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I recently had a conversation with another youth pastor about biblical literacy, or rather, the lack thereof. He was quite proud of the fact that his students were able to use bible dictionaries and perform original language word studies. He spoke to our youth pastors’ network for over an hour about how we all need to teach kids how to do in-depth study in the Word of God. If he hadn’t dominated the conversation for so long, I might have gleaned a few good things, but he lost me. I was getting angry at the pride I was hearing. I stopped and prayed. I asked God to give me something that would build him up and cause reflection rather than what I had in my heart.
A question surfaced and I waited for space to respond to him. I said, “I can tell you care a lot about biblical literacy and have done a lot of good work with students. Tell me, how is their biblical study reflected in their everyday life as it pertains to the mission of God?” There was a little silence. Okay, there was a lot of silence. Eventually he broke it and stated, “Well, they apply what they learn…”
Problem - Literacy - Teenagers - Problem - Literacy
I’ve been reflecting on the problem of “biblical literacy among teenagers. The problem isn’t just that we have a biblical literacy issue in our church (and to a larger extent our student population), the problem is in our approach to the issue.
My youth pastor friend saw an issue and like most of mainline churches in America, he tackled it in typical western fashion – he took his students to seminary. His approach to biblical illiteracy was massive amounts of information. He turned the Word into a textbook. The Word was never meant to be made a textbook, the...
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