I am honored to lead the Resources Division at LifeWay and serve with a team of leaders who are passionate to serve the Church in her mission of making disciples. Each Wednesday, I share the heart behind one of the resources our team has developed and give an opportunity for you to register to win a free copy of the resource. This week’s resource is Explore the Bible Winter Study for Students. Our Students team helped with this blog.
Every state has academic standards that must be met for students to receive their diplomas. Each student has to take and pass a certain number of core classes. In addition, many states require students to take assessment tests, which gauge their progress. While we might debate the merits of these tests, it is clear that we, as a culture, value standards. No one debates the importance of standards, yet how many of our churches set clear standards for teenagers in terms of studying, understanding, and applying God’s Word?
A recent LifeWay Research study found that only 45 percent of those who regularly attend church read the Bible more than once a week and almost 1 in 5 churchgoers say they never read the Bible. When we read statistics like this, we shouldn’t be surprised to find that many students take a hiatus from church between the ages of 17 and 19, and many more students drop from church during college. While there are certainly many factors related to this, it seems clear that many churches are failing to instill in students a love for the Bible. When we treat the Bible like a self-help book, dumb it down, or study portions we deem simple enough for students, we shouldn’t be surprised when our students see little need to continue studying Scripture later in life.
Are you equipping the students in your church with the tools necessary to understand the Bible? Do you have set expectations or standards for training students to know, understand, and apply the Scriptures? Do your students know the difference between the different genres of Scripture? Can they tell the difference between prophecy and epistles, between the books of Law and the Gospels?
If we don’t know or don’t care about the answers to these questions, there is a good chance the students in our churches won’t either. If we hope to see students endure in their walk with Christ through college and into adulthood, we must begin instilling in them a passion for God’s Word. As Paul says, we must let the teaching of God’s Word “dwell richly” in them (Col. 3:16). We must do more than merely teach; we must have a plan of how we will teach. We must give them the tools they need to open their Bibles on their own and carefully consider its context so that they might rightly apply it to their own context.
We launched Explore the Bible Students with the intention of helping students, parents, and student leaders raise the bar on Bible study. Explore the Bible Students provides book by book studies through books of the Bible that equip students to apply the text to their context and gives them the tools they need to study the Bible effectively on their own.
One winner will receive a bundle that includes 1 Leader Guide and 10 Personal Study Guides of Explore the Bible Winter 2017 for Students. Enter here or in the form below before 11:59 pm CT tonight, November 2, 2016, for a chance to win. We will notify winners on Thursday, November 3.