The way people interact with God’s word has changed a lot in the last two decades. God’s people are doing their best to keep up.
20 years ago when a pastor held up a bible and claimed this is the word of God that included answers to every problem mankind faces….he was pretty sure the audience agreed.
But the current generation interacts with the world very differently and that has spilled over into how they interact with the Bible.
According to a 2016 Barna report, the Bible remains the world’s most-read book, but the rise of religious skepticism has yielded numerous effects. In 2009, 45 percent of American adults read the Bible at least once a week; today that number hovers around 33 percent.
The number of Americans who don’t recognize any book as sacred “has doubled in six years, from 7 percent in 2011 to 14 percent in 2016.”
Faith communities are trying it all when it comes to Bible engagement, especially digital tools. Today there are Bible apps, daily reading plans, study resources, podcasts, YouTube channels, plus more digital magazines, blogs, and websites than one can count. While it’s certainly true that younger generations seem to salivate toward digital formats like social media, instructing them to download yet another app may not be the answer, at least not initially.
When sharing God’s word, here are four strategies that work for any age group:
- Create a Relationship First before quoting scripture
- The Power of the Bible is the Story
- Leave Space for Questions
- And always present Hope for the Future