Teaching Adults to Love the Bible

August 01, 2023

In Psalm 119 (NLT), the Psalmist declares six times, “I love your commands [commandments]” or, “I love your instructions.” Then in verse 165, he states, “Those who love your instructions have great peace and do not stumble” (NLT).


Likely, there are some in your class who do love God’s Word with that kind of intensity, poring over it daily and communing with its Author. Most of those people probably fit into one of two categories: (1) longtime believers who have walked with God for many years or (2) new converts whose eyes have just been opened to the fact that God speaks to His people through His written Word.


Unfortunately, many churchgoers see the Bible as a necessary part of life that they dust off and carry to church on Sunday. Or they use an app on their phones to access information from Scripture much as they would Google answers to occasional questions. If they have personal or family devotions, they may see that time as an obligation rather than a privilege. They may understand the basics of Scripture but feel little emotional attachment to serious study of the Bible.


As the teacher of this diverse group of students, how can you help that “middle-ground” crowd truly fall in love with God’s Word and with God himself? And how do you keep the new converts from losing the wonder of God’s Word in their life? Perhaps you have tried encouraging them to do the Daily Bible Readings in their student guides or some other Bible reading plan, but they soon lose interest, or the exercise becomes just that—an exercise.


While you have a limited time of influence each week, there are a few things you can do as you interact with your class members. Let’s examine a few of them.

Increase Your Own Love for Scripture

Spend time each day in God’s Word—not just for lesson preparation but for your own spiritual growth. Look for principles you can apply to your life. Cultivate your prayer life by praying for needs around you, especially for the students in your class. Ask God to give you insights into His Word that you can apply in your life and share with your students. As your own relationship with God grows, your effectiveness in the classroom will grow as well.

Share Your Love for the Scriptures

The people in your class are drawn there each week by the Spirit. Let your love for the Scriptures show in your class time. Be transparent and open about the things you are learning from God’s Word. Show them that applying the principles of the Bible to everyday life is a natural way to live.


Look for engaging ways to share the excitement of the Bible in class. The Adult Teacher Guide offers a variety of teaching methods, but be sure your love for Scripture shows in your face and mannerisms as you teach. If you are not excited about the Bible, your students won’t be either. During class, offer opportunities for students to dig into the Scriptures and share their own insights. Use the discussion questions and resource items to prompt them to discover the truths of God’s Word and share them in class. As students become comfortable talking about God in class, they will also be more comfortable sharing Him with unbelievers in the community.

Build Relationships with Your Students

It has been said that people “don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Pray for your students and demonstrate God’s love to them by checking on those who are absent, offering to pray for any needs they may have, or organizing help such as delivering meals or coordinating rides to medical appointments as needed. When they observe your love for them and your love for God’s Word, they will follow your example and come to love God’s Word.

Get Everyone Involved

Inspire your class by giving opportunities for class members to share their excitement about what God is doing through His Word in their lives. One Sunday School teacher begins each class period by asking participants to share “God sightings” from the week. These may be answers to prayer, unexpected blessings, opportunities for witnessing, or any other way they are seeing God at work in their lives and the lives of others. Often these “sightings” are the outgrowth of what the class discovered in the Word during previous classes.

Don’t Be Discouraged

God’s Word is alive and active (Hebrews 4:12). As you prepare for class each week, ask God to let your love for the Scriptures show through your teaching and impact your students. No matter how many times you have taught the same passage of Scripture, your love for God and His Word can stay fresh and exciting. Your students will “catch” that love from you, apply it to their own lives, and share it with others. A vibrant love for God’s Word will keep your class engaged and grounded in God’s Word through every stage of life.

How to choose a Sunday School curriculum

Sort through your curriculum options with this checklist to find the right choice for your ministry.