Bible handling goals for the 11-14 year age group

An age-appropriate guide for children’s use of the Bible – their knowledge of its content, skills in using it and attitudes towards it.

Children of different ages approach the Bible in different ways. As their general skills grow, so does their understanding of the Bible and their skill in using it. The statements below represent the knowledge, skills and attitudes that leaders will encourage and help children to develop by the upper end of their age group.

This document and guides for other age groups can be found on the Max7 website


Familiarity with the story form

The young people will

  • know that the Bible is a collection of books written in different styles by different people
  • be able to clearly identify the different genres.

Learning a biblical overview

The young people will know that the Bible

  • is the story of the Israelites
  • is the story of the Church
  • is an ancient book
  • is God’s word
  • is truth
  • is a mix of different genres, such as history, poetry and law
  • has a number of different authors.

The young people will also know

  • that Jesus is the central character of the Bible
  • the main characters and where they come in the historical framework.


Devotional and meditative approach

The young people will

  • know that they can hear God speak to them through the Bible
  • understand the importance of being able to hear God
  • begin to show a preference for approaching the Bible devotionally.

Basic Bible-handling skills

The young people will

  • be able to use the contents page
  • find a Bible reference (probably still using the contents page)
  • be able to draw out principles about what God is like from how he deals with people
  • be able to tackle questions about meaning, recognising that there is more than the literal story going on and maybe more than one meaning
  • be able to find a Bible passage from a reference
  • will know whether a Bible character lived before or after another.

Interpretative skills

The young people will

  • begin to apply what they read to their lives
  • know that some biblical concepts need to be understood culturally before any application can take place
  • know that there are different interpretations within the Christian community.

Use of Bible aids

The young people will

  • be able to voice questions to older Christians
  • use the web or other media forms to address some questions
  • see personal Bible Reading aids as a means to helping interpretation.

Understanding major themes and doctrines

The young people will

  • understand that the Bible is God’s word
  • be able to apply the major themes to their lives, such as ‘a God of justice means … to me and the world’.


The young people will …

  • consider the Bible a holy book
  • know that they can rely on what the Bible says
  • know that the Bible is a guidebook for life
  • know that God still communicates to individuals through the Bible
  • realise that they can know God through the Bible
  • know that it is OK to question things they once accepted.