Bible Studies Using Electronics and Social Media

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The Sunday Sermon

How many hours in a week is a pastor supposed to dedicate to his sermon?

  • 8
  • 18
  • 28
  • 38
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How The Average American Spends Their Time These Days

1. The average American also spends 11 hours a day on electronic media. 2. In 2011, approximately 18% of American Christians downloaded their bibles via the Internet to their smartphone. Whereas in 2014 that number nearly doubled to outstanding 35%. Even though there are on average 4.7 bibles per household in the USA, 3. 57% of the young American adults surveyed (between ages 18-28) admitted that they read their bible less that three times a year, while some of their fellow peers, candidly admitted not reading the bible at all. Finally, according Rev. Thom Rainer, it is recommended that pastors spend 18 hours per week on their sermons.

1. 30 Surprising Facts About How We Actually Spend Our Time: http://news.distractify.com/dark/trivial-facts/astounding-facts-about-how-we-actually-spend-our-time/

2. The State of the Bible: https://www.barna.org/barna-update/culture/664-the-state-of-the-bible-6-trends-for-2014#.VIyW59LF_Rs

3. Americans love the Bible But Don't Read It Much: http://www.religionnews.com/2013/04/04/poll-americans-love-the-bible-but-dont-read-it-much/

4. Six in Ten Americans Read the Bible at Least Occasionally: http://www.gallup.com/poll/2416/six-ten-americans-read-bible-least-occasionally.aspx

According to a JD Powers Study in 2013

"The average consumer spends 19 hours researching (the make and model of a vehicle) before making a purchase, with 11.4 hours (60%) spent researching vehicles online."

www.denverpost.com

Bible Study Groups


"Although about six in ten Americans report reading the Bible at least on occasion, most of these people are exploring the text without the help of a Bible study group of any kind. Only 14% of Americans report that they are currently in such a group. Women are slightly more likely than men to be in a study group (18% vs. 10%)." —www.gallup.com

What The Statistics Are Trying To Say

Be that as it may that in 2014- people spent more time researching for a new vehicle online than studying their bibles on their smartphone however, that should not reflect Americans true Christian desire. The reality of the truth according to a survey produced by the Barna Group earlier in 2014, a whopping 62% of random Americans polled, wished they had more time to read their bibles, while also admitting that they find themselves looking to the bible in times of crisis and need. Therefore the underlying message of these statistics, to those who desire to teach Sunday school or host a bible study is this- Americans have forgotten how to manage their time, and would like new electronic avenues to help make it easier for them to study their bible.

Remember what has been learned thus far.., Americans spend on average eleven hours a day on electronic media. At some point in that time frame, a brave soul could theoretically host an online bible study class via Skype, Yahoo Groups, or Google Chat. Just because the location of a bible study has change, does not mean that people do not want/need to know the lessons of the bible, and the biblical stories that bond Christians together the world over. Making good use of electronic media communication opportunities, in order to spread biblical perspectives and lessons, can also be used in conjunction with free social media websites, as a great way to advertise and market your Bible study classes. Some of the best social media outlets to consider would be Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. A person might even consider hosting a blog in order to publish their class outline for a particular lesson, along with the resources used for the lesson, and a calendar of upcoming webcam classes. There are many self-service blog hosting websites but my personal favorites are Google's Blogger and WordPress. They are free, super easy to use, and Internet beginner level friendly.

Another aspect a potential bible study host or hostess needs to consider, is the fact that 21st century Americans are much smarter, than the average American living in a bygone age. Long gone are the days of the great storytellers, and the times when fictional oral traditions reigned supreme. The National Assessment for Education Statistics put together a chart that chronicled 125 years of illiteracy in America. The evidence that was compiled, told a very compelling story about America as a nation. Like how in 1870, 20% of all Americans could not read nor write in any language, with the largest subgroup belonging to black Americans. They theorize that back in 1870, 79% of all African-Americans living in the USA could not read nor write, or even spell their own name. Jumping forward one hundred years, that number in 1970 saw a drastic decline with only 11% of the black population, not being able to read nor write, with less than 1% of all Americans considered to be a level one illiterate (meaning that they could not read or write pass the 4th grade). With greater expectations put upon those who want to spread the word of Christ, researching a biblical topic before hosting a bible study is absolutely essential. Many people might coward to the call of greater good, however, for those who are ready to expand their wings and fly- there are many new twists to old Christian topics to discuss, and exciting new electronic avenues to getting the Christian lesson/message across to young adults.

