5 Tips to Help Your Child Read the Bible

The Bible is the ultimate tool in helping us understand the glorious and wonderful things that God has done for creation.

Jesus says in the book of Matthew

“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” Matthew 4:4

Here are your 5 tips to help your child read the Bible.

1.) Give them a Bible they can read.

If your child does not already have a Bible of their own, absolutely invest in getting one. The best translations to get are either The NLT or the NIRV if you plan on getting a plain Bible.

If your child is below 12 years old one of the best Bibles around is the Adventure Bible. It’s easy to read with built in explanations and analysis to help them move through the chapters.

If you have a teen, one of the most popular and best Bibles to get them is the Teen Life Application Study Bible. This version does a tremendous job at creating a version that teens can enjoy. There are also Bibles that are also geared specifically for Boys or Girls.

2.) Set an Example/Routine:

It is vital to show your child that you are just as excited to read the Bible as you want them to be. Reading the Bible with them, or seeing that you read on your own can go a long way in encouraging your kids to read more.

There will be days where we forget or miss a moment to read; when that happens it is important to show grace when they fail but give them a daily reminder or encouragement to read.

3.) Encourage them to ask questions

As you and your child/teen reads through the Bible, questions are sure to arise; when they do, encourage them to ask. Similarly, ask them questions, sometimes asking even simple questions can foster a deeper interest in seeing how God was present throughout the Bible.

How does this story connect to Jesus?

How did they trust God during this?

Why would they do this?

What is this trying to show us?

Always aim to gear your questions towards their age and something they can understand.

**Remember it is okay to not know all the answers, taking time to discover those answers with them will not only grow a bond with God but a chance to grow with them too.

4.)  Show them how it all connects it all to Jesus

The Bible can be summed up in a single word: Jesus! “He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together.” Colossians 1:17 NLT  Every part of the Bible leads to the sacrifice and impact of what Jesus did for us. So even in the smallest and little read chapters of the Bible have a purpose and new way to how God is working in our lives.

5.) Pray with them

Creating a habit of prayer is equally crucial to developing a child’s faith as they grow with God. Whether it is when an ambulance goes by or just before bed, those intentional moments to pray to God can help them see how much God is working in their lives.

While we spend so much time praying for our own needs and wants, helping  them to focus on others by praying for those around them or even just a time to praise God for the wonderful things he has done or will do can go a long way.


Love as He loves Us

Story: Matthew 22

This week takes us to the book of Matthew. Jesus had arrived in Jerusalem towards the end of his ministry. While there, he wasted no time preaching to the people through stories and parables. However, the Pharisees (Jewish religious leaders) came and challenged Jesus by trying to trap him with a wrong answer but every time Jesus baffled them with his responses. This continued for some time until a Pharisee who spent his life studying the law approached Jesus: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Matthew 22:36

The Pharisee was asking Jesus “What does God care the most about?” This was a question endlessly debated by the Pharisees at the time. They wanted Jesus to say a commandment they disagreed with, so they could discredit him.

37 Jesus replied, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Love him with all your mind.’ (Deuteronomy 6:5) 38 This is the first and most important commandment. 39 And the second is like it. ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’(Leviticus 19:18) 40 All the Law and the Prophets hinges on these two commandments.”– Matthew 22:37- 40

The most important thing to God is that we love him above all else and care for others just as we care about ourselves. It is not about following every rule to perfection but be called to give compassion as Jesus so freely gave it to us.

         4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. – Ephesians 2:4-5

A few weeks ago in our elementary room while teaching and a 10-year-old raised his hand and asked, “If you do something bad will God still love you?” I was blown away by the question, but I was happy to say that the answer to the question is absolutely! I remember an old quote from one of  Pastor Tim’s sermons: “Our failures to change ourselves serves as a reminder that need someone stronger than us to change us.”

The truth is, we are sinful and in no way are we worthy to be with God, yet he helps us every day to realize that we will always need him. Every moment we spend with God helps us grow to be more like Him. When we learn to love God unconditionally we can then go out and love others because God showed us that we are worth dying for.

