Kennemur helps children Read the Bible for Life
Keith Collier, SWBTS Communications
September 22, 2011

Kennemur helps children Read the Bible for Life

Kennemur helps children Read the Bible for Life
Keith Collier, SWBTS Communications
September 22, 2011

EULESS, Texas ­– Karen Kennemur knows the value of

planting God’s Word deep into the life of the child and watching it grow to

fruition. As a mom, a pre-K teacher, children’s minister, and now as assistant

professor of children’s ministry at Southwestern Seminary, Kennemur has seen the

Bible’s impact on children’s foundational years as well as its influence

throughout their lives.

So, when asked to help write a supplemental resource for the

Read the Bible for Life Conference put on by the Southern Baptists of Texas

Convention (SBTC), Kennemur jumped at the opportunity. The conference, held

Sept. 9 at First Baptist Church in Euless, Texas, helped pastors and

educational ministers understand how they could implement in their churches the

principles found in Union University professor George Guthrie’s new book, Read

the Bible for Life. Kennemur wrote the section in the resource manual for

children’s ministers and lead a breakout session during the conference.

SWBTS Photo/Matt Miller

Southwestern Seminary professor Karen Kennemur trains children’s ministers how to help children Read the Bible for Life.

Citing recent research indicating the epidemic of biblical

illiteracy in U.S. churches, Kennemur asked conference participants, “Have we

not done a good job of helping kids fall in love with reading the Bible?”

Foundational to Guthrie’s plea to see individuals, families

and churches return to an anchoring in God’s Word is the biblical mandate for

parents to instill the value of Scripture into their children by both

instruction and example. Kennemur believes churches stand poised to aid parents

in bringing up their children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. In the

breakout session, Kennemur shared strategies and resources with children’s

ministers to equip them for the task.

“Why read the Bible?” Kennemur asked. This central question

should guide ministers and parents as they point children to treasure


Kennemur noted that most children today experience the

busyness of life even at very early ages. School, sports and other

extra-curricular activities vie for their attention, and they must be shown the

benefits of the Bible, such as knowing God, understanding His eternal plan, and

experiencing the freedom, grace, peace and hope His Word offers. If children

build a strong framework on a solid foundation at an early age, they will be

more likely to weather the future storms of life with a strong faith.

“We’re preparing kids before the train wreck happens,”

Kennemur said. It is not enough for children simply to read the Bible, but they

must understand what it says and how it applies to their life in order for it

to take root and bear lasting fruit.

“Kids need help interpreting the Scriptures just like we

do,” Kennemur said.

For this reason, Kennemur said, churches must teach parents

how to have a quiet time and study the Bible so they can, in turn, teach their


During a main conference session, Guthrie described the cultural

landscape, which sadly shows a profound lack of even elementary knowledge about

the Bible, even by regular church attenders. While studies show that the number

one predictor of spiritual maturity among regular church attenders is reading

the Bible on a daily basis, Guthrie said, 52 percent of them read the Bible

less than three times a month, and half of those do not read the Bible at all.

LifeWay Christian Resources has partnered with Guthrie to

create workbooks, DVD curriculum, Bible reading plans, and other resources for

individuals and local churches. To find out more information, visit


(EDITOR’S NOTE – Keith Collier is director of news and

information for Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth,