an exciting church is a bible literate church : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

Sunday at church, I shared with the congregation that in my prayers God revealed he wanted our local church to be a bible literate church. I was excited about the revelation for I was doing a piece during worship about "what makes an exciting church"

The congregation was full of the spirit as we discussed ways to increase bible literacy. One of the things that came out was that they want more Bible studies during the week. One of our 7 year olds said he wanted everyone to bring their bible to church every week. And that he reads his everyday and puts it under his pillow at night so he will not have nightmares. He says he has never had a bad dream and when he wakes up his bible is already there. Out of the mouths of babes.

What research is showing is that the exciting churches are the ones that emphasize bible literacy. What are your thoughts regarding bible literacy.

-- Anonymous, August 31, 2003


My dear Sister-- CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU! May God to bless you and your ministry.

To add some thoughts on bible literacy, I volunteer teach an Adult Literacy course. I have 7 students; age group range 19-65. My 65- year-old student told me that he was in the class to learn to read the Bible better. His testimony and honesty touched me so deeply that I had to wonder how many people are sitting in churches today with the same desire who don't have the courage to go to that next level.

I can agree that Bible Literacy is important but Bible Comprehension is even more important to me.

Much love to you!

B Blessed

-- Anonymous, September 01, 2003

I love it when you post! Thanks for your wisdom. Wow! Bible comprehension, I love it! It will keep me on my toes as a pastor for the two go hand in hand. Thanks for reminding me.

-- Anonymous, September 01, 2003

Christian education is not viewed by the majority of our members as a paramount priority. I attended the Florida Conference Lay Meeting on yesterday and the Bible Study was conducted by a learned clergyman who began by asking Lay members to find certain passages in the Bible. Most of the questions came from the OT so folks had to be on their "toes" to get the answer. It was quite sad to observe so many folks unable to locate passages from II Kings and II Chronicles. I'm pretty sure that sound I'm hearing right now is the flipping of pages by one of my Laymembers still trying to locate II Kings 5:14. Regrettably, most of our pew members are disinterested in studying the Bible. We are fundamentally lazy and complacent when it comes to studying the Scriptures. If you think this is a wide-sweeping generalization, just look at the regular attendance in Church School and Bible Study. We as AMEs should be embarrased about our low Biiblical IQs and Scriptual illiteracy. For a church that takes such historic and contemparary pride in the importance of secualr education it is indeed a major paradox why we can't seem to get folks excited about Christian Education. May 17, 2004 will mark the 50th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court case of Brown v. Topeka board of Education. The black church in general and the AMEC in particular wil offer commentaries, ad infinitum, about the implications of this case on educational opportunities in the US for black Americans. Yet, while we will pontificte endlessly about the Brown case take note of the number who will be offering commentary about the Book of Daniel or Pauls' Epistles to the church at Thessalonica. QED

-- Anonymous, September 01, 2003

Bill when I read your post, it reminded me of something that happened when I was in seminary. Danielle was 12 and Presbyterian. It was required in her church that all youth know all the books of the Bible befored they were confirmed. The kids were really studying hard for their test on the Bible. Danielle asked me to name all the books in order. I said sure "Hand me my Bible" I got the Bible and read them to her. She looked shocked! She couldn't believe it. I was United Methodist at the time. She said isn't it required in the Methodist Church? I said no. We just use the index.

The running joke in our family was that when Jesus came back the Methodist would be singing and miss him, while the Presbyterians would be waiting in decent and good order and greet him with memorized words from the Bible.

Now she is A.M.E. and the Christian ed superintendant. What can we do to make Bible literacy more important in the church. Is this a problem in just some churches or all of our churches?

-- Anonymous, September 01, 2003

In today's high tech world, what is the real purpose of learning to recite things by rote? It seems much more beneficial to me to know how to retrieve information and where it is found. This is the way I also teach the kids I work with at school and church.

Yes, I learned the Books of the Bible and can recite them by rote but I see little or no reason for it. They are indexed in the front of each Bible with page numbers included as well.

When needed I can usually recall a Scriptural text but I find it much more beneficial to use the two Bible Concordances which I have with me at all times--in my car, at home and church. Although I may be held accountable for living the Word. I hardly think I am going to be asked by Jesus in what book, chapter or verse it was found.

Bible literacy is very important and Reverend Rogers is to be commended for placing emphasis on it. Having said this I don't think we are as illiterate as most think we are. As I see it when teaching literacy we need to place more emphasis on meaning and context.

For example, yesterday the Sunday School lesson was on Daniel's prophesies. It might be surprising to many to know what it really says, its meaning and its intent. I am afraid that too often we like like Daniel in the last verse of yesterday's Sunday School text hear and see but do not understand. Perhaps Daniel's prophesy was more about enduring faith than eschatology or future (that is post 21st Century) events.

-- Anonymous, September 01, 2003

I think we should look at this matter historically. That our Church is requiring a more learned clergy, Bible study and comprehension will hopefully increase. To be sure, the problem was that many of the clergy did not understand the Bible. Here is an example. Some pastors are still allowing Genesis 31:49 to be used as a benedictory.

What must be done before serious comprehension can come is the process of unlearning previous non-teaching and theology by song. Consider what is being taught when we sing "Gonna Run On and See what the end will be". I think the Revelation already tells us the answer. Or "I'm climbing the rough-side of the Mountain.. " Matthew 17:20 tells me you have no reason to climbing that mountain.

-- Anonymous, September 01, 2003

Bible Literacy is certainly important, and it goes hand in hand with Bible comprehension. The church that is bible literate is exciting because the congregation understands God's purposes for the ministries within the church. People are not just operating on just hear-say. They are continuing to grow in the knowledge of the Word of God and what He expects of the church. But for a church to become bible literate, teaching must start from the pulpit. The pastor must have the vision for the congregation to grow spiritually. The sermons need to be exciting and relevant to contempoary times. The pastor has to show the need for knowing God's word and how it relates to our everyday lives. People have to be motivated to come to bible study and a fire as to be lit under the congregation. The have to develop the desire to want to furter their knowledge. Pastor needs to be very much involved in the bible study session, especially in the beginning when trying to encourage the congregation to come out during the week. It takes time to change the thinking of the saints. Once people begin to come out regularly, perhaps as a continuation of a very dynamic sermon the was preaced on Sunday morning, Pastor may want to incorporate a book for the congregation to read chapter by chapter that would further be studied during the bible study class. The bottom line is that the churches that are exciting and have a dynamic bible study program were not always that way. The pastor had to move the people to that level and this doesn't happen overnight. The pastor should be well educated also, and somewhat versd on current issues. Prayer, fasting, persistence and talking with other Pastors with successful ministries must never cease. Thanks. Min. Saundra Johnson

-- Anonymous, September 14, 2003

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