According to Brafton.com

Data collected by Google and Ipsos for the 2013 Holiday Season found that people spent between 12 and 15.8 hours researching different popular product categories, before making a purchase.

Are You A Host/Hostess?

Have you ever wanted to host/teach a bible study class of your own?

  • Yes
  • No
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Knowing Where To Look For A Bible Study Topic

Half the battle of hosting a successful bible study, is knowing where to look for information. Ironically, resources on Christianity can be found virtually anywhere. Since the birth of the World Wide Web, it has easily become the fastest way to gather resources and information. A host does not have to be a computer expert either, with the plethora of existing biblical websites nowadays on Christianity. If a person can spell Jesus Christ or the word b-i-b-l-e, they should be able to successfully research different Christian topics for a bible study. For example, one of the largest topic pages and subcatagories found on HubPages.com is the philosophy and religion page. If a person knows how to find HubPages via the Internet, they will easily be able to find religious resources on HubPages and beyond. The tricky part is knowing whether or not the information found on the web is worthy of presentation and study.

As far as my own personal experiences, I have had an easy time of it, when it came to gathering informative information together from primary denominational websites such as the catholic denominational website Catholic Online, to non-denominational websites, such the United Religions Initiative organization for my own ministry. I must admit that much of the material found online, could also be found on a shelf at the nearest library, in a magazine at the doctor's office, or on cable television. Finding the right source, is really about knowing where to look.

For my own bible studies, I use many traditional and nontraditional outlets. Honestly I have found the Internet to an extremely good source to use, and it has made secondary research a piece of cake. That has been the biggest benefit for me thus far. Once I have clicked onto the Internet, I open up my bible (which has now been downloaded onto my laptop and Nexus tablet) to a particular scripture, period of time, or even just a random chapter, and enter a catch phrase or keyword to start my research. Turning to the Internet as a resource has really allowed me to expand my own knowledge on a given discussion. What use to take me two days of free time to write about and publish, now takes me about four hours to produce, proofread, and publish. But, I would say that my average time dedicated to hosting a bible study via the World Wide Web is 8-10 hours a week. That is 8 to 10 hours of my own random free time spent during a week. Not only can I shop online, read my emails, and send out random tweets, I can use my Nexus tablet to research Christian related topics, at the very same time I am watching television. It really just boils down to commitment. Since I'm already spending eleven hours of my day online, I just made a conscience choice to use some of that time to write a bible lesson.

The Bible

The Bible As The Primary Source of Information

It is simply not enough to rely on the King James Bible as the only biblical resource. Today we live in an America where 79% of Christian Americans are LESS likely to believe the bible is sacred. With that said, scientific findings and world history should also be taught in Sunday Schools in conjunction with a Sunday school lesson. Who says science does not have a place in religion? Every day, somewhere in Israel a new archeological dig pops up and some discovery is made about an ancient city that is mentioned in the bible. Because of these digs, scientists are making new discoveries about what early Christians looked like, to what environmental hardships they endured, such as decade long droughts that plagued a region, meteorites crashing against the desert landscape leaving ancient villages desmated. With these new scientific discoveries, this only helps to explain what was said in the bible to be true. Since the birth of Archaeoastronomy, Christians now know the real birthdate of Jesus Christ and can without pause, say that the Star of Bethlehem really did occur. The policy that science does not belong in religion, has unfortunately left Christians in the dark and uninformed about such topics as that of Jesus Christ’s ancestral line, his disciples and their families, and who the first Christians were. All pertinent information, which could potentially help the average twenty first century American-Christian grasp the ideals of Jesus, and find his teachings still relatable two thousand years later.

Great Reading Material For A Bible Study

For any persons wanting to host or just participate in a bible study, it is imperative to have good research sources. While there are tons of information to be found online, sometimes flipping through the pages of an actual book still works best. After all Americans still prefer to read the bible in print than online. Having more than one bible to source through is another helpful way to making yourself, more knowledgeable on a particular religious topic. Being able to historically reference to a time period with accurate accounts of how earlier Christian civilizations sourced for food, gathered their drinking water, lived their daily lives, and gathered together to worship- might help a teacher to explain to their pupils, what the context of a verse might have been addressing. For instance, I have been asked about some of Christ's miracles. The one that receives the most attention is the miracle, which occurred when Christ attended a wedding, and turned water into wine. To be frank about it- he did not turn water into wine because he was an alcoholic, he turned the water into wine so the people at the wedding festivities could have something to drink. At the time of Christ's life there were no resources for purifying water to make it consumable for humans. People of that time period drank mead, beer, milk and wine. Drinking water back in that time period was a death sentence. True understanding of the bible and the theology that exists within it, comes to those persons who choose to study multiple variations of the story being told in the bible.

