David Kinnaman, president of Barna Group and co-author of The Hyperlinked Life, shared some interesting statistics in a recent article in Leadership Journal (Summer 2015, p. 24)concerning millennials’ (people beteen 18 and 31) views and use of the Bible.
The study revealed that “Nearly all practicing Christian Millennials — who describe their faith as very important to their lives and have attended a worship service within the past month — believe the Bible contains everything a person needs to know to live a meaningful life (96%). The same proportion claim the Bible is the actual or inspired Word of God (96%).”
But, the study also revealed that non-Christian Millennials are very skeptical of the Bible. Forty-five percent said that the Bible is “just another book of teachings written by men that contains stories or advice.” Kinnaman points out that a growing number of non-Christians view the Bible as “an outdated book with no relevance for today” (19%) and “a dangerous book of religious dogma used for centuries to oppress people” (27%).
Of note, especially as it relates to sharing the Bible’s message with non-Christian Millennials, many of them have never read the Bible (62%) and when they see someone reading the Bible in public, “their most common feelings are distance and alienation.” Kinnaman writes, “Only 9 percent of non-Christians say they feel curious about what’s in the Bible when they see someone reading it — a disappointing ratio for those who hope their public Bible reading might spark spiritual conversation with those who aren’t Christian.”
So, if there is a growing skepticism of the Bible, how do we share the message of the Scriptures with non-Christian Millennials? We know God’s Word is that which creates and sustains saving faith in someone, so what tact might take to share with them the Word of God? Here’s a few ideas that will hopefully spark some additional ideas in you:
- Personal relationships, in which there is a solid bound of trust, are essential to sharing the Word.
- Being able to tell (accurately) the stories of Jesus in your own words and applying those truths to another person’s life is essential to sharing God’s Word with non-Christians.
- Invite a friend to read a book of the Bible with you and discuss it with them.
- Be prepared to address those challenging questions that might be asked like: Why does God command his people to slaughter their enemies? Why does he allow polygamy? Your own personal study of God’s Word is essential!