Millennials and the Bible

Bible readingDavid 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 Kinnaman points out that a growing number of non-Christians view the Bible as “an outdated book with no relevance for today” (19%) and “a dangerous book of religious dogma used for centuries to oppress people” (27%).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:

  1. Personal relationships, in which there is a solid bound of trust, are essential to sharing the Word.
  2. 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.
  3. Invite a friend to read a book of the Bible with you and discuss it with them.
  4. 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!
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