Monday, September 19, 2016

Biblical Bribing: A Confession

A little bit of history:

I walked down the aisle of the First Baptist Church of St. Albans, WV and accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior when I was 16.  I realized from the get-go that I was behind and needed to catch up.  I needed to read the bible, I needed to learn how to pray, and more than anything I needed a navy blazer!

My grandmother got me a navy blazer, a Richard Foster book gave me a tutorial on prayer, but reading the bible...I didn't know where to begin or how to do it.  So I started at both Genesis and Matthew.  I got through the gospels and a little bit of Paul in the New Testament.  I got through Genesis and Exodus then lost interest around the 3rd chapter of Leviticus, so I skipped to Joshua then pretty much stopped my Old Testament exploration.

Religion classes in college and biblical studies classes in divinity school forced me to read the bible a few times through.

But I've often wondered how I would get my children to read their bibles.  So far, not much luck.  Sure they kind of pay attention to my sermons.  Sure they will read a verse or story during a Sabbath dinner (when we are able to do them).  But this week two things happened that have made them want to read the Bible.

One, last week I finally got around to ordering The 100 Minute Bible.  It is a flattened bible, one you can read in say...a 100 minutes.  The kiddos saw this and took it as a challenge.  They said, "Hey dad, I bet I can read that in less than a 100 minutes."  I replied, "Oh yeah, read it under a 100 minutes and give me some details and I'll give you a donut."  HOOKED!

Two, this week I began a sermon series on the Book of Job (for a non-bow tie sermon I thought the first one went quite well).

Judson Sermon 20160918 "Have You Considered Job?" from Jacqueline Thureson on Vimeo.

I have been telling the kids I would like for them to read the Book of Job and let me know what they think of it.  But I've gotten nowhere.  So last night I proposed to the kids: read the Book of Job and then give me a three paragraph review and I'll take you to the grocery store and you can pick out your own pint of ice cream.  HOOKED!

Should I bribe my kids with donuts and ice cream to read the bible?  I suppose it is better than guilting them to read the bible.


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