         38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a]neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. –Romans 8:38

Challenge yourself everyday to make an impact in someone’s life, you never know how much it may mean to them.

Happy Where You Are

Story: Paul (Philippians 4)

Today brings us to Philippians, one of three letters Paul wrote to the churches of the time in Ephesus (Ephesians), Colossae (Colossians) and Philippi. Their aim was to both assist and encourage the churches to continue their mission in spreading and teaching the Word of God. Filled with hope and contentment Paul speaks passionately to them, look at this:

“For I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how-to live-in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.” Philippians 4:11-12

Paul calls us to be thankful for everything that we have, especially when we are at our lowest. Paul at the time of writing it had been beaten, outcasted, whipped and at the time of writing this, in prison! Paul endured an incredible amount of pain, yet in it all he was happy with what he had. He even uses his time in prison to help those around him and write the letters to the churches. He had found peace.

For many of us, being content is one of the hardest challenges we face is being happy with what we have or even where we are. Part of that is that we live in a world that is always trying to tell us what the secret to success is. What is the life we should be living? What is the best car I should have. One of the biggest things we always ask ourselves “Where have the good times gone.”

We so often find ourselves wanting things we never need, but even if we get them it never is enough. I still have many of the things I wanted so badly as a kid but now they sit collecting dust in a closet.

Good news for us, God showed Paul the secret to contentment,

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” Philippians 4:13

Paul recognized that God had a plan for him, and he found joy in everything that he did or happened to him. He counted his time in jail in joy! He found joy in what God had called him to do. Prior to being jailed he was always moving, yet he used the time to write the letters. Sometimes even the hardest times in our lives can be used to make an impact.

Philippians is the most famous verses in the entire new testament, but we hear it so much we tend to forget what he was saying. Learning to be content is not something we can do on our own simply because we believe in Christ. It is when we fully bring into our lives to God who is working to strengthen us each and every day.

“God is able to make all grace abound to you, that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed.” 2 Corinthians 2:9





The Power of Being Selfless

Story: Nehemiah

* I will briefly mention the events for context. To get the whole story, be sure to check out the story in your Bible or online, this will cover Nehemiah chapters 1-6. 

    Today brings us a story from Nehemiah, an Israelite cupbearer to the Persian King Artaxerxes. One day, when Nehemiah hears about the state of Jerusalem and its ruined walls, he prays to God to lead him as he resolves to go and repair them. The king not only allows Nehemiah to go, but gives him supplies and an escort to Jerusalem to help him. Though there were many who tried to oppose the constructionNehemiah and the Israelites managed to build the walls. With the walls built, Israel could now begin rebuilding the city and return to God, all because Nehemiah had listened to the plan God had given him.

    This is incredible for someone who seemed to have such an unimportant position, but it meant so much more. Being a cupbearer meant you were a high official in the king’s court, well liked and deeply trusted. Nehemiah was living a life of luxury in Persia, Jerusalem was a thousand miles away, who would blame him if he had said “someone else will come along”?

    Nehemiah was set for life but despite this he felt the calling God put on his heart to help the people of Jerusalem. His willingness to be selfless serves as a wonderful example of putting others before ourselves.

    Sadly we live in a world where we are encouraged to put our own needs above those of others. It’s no secret that this has led to the hatred and violence we see on a daily basis.

    This is precisely why God calls us to be selfless in our everyday lives. Even the smallest actions can make a difference in someone’s life.

3 “Don’t do anything only to get ahead. Don’t do it because you are proud. Instead, be humble. Value others more than yourselves. 4 None of you should look out just for your own good. Each of you should also look out for the good of others.“- Philippians 2:3-4 (NIRV)

    Jesus exemplified this perfectly. He was the Son of God yet he left his place in heaven to help and serve others. Jesus gave his life so we could be free from sin!

    God may us call us to be selfless, but that doesn’t mean we have to do something big to make a difference Everyday God places opportunities in our lives to do something for someone else.
Helping a coworker who’s stressed, letting someone go in traffic, or being with a friend through a rough time could mean more to them than we think. 

