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Bible and Gen Z

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adrian blenkinsop

on 21 July 2014

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Transcript of Bible and Gen Z

What IS the Bible?

Why is it important?
The state of Bible engagement in Australia with youth & those who lead them
How do we respond?

whats working, and why?
Post-traditionalism
(or De-Institutionalisation):

Traditions (including the Bible, Church, Govt, Education) are not valuable until proven to be so to the individual. Expressed in a luke-warm attitude to the Bible & faith rather than in outright rejection.

Just because something is important to my parents it doesn’t necessarily mean it important to me….until it can be proven, and I see its value to me and my life.


Consumerism:

The 'good life' is available here and now through the consumption of products and services.

Consumerism reduces all things religious (beliefs, values & symbols) into mere objects for consumption rather than value systems that can give direction & meaning.

Consumer culture offers an endless range of ways to be fulfilled, where the seeking is more important than the having.

The Bible suggests that the 'good life' is found in giving to others & serving rather than consumption.
Individualism:

It's entirely up to the individual what they want to believe and what practices they want to follow.

Authority is found in 'what works'. So, a person who wants a faith will look at the smorgasbord of different religions, and choose the best bits from them all – they form their own unique religion, based on their own needs.

Of 2,000 Australian students surveyed who attend a Christian school, 39% said that it was important to pick and choose beliefs from all religions and beliefs.
Experientialism:

Personal experience, the 'here and now', is seen as a fundamental part of 'the good life'.

Experience is seen as a key to finding a good life in a world in which there is an overload of information.

Even in churches, particularly the Pentecostal and charismatic churches, experience is seen as a key to living the Christian life.


the Guru and the Guide
The Guru is the holder of knowledge, their role is to impart/download the 'right' knowledge and information into the young people.

They ask the questions to which they know the answers, and see their role as 'scratching the itch'.


Often control the conversations, keeping the kids 'on track', rather than risk a wrong answer, controversial response, or prolonged 'awkward' silence.
The 'stand and deliver' youth speaker/leader, they are impressive in their ability to hold an audience and share their knowledge of God and the Bible.

The guru sees their role as getting the kids to where they 'are', both in faith and Bible 'knowledge'.
A guide encourages young people to bring their honest questions and struggles to the Bible.
They shape the conversation and see their role as mainly ‘creating the itch and 'helping find tools to scratch it , not scratching it’.


A Guide sees Discipleship (and Bible engagement) as a shared journey - where they and the young people are able to share their learnings.

They may be older and wiser, but want to journey 'together'.
Ask great questions (ie: Jesus 'who do you say that i am?) that provoke further questions, engage the imagination and encourage their opinions/reflections.

'What if...'
'What do you think about...'
'Imagine if...'


They're ok saying 'great question, i don't know - lets explore it together'.

Sends the message that you never 'arrive' as a christian - you're always learning.
They've done some thinking, some preparation and have an understanding of the culture and context of a passage/story to give a foundation to the study/conversation (ie: gender issues/race issues etc).
Recommended reading..
Engage and explore the Bible as a narrative (God's Big story). Stimulate the imagination of your young people and tap into different learning styles: enable and encourage peer-sharing & learning, trusting that the Holy Spirit is at work.

Bible verse memorisation
and boring quiz'
Centers & Margins...
What was your formative
experience with the Bible?

youth.biblesociety.org.au
Full transcript