International Bible Society-Send The Light has created a resource for children to learn more about the Bible even without regular access to the Word. Their Monthly Bible Reader program provides 48 issues of a monthly magazine filled with colorful illustrations and Bible stories in multiple languages for children ages seven to eleven. The Monthly Bible Reader is distributed to 21 countries and has been reaching children successfully for over three years.
IBS-STL spent quite a long time deciding the best technique to reach children, bringing in experts from many global agencies. Now IBS-STL works with several organizations (such as Compassion International) to distribute the Monthly Bible Reader to churches with minimal child curriculum and directly to families as well.
"The 48 issues of the Monthly Bible Reader are really designed to do three different things," says LaReau Anderson of IBS-STL. "[The objectives are: first,] to really help children develop a lifelong love for being in the Word; secondly, to help children in their understanding of the Word, and even more importantly, how it all applies to their own lives; and then thirdly, to really strengthen the spiritual formation of the child."
Anderson says the success of the Reader has been tremendous. Because the publications are so kid-friendly, they have allowed children to grasp a basic understanding of the Bible before diving into hundreds of pages that may otherwise be intimidating and confusing. This is especially helpful for the thousands of children who receive the magazine but do not own Bibles.
Not only are children gaining more biblical knowledge through this program, but the rest of their families are benefitting as well. "Children are not only the end recipients of this, but they're life changers," says Anderson. "They can be very influential to their church and family and their spheres of influence."
For ways to help, Anderson first suggests that parents evaluate the way they are training their own children in the Word. He wisely advises parents to be sure their children are engaging with the Word of God first, and then to seek out ways to help other children.
Your help with IBS-STL programs are welcomed. If you would like to help provide issues of the Monthly Bible Reader for children around the world or would like to help IBS-STL in some other way, click here.