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What is Bible Engagement? PDF Print E-mail

What is Bible Engagement? New Australian research shows that Aussie's struggle to read the Bible. There are so many Bible engagement programs, devotionals, reading plans that are available today. Many of them focus on knowledge and truth, both of which are very important but the outcome that makes the Bible come alive and the one people are hungry for, is a REAL encounter with God. So while all devotionals and bible engagement methods should be well-designed and help people form life-long habits, the most important thing is that they must also help people develop a relationship with God.

When Christians read the Bible for themselves – they desire to encounter God. They are hungry, they want to meet with God, hear from Him, and learn more of His character and love.

But what is Bible engagement?

· It’s is reading the Bible – but its more than that!

· It’s studying the Bible – but it’s more than that

· It’s devotionals - but its more than that!

· It’s understanding Biblical truth - but its more than that!

· It is about all of the above AND

· Hearing and encountering God

· Personal application

Many of you will have heard the statistic from NCLS: 60-80% of young adults will leave the church once they have finished their education

Many researchers believe that this is a reflection of 30-40years of not digging deep. A failure to make disciples.

· Strategies aimed at "getting people to church" can never reach or impact our country.

· Calling people to "become a Christian" will not do it either.

· Church growth methods have only had limited success.

· Building more church buildings is not a key to changing lives.

It is not more Christians that will impact out city for the Kingdom... It is more disciples: People who are mature in their relationship with Jesus and committed to obey His call to live for Him – expecting Him to give them divine appointments along the way.

I have worked in youth ministry since 1995 and some of the saddest times in my journey as a youth worker is when I meet up with former youth years down the track, only to hear they no longer attend Church and have walked away from Jesus.

I do hear great stories of former youth now in full-time ministry, raising Godly families and still devoted to Jesus but for some reason my heart aches hearing stories of people who have walked away from God. I begin to question myself…

· ‘where did I go wrong’,

· ‘what could I have done better’,

· ‘ if only I’d spent more time with them’

If only… If only… then maybe… they’d still love Jesus

Hebrews 5:12 –14 » In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.

The writer of this letter is quite upset with the people in this Church, saying they should be teaching others about the Christian faith but instead they still need someone to teach them the basics all over again. They are still on baby’s milk. Why? Because they aren’t acquainted with God’s ways, they haven’t moved onto solid food.

So in our Christian life what is solid food? It’s the Bible, God’s word and love letter to us. The Bible is not just a book for reading, it is a book to be studied, well considered, applied and enjoyed. Otherwise, it is like swallowing food down whole and then spitting it back up – it has no nutritional value – it has no use or enjoyment. The Bible is God’s Word and it is worthy of reading.

But Paul continues by saying that it is by ‘constant use’ that people have ‘trained themselves’ (not just by others) to become mature, to grow up to eat solid food.

For a time being fed by someone else is really good and healthy and ensures you survive, but there comes a time when you must learn to eat on your own.

Help us find out what’s happening in Australia with Bible Engagement, complete the survey yourself, send it to friends, colleagues, your church! The more people that the complete the survey, the better research we have to be able to change a generation!

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