Do you have a biblical poser in your group? You know, the person who nods approvingly while your group studies the Bible, but never brings his copy of Scripture to class. Do you have people in your group who struggle to find Scripture references or can’t seem to “connect the dots” in Bible study?
Our groups are full of biblical posers… people who attend Sunday School week after week and yet fail to connect the truth of Scripture to their personal lives. Here is some information that may suprise you (but probably won’t):
- 10% of Americans believe that Joan of Arc was Noah’s wife;
- Only half can name any one of the four gospels;
- Less than half of American Adults can name the first book of the Bible. 1
But wait, what about church attenders!?
- 16% of church members read their Bible every day;
- 32% of church members read their Bible once a week; 2
Only 37% of the church members state that reading or studying
the Bible has made a signifcant difference in their lives.
So here’s the plan. Rather than throw fiery darts and massive guilt trips at people in our churches who are not connecting with Scripture, let’s join hands with them and walk through the Bible together! It will be good for them… and it will also be good for us. Everyone benefits when a church commits itself to daily Bible reading.
Dr. George Guthrie of Union University has put together a plan to lead a church to read the Bible through in one year. He has also written a 9 week discipleship study to help people understand what they are reading as they go through the Scriptures. Excellent resources, and it was even field-tested at the Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, AL!
Here is a 4 minute video from Dr. Guthrie about Read the Bible for Life:
Reading the Bible is essential to our growth. In the book, The Shape of Faith to Come, research was conducted on which spiritual discipline was most common among growing Christians. The answer: they read their Bible daily! It makes sense too!
This coming year, the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma is putting together a massive Sunday School leader training initiative called “One Day Live”. Our goal is to conduct over 50 training clinics for Sunday School and small group leaders at one time, followed by a simulcast with Dr. Johnny Hunt of FBC-Woodstock. We are also partnering with Dr. Guthrie to help develop a plan to read the Bible… for life.
Our goal at One Day on August 28 is for us to recognize that in order for us to have growing churches, we need believers who are growing spiritually. I believe that the best format to accomplish this is through a comprehensive small group ministry that focuses on Bible teaching, connecting with others, and missions. You will be hearing more about One Day and the Read the Bible for Life initiative as we get closer to August 28.
Until then, go to www.readthebibleforlife.com for more information…
1 Prothero, Stephen. What Every American Needs to Know –but Doesn’t. New York: Harper Collins, 2008.
2 Guthrie, George. Read the Bible for Life. Nashville: B&H Publishing, 2011.