Research indicates that the primary factors helping people connect with the Bible are:
- being a committed Christian
- accessibility and availability of a Bible
- attending church
- reading books that aid Bible reading
Simply stated, people are more likely to engage the Bible when they are committed to Christ, linked up with other people (go to church, attend a Bible study or youth group, speak to friends and family about what they read in the Bible) and use easy to read or contemporary versions of the Bible together with devotional books, reading guides, or commentaries.
Conversely, the main reasons why people don’t connect with the Bible are:
- they are not relationally connected to the Christian community
- they do not read books or don’t own a Bible
- they say they are too busy or have other priorities
Slick advertising campaigns or just handing a stranger a Bible are unlikely to have much success in helping connect people with the Bible. Relationships are crucial. We must facilitate and nurture vertical (with God) and horizontal (with God’s people) relationships. For this to happen we must share the good news (evangelize), teach people how to live for Christ (make disciples), and foster authentic Christ centred communities of faith.
© Scripture Union Canada 2014