How to Get Teens Interested in the Bible

By Karen Hollowell
Teens need to know that the Bible applies to their lives.
Teens need to know that the Bible applies to their lives.

Trying to get your teen interested in reading the Bible might be a challenge. Although your family might attend church, your teen is probably focused on the social aspects like being with friends and participating in youth groups. To many young people, the Bible is an ancient book that is primarily for preachers or other adults. Help your teen understand that the Bible has a message for everyone and can provide spiritual and practical guidance in his life.

Relate the Bible to various forms of literature. Your teen might think that the Bible is just a set of rules they have to follow, or an ancient text filled with incomprehensible words. Point out that the Bible contains poetry, narratives, gospel and prophecy. Show your child some of the more exciting stories like David and Goliath, and Samson and Daniel in the lion's den. Show him where these various genres are located. For example, the best examples of poetry are found in Psalms and prophetic literature is located in the books of prophets in the Old Testament and the book of Revelation in the New Testament.

Explain the Bible's relevance. Teens often think that the Bible is outdated with no message for them. Show your teen specific verses that give practical advice for daily living. You can find these throughout the Bible, especially in the teachings of Jesus and the book of Proverbs. Jesus focused on the themes of love, forgiveness and helping each other. Proverbs contains specific wisdom. Chapter 1:8 says "Listen, my son, to your father's instruction and do not forsake your mother's teaching."

Let him choose the Bible. There are many Bibles available today that are designed for teens. There are teen devotional and study Bibles, and they have bright colors and graphics that appeal to young people. You might also want to give your child a Bible in a modern translation that is easier to understand. The NIV (New International Version) or The Living Bible are written in everyday language.

Read the Bible yourself. Let your child see that you value the time you spend reading the Bible. Ask your teen if he would like to read with you. Maybe he will become interested in studying the scriptures for himself.

Send Bible verses to your teen. You can email or text her. Write them on a sticky note. Choose ones that relate to something she is experiencing. Being a teen, she may be enduring peer pressure to drink or experiment with drugs. Find verses that deal with temptation and send them to her for encouragement.

About the Author

Karen Hollowell has been teaching since 1994. She has taught English/literature and social studies in grades 7-12 and taught kindergarten for nine years. She currently teaches fourth grade reading/language and social studies. Hollowell earned her Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Mississippi and her Master of Arts in elementary education from Alcorn State University.