The B-I-B-L-E

“The B-I-B-L-E -
Yes, that's the book for me!
I stand alone on the Word of God,
The B-I-B-L-E!”

How many of you sang that song when you were in Sabbath School?  Or perhaps you helped teach it to your own children from the time they were in Cradle Roll?  From the beginning of our church life, we are taught to revere God’s word, the Bible.  We sing songs about it, we read stories from it, and we learn the story of Salvation from its pages.

For many of us, the Bible takes on a new role as we get older.  While younger, we likely turned to it for exciting stories of Bible heroes.  As we get older, though, many of us turn to the Bible to find solace in hard times, instruction on how to live a life that mirrors Christ, and wisdom in many varied situations.  The Bible becomes a key way for God to communicate with us and speak to our lives.

In a recent study (ICM, 2014) conducted by the Institute for Church Ministry, Adventist young people were asked about their Bible reading habits.  Only 11% of respondents stated that they “always” read the Bible daily, with 24% stating that they “often” read the Bible daily. A surprising amount of young people – 30% - said that they “rarely” or “never” add daily Bible reading into their lives.

As part of the same study, young people were asked about their views regarding the Bible:

  • 64.8% said that Bible reading is key to a relationship with God.
  • 56.6% felt that Bible reading was important, with 47.7% saying that it was inspiring.
  • 20.2% felt that the Bible is confusing.
  • 9.1% admitted that they feel the Bible is boring.

                             

If Bible reading is key to a relationship with God, important, and inspiring, why are our young people not diving into its pages?  What can we do encourage them to spend time in the Word and to help obliterate their confusion?

The Center for Biblical Studies shares a list of five characteristics of Bible-reading youth.

  • They are surrounded by parents, teachers, and other respected adults who immerse themselves in the Bible.
  • They are challenged to try out Bible reading for themselves.
  • They are given a clear place to start (i.e starting in Psalms or one of the gospels).
  • They are able to connect with other youth who are reading the Bible.
  • They are awarded grace from their community when they fall away from the Bible and are invited to re-engage.

(For the complete article, check out: http://thecenterforbiblicalstudies.org/the-bible-challenge/for-children-youth-families/it-starts-with-a-challenge-getting-our-teenagers-into-the-bible/)

Consider your church family, specifically your young people.  Where do you think they stand in their Bible reading habits?  What can you do to light the fire and interest them in developing their interest in the Word?

Without developing a strong Biblical foundation while they are young, many of our church youth may find themselves confused on issues, unexpectedly distant from God, or uninterested in religion at all as they get older.  We must do all we can to share God’s Word with them early on so that His words can be engraved on their hearts for a lifetime!