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Bible Engagement Blog


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Forum of Bible Agencies Award of Excellence

Philadelphia, PA. The Forum of Bible Agencies – North America (FOBA-NA) recently presented its first-ever “Award of Excellence” for 2015 to YouVersion and OneHope for their efforts in developing a digital Scripture resource for children called the Bible App for Kids. The Award will be given each year for significant contribution to the cause of Bible translation, distribution or engagement.

“The Bible App for Kids perfectly symbolizes two things the Forum stands for”, commented FOBA-NA Chairperson Mr. Whitney T. Kuniholm, “best practices in Bible-related ministry and effective collaboration among Bible-focused organizations.”

The Bible App for Kids is a free, downloadable mobile application that helps children experience the Bible in 41 separate stories. The App is available in 11 languages, across multiple platforms and is designed to help children fall in love with God’s Word.

Since its release in November 2013 The Bible App for Kids has been downloaded more than 9.3 million times making it the most popular Bible story app in the world. In addition, it has become one of the top apps in the “education” and “Bible” categories. Based on that success, YouVersion and OneHope have just released The Bible App for Kids Storybook Bible, a full-colour 416 page hardcover book featuring 28 Bible stories that are easily understood by children but enjoyed by entire families.

YouVersion is a ministry of Life.Church, a multi-site church based in Oklahoma, and globally online atlive.life.church. YouVersion is also the creator of The Bible App which helps adults engage with God’s Word; to date it has been downloaded over 200 million times.

OneHope is an international ministry that reaches children and youth around the world with God’s Word – more than a billion kids in 145 countries have encountered a OneHope Scripture program since 1987. OneHope conducts research with children and youth, leaders and educators around the world, and collaborates with thousands of local churches and ministries, local governments, schools and non-governmental organizations.

The Forum of Bible Agencies – North America is an alliance of 40 organizations (Scripture Union is one of these organizations) with a combined constituency of over 5 million volunteers and contributors, reaching 100’s of millions of people of all ages with Bible-related ministries each year. Through the Forum, like-minded organizations partner in planning and producing resources that enable more people to make the Bible and its life-changing message part of their lives. The North American Forum is affiliated with the Forum of Bible Agencies-International. The Canadian Bible Forum is affiliated with the North American Forum.

 


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Working Definitions of Bible Engagement

In ongoing efforts to understand the nature and scope of Bible engagement, researchers and practitioners at the recent Bible Research Summit drafted the following three working definitions:

1. Bible engagement is encountering God/Jesus through a process/lifestyle of quality interaction in/with the Story as part of a lifestyle of living in and living out of the Story so that individuals and communities are transformed. [This is a cyclical process. That is, individuals and communities continuously reengage/encounter God/Jesus through a process/lifestyle of quality interaction in/with the Story as part of a lifestyle of living in and out of the Story].

2. Bible engagement occurs when the big Story of God/Jesus/humanity, motivated by its authority or its potential relevance (passion vs. scepticism), occasionally or through some habitual practice, which includes various media (e.g. reading, audio, groups, etc.) that contain Scripture content and an application of/resulting in a response to the Word which cultivates transformation in individuals and communities.

3. Bible engagement occurs when circumstances or posture inspired by the Holy Spirit combine to create desire to discover/explore the story of how God engages humanity through habitual seeking of the Word through various mediums (individual, group, audio, visual, written) resulting in transformation that is Christocentric/Christ-like.

Taken together, and simply stated, the three definitions identify Bible engagement as:

An encounter with God/Jesus

that is a motivated/inspired interaction with God’s Story

that includes various media

that involves an individual or communal activity/response/application

that cultivates/results in transformation

 

* The Bible Research Summit was hosted by the American Bible Society

* The goal of the Summit was to discuss the history, current practices and future needs of measuring Bible engagement

* The researchers and practitioners were:

Chris Armas – Code for the Kingdom

Lizette Beard – LifeWay Research

Steven Bird – Taylor University

Chad Causey – OneHope

Mark Forshaw – Global Scripture Impact

David Kinnaman – Barna Group

Nancy Lewis – REVEAL

Jason Malec – American Bible Society

Lawson Murray – Scripture Union

Pam Ovwigo – Center for Bible Engagement

Glenn Paauw – Biblica

Tyler Prieb – OneHope

Angela Rogers – Connection Media

 

© Scripture Union Canada 2015

2 Corinthians 4:5