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Engaging Different Audiences
The world's open source ministry resource library
The Max7 website features a variety of Bible resources including curriculum, videos, music, and training materials for use through children’s or young people’s ministry, sports or creative ministry. This worldwide partnership freely serves the work of evangelism, helping children and young people live life to the MAX, 7 days a week with Jesus – the life described in John 10:10.
With an easy-to-use multilingual search function the website allows users to find resources relating to a Bible verse or keyword.
In addition, the Max7 community is able to participate and contribute to resource development through feedback and uploading new resources to the site.
Regular updates of new Max7 resources can also be accessed through RSS feeds from the website, so users can stay in touch with new resource additions. [more...]
Enabling every child to hear the story of the Bible at school in their primary years
"Wednesday is my favourite day, because it's the Open the Book assembly!"
OPEN THE BOOK offers primary school children in the UK an opportunity to hear the major stories of the Bible, presented chronologically, during one school year. It is a free service given to each school by a team of Christians from local churches, who present a series of stories during Collective Worship. Each presentation takes a maximum of 10 minutes and can be incorporated into a wider school assembly, or can stand alone.
All the Year One stories are taken from The Lion Storyteller Bible written by Bob Hartman, and give an overview of the Bible from Creation to the Ascension. There are a further 2 years of themed material for those schools (and teams) who wish to continue. [more...]
Author: Wendy Strachan
Published by: Scripture Union International (Catalyst, August 2007, pg. 2-7)
Our problem is not relevance. It is accessibility. The world of today’s children is different from the world of the Bible with its unfamiliar names, values, cultures, countries, politics and history. Our task is to build bridges between the world of the child and the world of the Bible so that children can enter that world and meet the God who is so utterly relevant to their world today. Our task is to open up the Bible.
This article is based on a paper given at the Worldwide Scripture Use Consultation 2006 by Wendy Strachan, Children's Ministry Co-ordinator with Scripture Union.
The author argues that we close down the Bible for children when: we sanitise it, we trivialise it, we reduce it to a book of 'stories with a moral', we treat it as a book of rules, we treat it as a textbook of information to be memorised, and when we treat it as a book of stories about heroes.
To open up the Bible, we need to: let the Bible speak for itself, let children explore the Bible text in their imagination, build a framework within which children can interpret their world and God, and then respond to God's Word. [more...]
Author: John Ommani
"Pastors have taken on the 'lecture' method to display the 'big man' syndrome which does not allow the people to engage. They are expected to sit and listen and remain silent. They feel this is how the church has to operate. The pastor simply tells them what the Bible says and what they need to do. They are not able to live out what they are told because they still have unanswered questions."
The model of the pastor as 'big man' who knows it all means that people have to sit and listen, and often this does not lead to engagement with Scripture in life-transforming ways. In many traditional cultures, leaders taught through stories, questions, and riddles, allowing people to interact and discover. Can pastors today learn to use discovery methods in the church that allow people to interact with Scripture and discover lessons for themselves? This article says yes, with field experience from Africa to demonstrate it. [more...]
A Case Study of Young Adults Who are Not Involved in a Faith Community
Author: F. Morgan
Published by: Encounters Mission Ezine, Issue 27 (Dec 2008)
All approaches to interpreting the Bible are culture bound, including the systematic theologies of modernity. The Church needs to be open to new ways of reading the Bible and should encourage people to interpret texts for themselves by adopting a more interactive approach to preaching. A divinely inspired text must be capable of speaking into postmodernity just as effectively as it has done in the past. The Church should embrace the openness of non-churchgoers to the Bible's wisdom, moral values and powerful prose while attempting to communicate that the text is more dynamic, surprising, challenging and relevant than society assumes.
This paper explores attitudes to the Bible among non-churchgoers in the UK. It focuses on a case study of young professionals, examining their familiarity with the Bible and their opinions of it. It evaluates the ways in which the Church attempts to raise awareness of the Bible and asks how culturally relevant these approaches are to the people represented in the case study. [more...]
An initiative aiming to improve biblical literacy in the church
"Read the Bible for Life aims to improve biblical literacy in the culture and the church by simultaneously moving readers toward greater skill in reading the Bible well and toward a deeper commitment to applying Scripture to everyday life."
The Read the Bible for Life initiative seeks to accomplish two things foundationally:
"1. We want to help people learn to read the parts of Scripture well, so they know how to engage a psalm, or an Old Testament story, or a parable, applying the word in specific, life-changing ways. 2. We want to help people understand how the grand story of the Bible fits together, so they can understand their place in that grand story that God has written on the world."
On the initiative's website you'll find videos, podcasts, blog posts, as well as details of the book "Read the Bible for Life" by George Guthrie (Union University). [more...]
A new way of getting people to get to grips with Scripture
Author: Steve Levy
Published by: Evangelicals Now (March 2010)
"There used to be just three people in our church reading through the Bible — now there are 150. One older lady, a believer since her 20s, had attempted to read the Bible through for years and every time had given up. ‘Now, together with everyone else, I think I’m going to do it’, she said."
Steve Levy describes how his church has divided everybody up into small groups - Read the Bible Together groups - which meet together once a month. Before coming to the group, people are asked to read or listen to a book of the Bible. They then come together to share what God has been teaching them: "We need to help each other. The Bible is written to be talked about. It grows. It is not bound." [more...]
Promoting Scripture use in difficult environments
Author: Mary Beavon
“The illustrations captured the imagination of the children.”
Mary Beavon describes a Scripture Use activity their team used in an area of Cameroon where churches are small, travel is difficult, and people have little money. They developed Scripture Big Books (from Shell Books), which served to both teach the Bible and promote literacy. They were used in churches and open air. Though it is not a sustainable activity, it provides useful manuscripts and exposes people to written forms of the Bible. [more...]
Theories and themes emerging from the World Wide Scripture Engagement Consultation
Author: Stephen Opie
"There is clear confusion among Christians about why they should read the Bible. For many, who have lived a Christian life without much engagement with the Bible, there is no perceived need to engage with it."
This paper, fruit of the recent WWSE Think Tank, seeks to engage with the 'Bible Engagement Crisis' in contexts where Bible availability is high but Bible use is relatively low. The focus is on the emerging generation who are less likely to use the Bible than the generations before them, especially using traditional methods.
After presenting the challenge, Stephen Opie outlines some of the strategic themes emerging, such as:
- establishing relevance by listening first;
- embracing technology, especially the Internet;
- identifying grassroots movements and helping them to grow.
Working with the churches, Scripture Union aims to make God's Good News known to children, young people and families and to encourage people of all ages to meet God daily through the Bible and prayer.
So that they may
- come to a personal faith in our Lord Jesus Christ,
- grow in Christian maturity and
- become both committed church members and servants of a world in need.