By Mark A. Taylor
Let’s not dwell on the fact that too many know too little about God’s Word. After clarifying the situation (and more than one writer at our site this month gives troubling facts and examples), let’s talk about how to solve the “know problem” all around us (not only in our neighborhoods, but in our churches too).
We’re posting many stories and strategies to help your church increase biblical literacy where you are. From this wealth of help, several principles stand out.
• People want to know the Bible better. When presented with an accessible plan for helping them grasp God’s Word, longtime Christians as well as church-attending newbies rejoice. Why did church attendance increase among many congregations using The Story? Because many who read it were gripped by God’s plan for the world—and their lives. They kept coming back to hear the next chapter in the good news they had somehow missed before.
• Heart change, not head knowledge, is the goal, and the result. More than one writer this month speaks of life transformation that happened when people’s Bible knowledge grew. The purpose is not an academic pursuit but a relationship with God himself. Many are discovering they know God best when they understand his Word well.
• The best plans help learners study the Bible for themselves. It’s a thread weaving through several of the how-to articles this month: Our goal is not simply to tell folks what the Bible means but to show them how to explore its riches on their own. No resource, no matter how excellent, can explain every passage or speak to every need. Better to introduce believers to simple study tools so they can find the help they’ll need with future questions and quandaries we can’t anticipate now.
We describe a couple such resources this month, but let me mention two more:
Discovering God’s Story is a beautifully illustrated Bible handbook leading the student to explore 100 key Bible events in chronological order from creation to Revelation. The book includes a daily Bible-reading plan with succinct summaries to show the reader how the Bible tells one story of God’s redemption (item 021532410).
Training for Service is a 26-lesson Bible overview, usable by any student but especially designed to give Bible teachers and small group leaders the grounding they need to teach and lead. It is the most comprehensive yet compact through-the-Bible study course available, with both leader (item 025473611) and student (item 025473711) editions.
All of us can agree that there’s a biblical literacy problem today. We hope this month’s readers will also see there are several ways to begin solving it.