Tips for Family Bible Study
I will study the way that is blameless. When shall I attain it? I will walk with integrity of heart within my house.
- Psalm 101:2
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Why study the Bible as a family?
A daily, weekly or monthly family Bible study ritual is a powerful way for adults and children to come to know God. God is revealed as we listen and talk together as a family in a shared quest to engage the Bible. Together, as we read the Bible, we affirm the mystery and meaning of our lives. Together we experience a vision of the world as it is intended to be. Together we find insight for tomorrow. When we study the Scripture regularly with our children, our faith and lives are shaped together in graceful ways.
Set the scene
Consider using one or several of the following approaches in your family Bible study ritual: Decide as a family where and when you want to study the Bible. Consider a comfortable room, where everyone can sit; or a special location set aside only for your family Bible study. You may find it helpful to set the time apart by lighting a candle, singing a song or psalm, and praying. Consider purchasing or using a “family Bible,” providing easy to read Bibles for every family member, or encouraging family members to bring their own Bibles.
Before you begin any of these Bible studies it is important to recall that the biblical story is a symbolic narrative. The goal is not to explain a passage, prove a point or find a moral. These approaches will assist your family members to find meaning on varying levels, as they are able. Our insights vary, depending on our age, needs and experiences. God, however, can use the variety of insights in your family Bible study to show both divine and human love.
Sample Gathering Prayer
Loving God, you have given our family many gifts for which we are thankful. Bless the ties that bind our family together. Send your soothing peace to heal the wounds we inflict on those we love. Help us to forgive others as you forgive us. Help us to draw strength and comfort from our study of your holy Word, and from each other. Amen.
The following Bible study (#1) is suggested for “first time” family Bible study experiences.
Find 16 other Bible study methods for use in family settings. Download PDF
1. Share an Experience with the Bible*
Invite family members to respond to any or all of the following questions:
- My favorite Bible story is . . .
- My least favorite Bible story is . . .
- When I hear the Bible read I think/feel...
- When I study the Bible I think/feel...
- One question I have concerning the Bible is...
Sample Scattering or Sending Prayer
Thank you, Jesus, for this time together as a family. Thank you for the opportunity to hear your word, listen to one another and share our own thoughts. Bless us as we leave from this special study. Send us more boldly to run the race set before us. We go now in Christ’s name. Amen.
[Adapted from Fanning the Flames of Discipleship: ELCA Christian Education Planning Guide 2001-2002.]