Challenge: God loves to use us when we least expect it, so this week take the time to notice when He is using us to make an impact. 

16 “In the same way, let your light shine so others can see it. Then they will see the good things you do. And they will bring glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 NIRV

5 Great Worship Songs For Your 6-11 year old

In Waters Kids one of our favorite moments of service is worship. Just getting to dance around and give praise to God with the kids is amazing. Though many adults can take any worship song and connect to it is hard to find songs that kids can take in and worship to. So we took 5 of our favorites and put them down for you and your kids to enjoy!

On every song title is an embedded link for you to check the song out, enjoy!

  1. “All About You”- Planetshakers 

This song is very upbeat and easily something to jam out to. It has a modern feel that can get your kids on their feet, but a message that helps them know God is there for it all.

“I exist to bring You praise
And to shout no other name
But Jesus
You’re like no other
For Your love is greater
And You are the center of it all
It’s all about You”

2. “Real Love”-  Hillsong Young & Free

This song brings out the point of how true God’s love for us is. Jesus keeps us close and he will never give up on us making it a wonderful choice for this list.

“You’re pulling me closer and closer
Holding my heart till the very end
Jesus, I’m found in your freedom
This is real love, this is real love”

3. “For Your Glory”- Elevation Church Kids

This brings together an electronic blend with the voices of the band. This makes for a great song to bring kids onto their feet and just dance around and bop their heads to. It is also a reminder to give praise to God as he is the one who made us and deserves it.

“There is freedom in Your name

We will never be the same We are alive, we are alive in you

There is power in Your name In our weakness You’re our strength We are alive, we are alive in You”

4. “At The Top of my Lungs”- Orange Kids Music 

This song brings a fantastic mix of music and lyrics, this is one of our personal favorites. Easily a shoe-in for this list and a great suggestion for your child at home!

“At the top of my lungs I’ll sing
With all of my hear I will praise you
God you are everything
You’re the reason that I lift my voice At the Top of my lungs”

5. “Dance” Planetshakers

Planetshakers are a terrific band for kids worship and we couldn’t pick just one song from them for this list. Dancing may be a part of what your kids do while listening to this song but it keeps its message clear.

“Everybody, give it up for Jesus
Give Him glory, for He has redeemed us
Everybody, give it up for Jesus
Praise His name”

We hope you and your kids will enjoy these songs and we will see you all this weekend!


The 3 Scriptures Your Child Should Memorize To Help Grow Their Faith.

You may recall having to remember state capitals, the Gettysburg Address, PEMDAS…  all things we never really needed yet years later we can recite from memory.

As a kid, I went to Vacation Bible School, a whole week in the summer of worship songs, Bible stories and games. One of the big games was to remember Bible verses and if we did, we got candy. I still can remember a few by heart, but I never saw why it was important to know the verses.

The memory of a child is the best it will ever be, that is why learning things like language or the phrases above are so easy for them than adults. In the same way, knowing God’s word can go a long way in developing a child’s faith.


Here are the Top Three Verses your child should know to grow their Faith:


1.) “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”- Psalm 139:14 (ESV)

Identity is a big part of a child’s development. Even as adults, we are always trying to find out who we are and where we belong. Often times the world is trying to conform us to its ever-changing mold of what we should be. As we are being told to fit in, kids especially feel like they aren’t good enough if they don’t. In this verse, God tells us exactly who we are and where our identity lies: in Him and the fact that He has fearfully and wonderfully made us.

2.) “Fear not, for I am with you, be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand”- Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)

Growing up is a constant cycle of trial and error, as we find ourselves facing challenges and fears we have never seen before. Knowing the Good News that God loves us and cares for us each and every day is amazing. That doesn’t mean we don’t have days where we wrestle with our faith. This verse speaks a message of comfort and joy that God is always going to be with us, and if we stay close to Him He will guide us through it all.  

3.)  For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.- Ephesians 2:8-9 (ESV)

God’s gift of salvation is not an achievement. It is not a prize or special recognition that we have earned. On the contrary, it is something that God has done to save us. However, because we cannot see God, we can end up giving ourselves the credit for something we could never do on our own. This verse is a reminder not to fall into the trap of pridefulness or boasting. God’s gift of salvation is just that: a gift! Not something we have worked to gain, but something we have received by His grace.

