“The Bible is alive – it has hands and grabs hold of me, it has feet and runs after me”. Thus spoke Martin Luther, as cited by Knud Jørgensen in a quotation that summarizes the deeper meaning of this book. To the authors of Bible in Mission, the Bible is the book of life, and mission is life in the Word. (from the Foreword)
Bible in Mission is a rich collection of essays from around the world on the theme of 'Bible and mission - mission in the Bible'. They come as a follow-up to the missiological discussions of Edinburgh 2010. A glance at the contents page should be enough to convince all involved in Scripture Engagement that this book, now available as a free PDF download, is a must-read.
The Bible as Text for Mission (Tim Carriker)
The Bible in Mission in the Islamic Context (Kenneth Thomas)
The Bible in Christian Mission among the Hindus (Lalsangkima Pachuau)
Children, Mission and the Bible: A Global Perspective (Wendy Strachan)
Bible Hermeneutics in Mission - A Western Protestant Perspective (Michael Kisskalt)
Orthodox Perspective on Bible and Mission (Simon Crisp)
'Ignorantia Scripturae ignorantia Christi est' (Thomas P. Osborne)
The UBS HIV Good Samaritan Program (David Hammond and Immanuel Kofi Agamah)
The Bible and the Poor (Gerald West)
The Bible and Care of Creation (Allison Howell)
Bible Missions in China (Pamela Wan-Yen Choo)
The Impact and Role of The Bible in Big Flowery Miao Community (Suee Yan Yu)
Bible Engagement among Australian Young People (Philip Hughes)
Bible Translation, the Quechua People and Protestant Church Growth in the Andes (Bill Mitchell)
The Bible in Mission: Women Facing the Word (Elsa Tamez)
Scripture Engagement and Living Life as a Message (Steve Bird)
Reading the Bible with Today's Jephthahs: Scripture and Mission at Tierra Nueva (Bob Ekblad)
Lessons Learned from the REVEAL Spiritual Life Survey (Nancy Scammacca Lewis)
Glazed Eyes and Disbelief (Adrian Blenkinsop and Naomi Swindon)
Information Management and Delivery of the Bible (Paul Soukup)
A new resource for leaders of small groups of young people. Designed to let the Bible speak to young people, and to allow you to train yourself to be a Bible Mentor. For use in school SU groups, primary or secondary, SU holiday group-times, Bible class groups, seeker groups.
"I believe we should re-commit ourselves to relational ministry with open bibles, and I want to invite all who are involved with young people to live by the Book and to open it with young people throughout our Land... I want to offer this simple tool to encourage volunteers and “professionals” alike to spend good quality time mentoring regularly with groups of children and young people, by simply opening the bible, reading it together, and asking one another some good questions.” (Kenny McKie)
The Millennial generation of young people are known as "digital natives". According to recent research carried out by the Barna Group in the USA:
"the most common way Millennials are blending their faith and technology is through digital reading of Scripture. It’s an escalating trend, considering there are just as many YouVersion (the free Bible phone app) downloads as there are Instagram downloads. And BibleGateway.com has become one of the top Christian websites today."
The research found that:
"Seven out of 10 of practicing Christian Millennials (70%) read Scripture on a screen. One-third of all Millennials says they read sacred Scripture on a phone or online, demonstrating how broadly the digital trends are shaping this generation."
In addition, 38% of practicing Christian Millennials said they search the Internet to verify something a faith leader has said. This might be during a sermon, as many bring their smartphones or tablets to church with them. [more...]
Designed especially for youth and young adults, Living Worlds is educational yet entertaining.
Living Worlds is filmed on location in Italy, Greece and Turkey and supplemented with computer graphics and animations. It aims to help us understand better the world of New Testament times and specifically the context into which several books of the Bible were written. Each episode is around 10 minutes long, making it ideal for use in home groups, Bible studies - even Church gatherings.
The first episode "Corinth" uses cutting edge computer graphics, animations and story-telling to explore the life of Ancient Corinth. [more...]
"The Bible According to Gen Z" is a collection of essays from Australia on encouraging Bible engagement among young people. It includes research results and analysis, together with responses from youth leaders and case studies.
