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Youth Bible engagement in Australia presentation

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adrian blenkinsop

on 21 June 2011

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Transcript of Youth Bible engagement in Australia presentation

Youth Bible engagement in Australia 70 percent never read it up to 10 percent read it regularly 15 to 20 percent read it occasionally the aim of the research? explore the ways in which youth engage with the Bible
the catalysts and barriers for engagement
the role of youth leaders and youth groups in that engagement
differences between youth denominationally
explore key youth social drivers/opportunities for cultural influence Post-Traditionalism: Traditions arent valuable until proven. The future lies not with traditions but with new stories.
Consumerism: 'Salvation' (the good life) is obtained through the purchase of products and services. It promises instant results: the Bible doesnt offer instant results or instant happiness.
Individualism: It's up to the individual as to what they believe, what truth is, and the practises they follow. The Bible may become authoritative for them if they try it and find that it's teaching 'works' for them.
Experientialism: Personal experience is fundamental to the 'good life'. Religion and the Bible are attractive only if they offer exciting experiences. key barriers to engaging with the Bible (unique to Australian youth culture)? Not on their 'radar'
The stories in the Bible are 'unbelievable'
Not even certain God exists, much less that he acts within the world
The Bible is difficult to understand, even contradictory
The Bible doesnt engage with the questions and issues they are facing Whats common with this group?

Encouraged to do so by their family, youth group, church and sometimes school
They see the Bible as authoritative and Bible reading as an essential practise of faith
In reading the Bible God speaks to them and encourages them
Most are academically orientated and enjoy reading How are they supported and motivated to engage with the Bible?
They have support in understanding the Bible and in applying it to their lives
They are encouraged to understand the Bible as God's grand narrative - and their part in that story
They have help in understanding the context and culture of the Bible
They do so in the context of a small group - with a culture that encourages discussion, questions, and permission to wrestle with the hard bits Whats the ideal 'micro-climate' for transformational Bible engagement?

Strong communities which support it (model it, encourage it, and resource it)
home - church - senior pastor - youth leader - youth group - peers Youth aged 12-24 some of the facts and figures...
103 group interviews conducted between July 2010 and March 2011
included young people with a connection to a local church, school or youth group, as well as youth leaders...
Both Christian and non-Christian youth
in NSW, ACT, Qld, SA, Vic, Tas, and WA....
covering Anglican, Baptist, Catholic, Churches of Christ, Lutheran, Pentecostal, Presbyterian, Salvation Army, Uniting Church, Wesleyan Methodist, and Non-Denominational.... Plus - we wanted to confront some hunches, some nagging questions, some uncomfortable feelings we had...
Like:
Is the Bible seen to be important anymore?
Are young lives being transformed as they encounter God through his word?
Are churches -and especially youth leaders - modelling Bible engagement for their young people?
If not - why not?
If so....who and how?
Is our hunch right....that the Bible is off the radar generally?....
........if so, how can we begin to change things! This body of research shows the nature and extent of the problem of youth Bible engagement in Australia.

Youth that identify themselves as Christians are saying that the Bible is not on their radar. It’s not something they even consider.

Most don’t engage with it and, of those who are, many are not transformed by it. They are lacking the Bible engagement modeling and encouragement from their pastors and youth leaders, and lack the ability to apply what they do read in the Bible to their world.

The key influence for those who are engaging with the Bible is the community who are shaping youth, but not with the Bible as central to that; so much so that young people don’t identify the Bible as influencing worship, service, and their personal values.

There is a disconnect between what they read in the Bible, and how they live their lives and interact with their world. Crisis??? This research gives us an understanding of the nature and extent of the problem of youth Bible engagement in Australia.

Youth that identify themselves as Christians are saying that the Bible is not on their radar. It’s not something they even consider.

Most don’t engage with it and, of those who are, many are not transformed by it. They are lacking the Bible engagement modeling and encouragement from their pastors and youth leaders, and lack the ability to apply what they do read in the Bible to their world.

The key influence for those who are engaging with the Bible is the community (church, youth, peers) who are shaping youth- but not with the Bible as central to that; so much so that young people don’t identify the Bible as influencing worship, service, and their personal values.

There is a disconnect between what they read in the Bible, and how they live their lives and interact with their world. responding........

resource for youth leaders and& chaplains:
research
case studies
application
DVD (youth telling their stories)


State based Youth BE forums:
ownership at state level
key youth stakeholders/influencers
ongoing commitment:
relational
practical
Full transcript