Each of these verses contains something fundamental to our walk with God. Proverbs 22:6 says “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” When you teach your child to understand what God is telling them through his Word, the relationship they have with God becomes a solid foundation for life. God becomes more than just a far away being, but their Father in heaven who promises to be with them every day of their lives.


Is Praying With Your Kids Important?

    I grew up in a Christian household. I went to church every Sunday, told about God every weekend… the whole nine yards. One of the notable things we did not create was a habit of prayer. We always blessed the food before dinner, but outside of that, there was nothing.

   As an adult now, I always try making a habit for myself to pray whenever I can. Even if it’s a small moment like praying when an ambulance goes by. When I took the time and made the intentional moment to pray, it built my communication and trust in God further which in turn helped me develop my faith to the strongest it has ever been now.

   On the weekends when I am in the red room, there is always time set aside for small groups at the end. In these, we always make it a point to use the time to pray with the kids. It is mind-boggling to see so many of them eager to build that communication and trust in God.

   In my own small group, we constantly pray together and even for each other in the things we struggle with most. When we connected and got to know each other more, in the long run, it grew us as a group.

   Looking back now, I wish I could have experienced my parents pray more, even if it was just to normalize that trust and relationship with God. While I still would have struggled through many of the things I did; it would have meant everything to me knowing that God was there. 

   I wanted to write this to encourage you to initiate a conversation with your kids about prayer. The more time they have to build that relationship and communication with God, the stronger their faith can grow.

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Standing With God

Story: Elijah and the Baal Prophets

1 Kings 18:16-39

Note: For the story, I will briefly mention events for context. To get the whole story, be sure to check out the story in your Bible or online starting from 1 Kings 17 to 2nd Kings 2.

    Following many years of wickedness King Ahab of Israel had spread across the land, many of the people had fallen to worshipping Baal and other false Gods. Elijah, a prophet of God went to Ahab to warn him of the consequences of his wicked ways. If he did not stop a 3-year drought would fall on Israel. Ahab refused and accused him of bringing the drought upon the nation. He went into hiding for which time he became the last remaining prophet of God, during this time Elijah was constantly provided for by God. After the three years had passed, he challenged Ahab and the Baal prophets to see which God was the true one. It would be shown by which God responded by setting fire to their sacrifice. The Baal prophets went first and tried with everything they had to call out, but there came no response. Elijah’s turn now came, he covered his altar in water and poured it onto the altar and spoke a prayer, and without hesitation, fire came down and consumed the altar entirely. The prophets of Baal were left in terror and the people of Israel began to turn their eyes back to God.

    We hear about Elijah who not only had to hide from enemies who never stopped looking for him but also had to face the King of Israel and the prophets of Baal alone. Elijah undoubtedly his struggles himself during this time, but because of the trust he had, God was able to complete his work through him.

    His willingness to put his faith in God gives us one of the greatest stories in the Old Testament. We get to see this amazing moment of repentance for Israel, where God reveals his power through a mighty display of fire that leads the people back to him.

    Elijah undertook what nobody else was willing to do, he stood with God in front of the very people who wanted him killed.

    This is one of the hardest things for us to do as believers. We are afraid to put our full faith in God. We may trust him to take care of us in our struggles, but when we are called to stand out, we find ourselves hiding away instead.

    Think about Elijah as he stood on the mountain, surrounded by the prophets of Baal. He remained confident that God would deliver on his word, and he even went as far as to mock the idol they worshipped.

    When the time came, Elijah’s first move was to cover his altar with water. This obviously isn’t the best idea for something you want to set on fire. But God had a plan he was working through Elijah, when the fire came it “licked up the water in the trench” (verse 38). After that, there was no question of belief from the people of Israel that day.

    Moses, Noah, Joseph, and the disciples are all other major examples of those who achieved tremendous things because of the trust they had in God. They had to all stand with God even if it meant doing it alone, and when we do the same, God reveals his plan for us.

