What is Thought Factory?

Thought Factory is dedicated to learning from students for students to better our ministry practice with students. Based on our own national research with 3000 students and 500 youth workers, we break down what we are hearing from middle school and high school students from across America. We also discuss the intriguing differences between what adults “think” students are thinking and the students’ responses themselves. Hosted by Jeff Eckart and Jayson Brewer from Never The Same, this show is for those who are interested in or working with students in a ministry or faith context.

In episode #101, we take a look at the importance and impact of Bible engagement.  If we aren’t doing this one thing, then what are we doing?  How can we get students engaged in the scriptures throughout the week?

We are not just simply stating that it is important for students to read the Bible, but to go further and engage the Bible.  It is the idea of reflection, thinking about it though journaling and asking questions with others.

Through our national research, we asked a series of questions that specifically asked about the topic of the Bible.

#1 Which best describes your view of the Bible?

Very Important // 58%
Somewhat Important // 38%
Not Important // 5%

#2 How often do you read the Bible?

Never // 48%
1-3 Times a Week // 40%
4 or More Times a Week // 12%

Students say the Bible is important to them (95%), but are not reading it (48%).

What number would you pick for your students in your context that are never reading the Bible?  How do we change that number?

We compared our research with the research done by the Center for Bible Engagement, and what they call Scientific Evidence for the Power of 4.  The Power of 4 is looking at people of any age when they are engaged in the Bible four or more times a week, and seeing a difference in their behavior patterns.

By reading the Bible 4 or more times a week translates to life change:

Getting Drunk // 57% decrease
Looking at Pornography // 61% decrease

Sharing their faith with others // 228% increase
Discipling others // 231% increase
Memorizing scripture // 407% increase

#3 What is the #1 reason you might not spend time reading the Bible?

Don’t know where to start // 41%
Don’t have time // 31%
Don’t understand it // 15%
Don’t know how it applies to me // 11%
Don’t believe it // 2%

We as leaders and those who are working with students, let’s give them “on-ramps” to where they can start reading the Bible.  The Bible can be an overwhelming document and students are looking for where to start.  Knowing where to start should not be underestimated.   We may be doing all these things, but we may be missing the #1 most important thing.  Nothing will benefit your ministry more than Bible engagement incorporated into the program of your ministry setting.