose those compatible with the children’s age. For example, young children enjoy knowing how Jesus blessed and embraced children, but hearing the details of his crucifixion could give them nightmares.

Read commentaries on a story in order to explain it and answer questions. Beforehand introduce the children to new words and concepts the story contains. Begin with a prayer to the Holy Spirit.

The Sharing
When reading from an adult Bible, adapt it if necessary. Omit concepts that would puzzle or alarm the children. Use vocabulary they understand. Otherwise use children’s Bibles. St. Mary’s Press publishes Bibles for children of all ages.

For young children, more than a hundred Arch books are available from Concordia Publishing House. These illustrated booklets present Bible stories in verse form.

Children are fascinated by the Bible stories. A story can be made even more engaging by telling or reading it in a dramatic way. Vary your voice for different speakers, add pauses, change your volume and speed, and add gestures. Ask questions during the story. Show pictures either from a book or found on the Internet.

The Follow-Up
Talk about the story. Ask the children questions to check their understanding. Also ask, “What do you think God is telling you through this story?” Relate the story to the children’s world. In discussing Bible stories that involve miracles, stress God’s goodness and the lessons derived from them, not the fantastic features. For instance, for the multiplication of the loaves and fish, focus on Jesus’ love for people that kept them from going away hungry. Point out that because the boy generously gave his loaves and fish, the people could eat.

To reinforce a Bible story, have the children tell it back to you. Help them to act it out. Let them draw pictures about the story. Teach related songs. Conclude with a short prayer referring to the story.

When children encounter Bible stories, they are more likely to regard the Bible as a God-given treasure for the rest of their lives. They will embrace the truths and values the stories hold and grow in love for the Author.

We’d love to hear from you about your experiences using Little Rock Scripture Study or Alive in the Word. Visit our Facebook page to post your comments or contact us directly by email at

Come see us at the Gulf Coast Faith Formation Conference January 12-14, 2017, in New Orleans. Visit our exhibit to see the latest offerings and come hear Cackie Upchurch who will be presenting a breakout session, “Mary, Disciple and Companion on the Way.”

Alive in the Word now has the following offerings available for use by individuals or in groups. Brief but powerful time with God’s Word can fit into any busy schedule.

Cloud of Witnesses series

Mary, Favored by God
Sarah & Hagar, Women of Promise
Moses, Called and Equipped
Paul, Proclaiming Christ Crucified

Virtues for Disciples series

Trust, Confidence in the God of Salvation
Mercy: God’s Nature, Our Challenge

Two new titles will be released in January 2017.

For more information about workshops, Little Rock Connections, or to offer suggestions, or submit items, please contact:
Little Rock Scripture Study
PO Box 7565
Little Rock, AR 72217

Little Rock Scripture Study

Little Rock Scripture Study, PO Box 7565, Little Rock, AR 72217-7565
Liturgical Press, 2950 Saint John's Road, PO Box 7500, Collegeville, MN 56321
Phone: 1.800.858.5434 or 320.363.2213
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