How do we find a balance between the Bible and the lives of youth? Today youth have a lot of information available at their finger tips, literally. Cell phones, smart phones, and tablets give access to information, many adults could have only dreamed about, or read in Encyclopedia Britannica on the shelves in the living room.
Youth (and young adults) engage the Bible differently than any generation before them. Less see it as the authoritative book in their lives and have a hard time engaging it. To me it’s hard to push the Bible on youth who see no use of it in their daily lives. They know it is a “holy book” in which they “should” engage, but when it is not real to their lives, how can they engage it in a real way?
It’s far too easy to say “teach the Bible, God will do the rest”. We need to engage youth in stories from their lives and apply Biblical ideas to how they respond. It no longer works to teach the Bible and hope it applies to their lives. This doesn’t mean we leave the Bible to the side and engage so deeply in culture we lose God. To me it means we infuse our faith into everyday life, by looking at what is happening in culture and applying the faith principles we see in the Bible.
Youth are looking for this type of engagement. At a recent youth leaders meeting, while looking through some of the topics we could cover, one of the youth looked at the title of a series. She responded, “I like this one, because it talks about goals and my coach is talking about goals, my teachers will talk about goals and my parents as well, so I’d like to think about how my faith can play a part in that.” What a great reminder for me.
Engaging the lives of youth and injecting Biblical love and principles through relationships is my hope for all youth. Not simply saying the Bible is authoritative, but helping youth engage the Bible to see it become trustworthy. The Bible is God’s story engaging in the lives of His people. God calls us to live differently, but not somewhere else, he calls us to live differently where we are at.
How do you engage your life with the Bible? How do you apply the Bible to what you are going through in life?