"So a bigger vision of Bible engagement is not just that more individual Christians will form a Bible reading habit. That’s a critical first step. A bigger vision is that more groups of Christians, of all denominations, will begin reading and living God’s Word together, and as a result, the Church will be renewed and relevant for a new generation."
Reflecting on what he's learned from the E100 programme, SU President Whitney Kuniholm, asks "How can you get 'average Christians' to start and maintain a regular Bible reading habit?"
He suggests seven key elements, 'the essential architecture', to pastors and church leaders:
- Take Spiritual Leadership
- Make it a community experience
- Use habit-formation principles
- Affirm a variety of devotional methods
- Have a flexible format
- Follow a unifying theme
- Offer a follow-up plan…from the beginning
In conclusion, the author observes that: "When people begin reading and applying God’s Word together, a spiritual power is unleashed that can dramatically transform individual lives and entire churches." [more...]
This survey of British people's knowledge and use of the Bible was carried out in streets and shopping centres across England and Wales.
Here are some of the findings:
- 75% said that they owned a Bible, 46% of these owned a traditional Bible, 18% a modern version and 36% said that they owned both a modern and a traditional version.
- 18% said that they had read the Bible in the last week. 31% said the Bible was significant in their lives now. 47% said the Bible was never significant to them.
- Even if the information about Bible reading habits is a little gloomy, knowledge about core details of the Christian faith and some of the central Biblical figures are better.
- About 80% of those surveyed had some knowledge about the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. However, knowledge about some essential stories is being lost, especially Old Testament stories.
The survey briefing concludes: "...the masses have been persuaded that the Bible cannot be understood without someone else coming to interpret it or indeed make it more simple – to broker the Bible. Once again, we are offered the stark reality of a people who have been robbed of their Bible, robbed of the words of life by elitism and clericalism. For Biblical Literacy to make an impact of some kind, we need to re-engage the masses with their Bible, to return it to the people: we need a New Reformation!" [more...]
Published as part of Uncover the Word, "this April 2011 research contains findings from a nationwide study commissioned by American Bible Society and conducted by Barna Research. The study documents responses taken from U.S. adults 18 years of age and older, and categorizes them to highlight essentially four different groups and their feelings with regard to the authority and relevance of the Bible: 1) Engaged, 2) Friendly – Moderate, 3) Friendly – Light, and 4) Antagonistic."
"Lack of time" was noted as a primary deterrent for every single group. Sometimes this response can be more symptomatic than causal; humans find time for things that are high priorities. Still, people can believe in the Bible and want to read more, but don't have the personal bandwidth.
The survey hones in on the perceptions, misperceptions, Biblical confidence and format preference of each group. There is a helpful conclusion section, with recommendations for encouraging Scripture Engagement among people in each of the four categories. [more...]
A presentation given at the Mobile Ministry Forum Consultation in December 2011, highlighting 7 key trends in the mobile space:
- Saturation - It is projected that we'll reach 7 billion mobile phone subscriptions in 2012. That doesn't mean everyone will have a phone, but most will have access, whether with their own phone or through friends and family. In 2011, there were 1 billion mobile broadband subscriptions. 2 billion smartphones are predicted for 2015.
- Mini Tablets/e-Readers - These are becoming more affordable, such as the $60 tablets being developed in India for school children.
- Operating Systems - Android sales are increasing, although a large proportion of current phones run on Symbian.
- Content - New content repositories are being created, such as REAP (SIL), ETEN (Every Tribe Every Nation), TWR's Linguablast and LinguaDMS.
- Facebook - Facebook is expected to reach 1 billion users in 2012.
- Engagement - There's a desire to encourage and measure engagement with content. It's estimated that 90% users read/watch content, 9% interact with it (e.g. comment/like/share), and 1% create new content.
- Security - Complete anonymity doesn't exist. There is an increased ability to monitor people's mobile use. Sharing SD cards and bluetooth transfers are safer in sensitive situations. Some countries are trying to phase out anonymous SIM cards, requiring people to register.
Watch the video in Vimeo... [more...]