Bible Rookie: “I don’t know where to start!”

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Beginning Bible tips for youth.


If I have heard one comment more than any other from teens (and adults) about the Bible, it’s definitely this one: Where do I start? It’s not that we don’t know how important God’s word is. We do. It’s just that we often have anxiety about where to begin reading this massive collection of the most important writings of all time.

Here are some tips to help you and your teens make reading this living and active book something they won’t want to miss.

For leaders

  1. Communicate to teens why it is so important that we read Scripture. When we read God’s word, we get to know … God. In a deeper way. We learn how crazy he is about us and how he wants to stay in constant conversation with us.
  2. Set an example by sharing how your personal time reading Scripture has affected your life. Model it. Teens are inspired by the humility and stories of others — especially their youth leaders!

For teens

  1. Get a Catholic Bible (that contains all 73 books), such as the New American Bible, Revised Edition (NABRE) or the Revised Standard Version, Catholic Edition (RSVCE).
  2. Pick a daily time when you are most alert and least distracted, one that you can easily make a routine.
  3. Start with a simple goal. Don’t attempt to read an entire book in one sitting. Spend 15 minutes. Read a chapter, or better yet, a few verses. The Book of James is a great place to start. It contains some awesome advice on how we should live our lives.
  4. Pray before you start. Invite the Lord to speak to you through what you are about to read. Ask him to show you one simple thing you can apply to your life.
  5. Journal about the things God is speaking to you. This is helpful for further reflection and application during the rest of the day, as well as for reference in the future.
  6. Create a physical reminder of something you read. Draw. Paint. Write a poem. Take a picture. Make something with clay, wood, or Legos. These become symbols of the work God is doing in your life. You can even keep them in a personal “shrine” in your room.
    They will be great reminders that God is always with you.
  7. Carry your Bible with you throughout the day. You never know when you might be inspired to open it. Imagine if we treated the Bible like our phones — always accessible.


Becky Groth is a producer for ODB Films.

This article first appeared in Catechist magazine, September 2019



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