JumpIntoTheWord

Bible Engagement Blog


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Pastor Alert!

Studies by the Barna Group, Gallup Poll, and others, reveal that regular Bible reading in North America is in sharp decline. There are approximately 25% fewer people than a generation ago who would be characterized as even occasional Bible readers, and about 700 people in the USA quit Bible reading every day!

The drop in Bible reading contrasts sharply with the finding that 87% of church attendees want practical help in understanding the Bible. Unfortunately only 20% of churches offer the help required.

Pastor, are you giving God’s people what they need to understand the Bible? Scripture Union can help equip your congregation with the means to read the Bible with understanding. Here are some proven resources you can recommend to your church:

  • Encounter With God, Daily Bread and Closer to God are excellent Bible reading guides for adults. These guides take the reader through the entire Bible in about four years. Many Christians testify to how they grow in understanding and meet with God daily through the use of these resources. Billy Graham, among many great examples of faith who use Scripture Union reading guides, says, “I am totally, completely and forever a Scripture Union man.”
  • Essential 100 Challenge is based on carefully selected short Bible passages – 50 from the Old Testament and 50 from the New Testament – that helps Bible readers grasp the essence of the text. The E100 Challenge is the systematic Bible reading challenge your congregation will love to complete. Consider doing it together as a congregation
  • theStory™ – a free daily online adult Bible reading guide that emphasizes the biblical narrative, utilizes a chronological reading plan, engages the mind and ignites the soul. One of the great features of theStory™, apart from the fact that it’s free, is software that tracks with each individuals progress – allowing a person to read and reflect on the Bible at their own pace. Available at: theStory.scriptureunion.ca

It doesn’t take a great deal of effort to give your congregation the help they require. Here are a few suggestions to get the ball rolling:

  • Feature the above information in newsletters, bulletins, PowerPoint announcements, your facebook and church website
  • Preach on the importance of connecting with God’s Word. Emphasize how Bible reading and reflection is the primary catalyst in spiritual health and growth. Apply the teaching by inviting the congregation to join you in doing the E100 Challenge or asking them to turn on their phones and sign up for theStory™. [Note: Scripture Union will send you logos and promotional jpg’s, slides, banners – everything you need to promote the E100 Challenge or theStory™. Simply e-mail us at: info@scriptureunion.ca]
  • Invite a member of staff from Scripture Union to set up a promotional display of Bible engagement resources with free samples of Encounter With God. Phone (905) 427-4947 to book one of the SU staff to present the latest research on the Bible and culture or share an inspirational and invitational message on Bible engagement

© Scripture Union Canada 2013


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A Pivotal Point

Bible engagement is at a pivotal point. With the help of smart phones, tablets and other devices the Scriptures are more accessible than ever before. We live in exceptional times. Digital technology provides proximity and unprecedented connectivity to the Bible.

New technologies and social media make it possible to dream about doing things that would have been beyond reach some years ago. Since we crossed over from Gutenberg to Google there are tremendous opportunities to retell the Story in creative new ways. Imagine an online game enabling children or youth to develop avatars, enter a virtual world, and as part of the action, engage with the Scriptures – it’s coming. Imagine the Bible in 3D – it’s coming. Imagine interfacing with a hologram of David as he slots a stone into his sling and begins to run toward Goliath – it’s coming!

Imagine interactive technology prompting you to reflect on the Scriptures daily, tracking your progress and facilitating sharing via social media – it’s come! Scripture Union Canada has developed and published theStory™ – an online Bible reading guide emphasizing the biblical narrative. Features of theStory™ are:

  • connects our stories with God’s Story
  • a chronological plan
  • free sign up at http://thestory.scriptureunion.ca/subscribe
  • unpacks the Bible in 4-5 years
  • the 3R’s methodology
  • trans-denominational and Evangelical
  • global audience
  • geared for millennials
  • suitable for adults of all ages
  • distinctive partnership of writers
  • flexible and shareable format
  • networking and promotional features
  • invites you to “write” yourself into it

theStory™ has just begun but we’re continuing to dream about what we can do to enhance it. What if we added an audio version, film, multiple languages, or provided a blog that enabled subscribers to chat about the biblical reflections with the writers and other readers? What if we could add family, youth, children’s and small group versions of theStory™? What if . . . we could help this generation become the most biblically engaged of all time?

© Scripture Union Canada 2013