Here We Stand – February 2017 Update

Share. Engage. Capture the Imagination of Young People through Daily Bible Reading

What happens when young people are engaged in daily reading of the Bible? The results can be massively helpful for their walk in this world.

They see their story and God’s story intersecting. When young people walk with the words of the Lord daily on their hearts, they are better equipped to bring God’s perspective to the challenges and joys they experience. God has a story to share with them.

They make connections between Bible passages. Besides becoming more comfortable with knowing the details of the Bible, regularly reading the Bible improves their ability to connect the dots between different Bible passages. I enjoy the experience of reading one passage in the Bible and having that passage lead me to read another passage which then causes me to remember yet another passage.

They slow their day down. When reading the Bible is part of a young person’s daily schedule, they enjoy how the pace of their day begins to slow down. I have heard athletes describe being “in the zone” and how everything moves at a different speed. The Holy Spirit works through the Word to bring us into the “God zone.”

They deal with the tough passages. When working through a reading plan, a young person reads books and passages that they previously may have passed over or ones they may have taken for granted. We are celebrating the Reformation’s 500th Anniversary with a call to the Word. The Reformation refers to the 16th Century when people called for a reform of the teaching of the church. The website shows how to sign up for the Reformation Reading Plan. This plan accents the joy of the Word of God and is organized according to which books most influenced the Reformers. The reading plan utilizes the Bible app (YouVersion—search for Reformation Reading Plan). Share it with a young person you know; encourage them to sign up, and observe how they respond being daily fed with grace.

Bible reading plans are not only for adults. The Barna Group conducted research commissioned by the American Bible Society and found that most teens still see the Bible as a positive thing. 69% of teenagers personally own a Bible. 44% of teens read the Bible at least three or four times a year, and at least 25% say they read the Bible at least once a week. The main motivation for Bible reading among teens is growing closer to God. Despite postmodern teachings in schools that all religions reveal truth, American teens still regard the Bible as the primary holy book.

We have reasons to be filled with optimism because young people do still care deeply about the relevance of the Bible to the world in which they live. I challenge you to read alongside the young person you have encouraged, and to find ways to engage them in conversation over portions you both have just read. No one ever outgrows God’s Word. The Bible is deep and wide with wisdom for all generations.

Rev. Evan Gaertner
Pastor, St. Paul, Hamburg

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Congregation Highlights

We would like to thank Grace, Romeo and St. Peter, Richmond for their recent gift.

We would like to thank Zion, Hemlock and Holy Cross, Jenison for their recent pledges to the campaign.

Download this February Newsletter