Children can (and must ) be creatively engaged with God’s Word . The Digital is a huge opportunity to engage children with the Bible. The Bible Funshop is a digital bible engagement program conducted by the BSI Media Department.The aim of the Funshop is to introduce kids to Digital Bible resources and also help them to creatively engage with Bible stories/passages. The program also helps kids to creatively express their learning ( through short videos)!
The BSI Media Department conducted the Bible Funshop in Jeeva Rakshaka Church, Kothanur, Bangalore. We had about 25 children at the Fun shop.
First we sang a few choruses and learnt the theme song: “ I Like the Bible” . The children learnt the song and sand enthusiastically. It was a heart warming experience to hear the Kids sing: “ I like the Bible… I read it and I do it… When I am going through it… I obey what I have heard. I am a doer of the Word… And I like the Bible”.
Next, we read the story of God speaking to Samuel. The kids were introduced to the Youversion Kids Bible App. They enjoyed reading and engaging with the Bible App in their iPads. After reading the Bible passage, the children engaged in conversations with each other. They read and understood the Bible passage in their small groups.
Fun shop encourages collaborative learning. We had designed a list of questions to help them ‘contextually’ read and understand the passage. The questions were
- Wha are the characters in the passage? What do we know about them?
- Samuel’s mother left him at the Tabernacle to serve the Lord alongside Eli. Samuel was alone in the Tabernacle. How did he feel? Did he miss his mother/family? How was he able to be in the Tabernacle all by himself?. How do you feel when you are all alone? What do you do when you are alone?
- Eli’s sons were bad. They did bad things. Samuel was a good boy. How was Samuel able to be a good boy? What are the bad things that are friend do? How can we stay away from bad influences?
- God Spoke to Samuel. He responded to God saying, “Speak Lord, Your Servant listens”. Can God speak to us today? How does God speak to us today? How can we respond to God?
- What is God telling us through the passage. What are we going to do in response to God’s Word to us today?
It was interesting to listen to kids reflecting on the passage from their perspective. Some felt that Samuel missed his mother so much that he would cry a lot. He would wait for his mother’s annual visit and hug her. Some could not understand Hannah’s decision to leave her son at the Tabernacle. One said, “ Hannah must be without any sense”. Others affirmed God’s abiding presence with Samuel as he stayed away from his family. They said, ” Samuel was able to stay at the Tabernacle because he understood Hannah’s vow, that God was with him and that Eli took good care of him”. Next, we watched an animation video about Samuel’s story.
We regrouped after Lunch to work on video making. Children were taught the basics of video making. All the six groups worked on their video presentation of the story. It was a new experience for them to work on the iPad and edit with iMovie App. We watched all the videos made by the six groups and the kids really enjoyed watching their work presentations on the big screen. The bright eyes and the lovely smiles said it all.
The kids were challenged with the story of Mary Jones and her love for the Bible. We introduced the work of the Bible Societies and particularly the work of the Bible Society of India. We challenged the children to read the Bible regularly. We distributed Bible story books to the children and asked them to share the Bible story book with their friends after reading them.
It was truly a ‘fun-filled’ day. The Bible Funshop has been conducted in different cities ( Bangalore, Chennai, Cuttack, Ahmedabad, Shillong) and children have really enjoyed the Digital Bible engagement program. We hope that kids will creatively engage with the Bible and imaginatively express in the ‘Digital Space’.