Here are some selected quotes:
"The study showed that the best way to encourage young people to read the Bible is to encourage them to participate in a Bible reading group."
"Encouraging the sharing of ideas, opinions and questions around a passage is also vital for young people to dig into Scripture, and have a sense of 'discovery' and shared learning."
"Many young people read very little, especially in the form of books... Bible reading requires a sustained effort of a kind that is 'uncomfortable' for many young people."
"Individualism and post-traditionalism has meant that life is approached in a very flexible manner... Few young people develop strong habitual or structured daily activities, except in relation to the demands of school and work... The mobile phone has encouraged this unstructured approach to life. Hence, few young people develop structured habits of daily Bible reading."
"There's one core issue that sits at the heart of young people not 'getting into' the Bible. It may seem harsh - but it's simply that there is a consistent lack of modelling of Bible engagement from leaders. If the leaders of young people are not engaging with the Bible, the clear message to those they influence is that the Bible is not important."
"When Bible engagement is done in non-interactive, non-creative ways, it often reinforces the lack of importance and relevance of the Bible in the minds of young people."
"Experiencing the Bible as relevant depends on the attitudes one brings to it. If young people read it simply as stories of long ago, it had little relevance. If they read it as God's communication today, they were far more likely to experience it as relevant to life."
"For the young people who do read the Bible, there is often a frustration with the 'non-immediacy' of it (the fast-food approach to the Bible)."
Available as an e-book or printed book. [more...]
In this TED-style presentation, Alchemy Project Director, Matt Valler, explores a future for how we use the Bible. Drawing on 4 global mega-trends, Matt details profound cultural changes that are happening all over the world and proposes an approach to the future of Scripture Engagement that responds to these challenges as an opportunity to create something profoundly new.[more...]
"Scripture engagement must allow the young person to ‘discover’ the message for themselves (as opposed to ‘being told’). They need to discover the relevance and value of God’s story for their lives, and our role is to be a guide, a storyteller, an encourager, and a listener to the Holy Spirits guidance."
Seeking to engage a young person with Scripture can be disappointing – and exhilarating. Have I failed if they don’t connect or react negatively? Having an array of engagement tools at our disposal, combined with an informed awareness of the context and culture of youth will enable us to use the right resource at the right time.
This approach is being used by Scripture Union in Victoria in a schools-based context, and by Bible Society in South Australia in a youth group and schools context. [more...]
The WordSpace broadcasts short Bible-centred messages to thousands of young people every day, via BBM, WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook, Mxit, Google+ and email.
"theWordSpace is a way to help you encounter God in the spaces of each busy day. We have a really cool team of writers who know what it’s like to be a young person trying to figure out life with God. Our posts take less than 45 seconds to read. Besides being short, we write them to be as real, relevant and Biblical as we can."
The messages, delivered every morning, are written in a variety of styles and include links to Bible passages. Members of a youth group can be encouraged to subscribe to the WordSpace, so that they are all reading the same daily messages, stimulating discussion via social media and when they meet together.
The WordSpace comes from The Youth Hub in South Africa, partnering with Scripture Union. The technical infrastructure used to send out the daily messages could be used in other contexts around the world. Contact Andrew Vaughan if you would like to know more. [more...]
"The pattern of a fundamentally fragmented and disconnected understanding of Scripture still remains a major issue for those within Christendom, in both the majority and minority world."
Timelining Scripture is an innovative, yet simple Bible engagement tool that helps people to grasp Scripture as the single great coherent story of God’s purposes for the world. It reinforces a strong notion of the Kingdom of God and is particularly useful for helping people to find themselves, their community and their cultural context as actors within the biblical story. It is adaptable across age and cultural contexts and is highly visual, interactive and flexible. [more...]
Bible Society in New Zealand has made a series of 'True Story' videos to show people how "life's answers may be closer than you think".
"These videos are for anyone who has ever been afraid, alone, heartbroken or confused. They're for anyone who has ever been bullied, judged, or seriously mistreated, and for anyone who has ever been tempted or made a really big mistake they can't take back.
"These stories are all true - captured for the whole world to learn from. Our hope is that if you’ve ever felt like the people in these stories, you’ll be encouraged by them."