“In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”– Proverbs 3:6


What Children Can Do With Faith.

Story: King Josiah

2 Kings 22-23

Josiah was only 8 years old when he was made the king of Judah, but his reign would last 31 years. Josiah followed God’s word and lived and ruled faithfully in him. This is special because so many of the kings who came before him turned away from God and worshipped false idols. Josiah also sought to restore the temple of the Lord, and there in the restoration, they rediscovered the lost book of the law from Moses’ time. After hearing the words of the law, he tore his clothes in sorrow, for he knew Israel was not keeping to the law. He ordered the law to be read to everyone in Judah and everyone vowed to keep to it. False Gods and idols in the land were destroyed and cast out, and with God at his side, Josiah brought the brought the people back to the Lord.

“Before him, there was no king like him, who turned to the Lord with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses, nor did any like him arise after him.” 2 Kings 23:25

   Josiah was the age of a second grader when he was called to lead a nation. Furthermore, at the age of most college students, he was leading Israel back to God. He was also not the only child to make a difference in the Bible; David, Samuel, Joseph and many more, despite their age, were all called to amazing things for God.

    Josiah was a good king in the midst of evil and cruel kings before him, even his own father was wicked. Yet Josiah changed that legacy, he took the time to learn about God and repent. Because he kept his faith and eyes on God, Judah was changed. He led the nation into revival, rebuilt the temple and restored the relationship with God that had been lost for so long.

One of the most important things we forget about children is their potential to live for God. Being able to learn about God early on allows them to establish a strong foundation in Christ. God describes us all as  “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14), filled to the brim with amazing talents and minds.

Jesus knew the importance of children. The New Testament is full of verses about children, take a look at this section from Mark.

   “He said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to like these. Truly I tell you, anyone, who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.’ And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.”      — Mark 10:14-16

Children have the potential to do incredible things with God. Empowering them to discover their faith for themselves allows them to use their gifts to impact the lives of others around them.

Navigating Distractions

Story: Peter and the Storm

Matthew 14:22-3

    After Jesus and the twelve disciples had just finished feeding the five thousand, he told them to sail to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. Jesus went up on a mountainside and prayed, meanwhile, the disciples were sailing right through unfavorable winds. It was then Jesus appeared walking on the water, and the disciples were terrified that it was a ghost. Jesus reassured them it was him, but Peter, wanting to be sure, asked him he could join him in walking on the water! Jesus agreed and Peter began to walk on the water, but when he saw the raging storm around him, he quickly began to sink. Jesus said to Peter “You of little faith, why did you doubt me?“ Jesus caught Peter and climbed into the boat, and the wind and storm died down. Then the disciples worshipped him and said “surely you are the Son of God“

   When Peter climbed out of the boat he was able to walk to Jesus because he had faith in him. It was when he noticed the raging winds that he grew fearful and began to drown.

    Every day brews new storms and challenges for us to face in our daily lives. Our careers, families, and relationships all demand our attention, even technology has started to pull us away from our walk with God. With so much competing for our time, it’s easy to lose ourselves in uncertainty. We take our eyes off God when we feel overwhelmed because we forget he is the one holding us up.

In a brief moment in Luke 10

“38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way; he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, ‘Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!’ 41 ‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.’”– Luke 10:38-42

   Martha believed in Jesus, but even she paid more attention to little things instead of hearing what Jesus was saying. Mary chose to listen because she knew that hearing from Jesus was the most important thing she could do. She learned to keep her eyes on God, especially when it was the most important to.

   Back to Peter. When God saved him from drowning, they walked together back to the boat. He put his eyes back on God and he walked on the water again! They climbed back into the boat and the storm and winds ceased. God never leaves our side, and when we keep our eyes on him he is always there to bring us through the storms.

One of the best things we can do is intentionally set aside time to be able to read in God’s word, or even dedicate a few minutes to pray. Taking that time intentionally brings us closer to God and shows our devotion to that time, even if it’s not planned.

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”  – 2 Corinthians 12:9-10