This is important to note before you start reading: I love God’s Word. It is the foundation upon which everything we do at KidsWorld is based. And I am passionate about getting kids into God’s Word daily (which is why we developed a Bible Reading Schedule for the kids at our church). Okay…I feel better now…
I came across a new website today that solves a problem for me. You can find all sorts of websites that have daily Bible readings or excerpts from books on spiritual disciplines. You can even find websites that have the audio available. My favorite online devotional tool to date has been http://m.enewhope.org/ (a tool made available by Wayne Cordeiro’s church in Hawaii. But I finally found an online resource that has Scripture readings with a journal component at Examen.me.
Examen combines Bible, prayer, and journaling online. With the free account, I can save my journals (or “examens”) and even export them to PDF. I have not been able to keep up the discipline of journaling, ever. I’ve been waiting for the right web resource to do this and finally Examen pulls through. But what does this have to do with children’s ministry?
I frequently ask children’s and family ministry leaders how important they feel teaching kids how to use the Bible (find passages, know the order of books and sections). For many ministries, this skill is absolutely essential. In fact, Promiseland devotes time (5-10 minutes) to this skill development every week in 4th-5th grade. I’m not there.
Here’s why. I’m an advocate for teaching kids skills for tomorrow. Is learning how to read a book really that important when most of these kids could find a passage at a keystroke? Most of the kids we serve have technology at their fingertips with Bible applications that are far easier to use than the book the Bible is printed in. And, like Examen, they are free. Why spend valuable time teaching something I’m certain kids will not even use as a teen or college student? With the iPod Touch, iPhone, and Amazon Kindle – books are turning digital. So let’s spend our time teaching kids skills they will use – like how to apply the Bible at school or with their friends. We can’t waste time with our kids.
Here’s my point: If someone developed an Examen,me for kids – would teaching them how to find passages and know if Genesis was the first book in the Bible become obsolete knowledge? Examen.me is probably the way our kids will connect to God – it’s powerful and digital, right up their alley.