If you were to be asked, “Is the Bible an integral part to your faith?” How would you respond?
I would assume our immediate response would be “yes, absolutely!” or something similar depending on how eager you are to get an answer out. It is no question that the Bible is foundational and essential to the Christian faith.
Then my next question would be; would your response match up to your actions? Would your definitive answer be backed up with the amount of time you are engaging with the Word of God? Are we submerged in the truth on a regular basis, influencing our thoughts, our actions, and essentially our relationship with God?
The importance of God’s Word and the desire to see students engage with it more frequently has caused us to recently produce Don’t Climb Alone guides, which helps people interact with God’s Word on a regular basis, challenging them to grow individually and as a community.
The Bible is so fundamental to our faith, as well as, what we do as a camp, that we wanted students to all walk away from NTS Camp in the summer of 2013 with a Bible in their hands. But, just because we (NTS Camp) taught them lessons on how to engage with the Bible and physically handed them one, they don’t automatically know its words.
So, a year has past and now we wanted to know what students at NTS Camp thought about the Bible and if they read it regularly.
Amongst many questions we asked these students, one question was,
“Do you believe that the Bible is the perfect Word of God?”
The results were pretty close amongst all the different sites (Indiana, Chicago, New York, South Carolina, Los Angeles).
Seventy-five percent (75%) said YES
Nine percent (9%) said NO
Sixteen percent (16%) said NOT SURE
Seventy-five percent is a solid average. That is encouraging!
Then we proceeded to ask another question about the Bible. A question more about their behavior and not just about their belief.
“How often do you read your Bible?”
Thirty-nine percent (39%) NEVER read it
Forty-seven percent (47%) read it 1-3 TIMES a WEEK
Fourteen percent (14%) read it 4 TIMES or MORE
BIBLE IS FOUNDATIONAL
I think of the Matthew 7 passage of the parable of The Wise and Foolish Builders. Singing the tune, “Wise man built his house on the rock…” just once with my 3 year-old son creates an earworm for me for the rest of the day. I hope you have better luck avoiding it.
24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
It is about building a solid foundation on truth so when “the storms” come into our lives, we are prepared to face these storms with strength and stability. With Truth.
This is not about reading the Bible because we are told to, or that it’s something to check off the list of things we need to do for our faith. Or in order to be good people.
This is about knowing the life of Jesus and His words.
It is about knowing the heart of God.
It is about knowing His commands, because those who love Jesus obeys His teachings.
It is about receiving the Spirit of Truth.
It’s about transformation through the renewing of our minds.
We do it because of our love for God and we desire to build that relationship with Him.
It’s about engaging with the creator of the universe to instill purpose and identity. We are God’s children whom He loves. He wants us to KNOW Him.
But, if 39% of students are never reading the Bible, they miss out on engaging with that love. They begin to search for their identity in other things. The belief that God will always be there never manifests when the “storms” hit during the adolescent years and beyond. The doubts of the goodness of God grow larger in their minds when they are faced with the temptation to conform to the patterns of this world. They don’t experience the full life that Jesus promised by being connected to the vine. The list goes on.
Reading and engaging the Bible is very important. That is too large of a percentage for us and I hope it is for you too.
If there is a belief that the Bible is the perfect Word of God, how should it affect what you do with it?
When there is a habit of engagement, the result can be life changing and life giving.
How do you respond to what’s revealed in these stats?
Director of Production Design
Never The Same
© 2014, Never The Same