Different Bibles in use today:

  1. New American Bible, St. Joseph Med.Edition, Catholic Book Publishing Co., 1994
  2. Holy Bible, New International Version, International Bible Society, 1984
  3. The Essential Gnostic Gospels, Narrator Alan Jacobs, Watkins Publishing, 2006
  4. New King James Version, Nelson's NKJV Study Bible, Nelson Bibles, 1982
  5. The Noah Webster Bible, Old and New Testaments in the Common Version, with Amendments of the Language by Noah Webster, 1833

In addition to these bibles I also use a copy of the Book of Enoch, Awaken the Buddha Within, and Taming the Tiger Within You in my library as well. Coming to the decision to be Christ-like can be a life changing event for any twenty something adult. Their decision to learn more about Jesus Christ, should be nurtured and taught to them as pure as it can be. The only right way to teach someone in this way, is to introduce them to the whole history of the Christian belief. To believe in Christ is one thing, to understand why or how you came to be a Christian is an entirely different matter. Give them the tools they need to true understanding.


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Comments 10 comments

IntimatEvolution profile image

IntimatEvolution 21 months ago from Columbia, MO USA Author

You may be right.


IntimatEvolution profile image

IntimatEvolution 6 years ago from Columbia, MO USA Author

I am always interested in new reading materials. Thanks.


ledefensetech profile image

ledefensetech 6 years ago from Cape Girardeau, MO

You might be interested in "The Bible as History" by Werner Keller. He does a superb job of illustrating biblical verse with known archaeological work. It was printed in the 50's then updated in the 1980s so it's a bit dated now, but a good resource if you're looking to put Biblical Scripture into the historical record.


IntimatEvolution profile image

IntimatEvolution 6 years ago from Columbia, MO USA Author

You are an idiot. Why? Because you clearly did not read this hub. You just looked at the title, and assumed what you wanted. Something an idiot would do.

Idiot.


Jeff Burnsed profile image

Jeff Burnsed 6 years ago

Talk about bias and shallow "thinking" hahahaa! Go read "Evidence Demands a Verdict" by Josh McDowell. Read the works of D. James Kennedy, Dr. Henry Morris, or Dr. Jim Moon. These works are NOT written by "dumb" men, but rather by brilliant men of science and learning. By the way, GEN Robert E. Lee said, "I am but a poor lost sinner, saved by grace." Go learn what that means. Read Dr. Henrieta Mears publication, "What the Bible is all About" THEN finish your "debate" :)


TheLoanConsultant profile image

TheLoanConsultant 6 years ago from Orange County

Stephen J. Ardents reply was very funny, but I see what he is getting at. But I also see your point as well. In my opinion, the reason why many Christians are lacking in knowledge is just due to plain mental laziness to be frank. They don't want to take the time to study their bible. A course that is referred to as The Apostles' Doctrine, is what Christians need to become learned in. (Acts 2:42)Every other system out there has practitioners who are very meticulous about sticking to their ways. And they get results. Well if Christians start sticking to the Apostles' Doctrine and quit watering down everything perhaps they too will get results. The Apostles teach us that there will be a rapture (1THESSALONIANS 4:17), so why is it that many Christians will tell you, "I don't beleive in that!" Jesus said, "why do you call me LORD, but do not the things that I say?" You know that's a very good question.


IntimatEvolution profile image

IntimatEvolution 6 years ago from Columbia, MO USA Author

The evidence was in the forum links. If you actually would have bothered to view that evidence, maybe the dunce cap you were tauting, would not have been so pointy.


Stephen J. Ardent 6 years ago

Well, you've certainly written a moderately lengthy article, but didn't really say very much. I gather the thrust of the article was that Christians as a whole do not know their history. But you provide no evidence that that is actually the case.

On the other hand, does the average American know the significance of Lewis & Clark?

Doubtful.

Would it be nice? Of course. Is it necessary? No.


IntimatEvolution profile image

IntimatEvolution 6 years ago from Columbia, MO USA Author

Yes this very well could be. Thank you for commenting on this hub.


A M Werner profile image

A M Werner 6 years ago from West Allis

I think what you are missing most in this, is the fact that Christianity is a faith-based belief which means despite any words written anywhere - the truth is still the truth. It is spiritual power, not worldly wisdom. People on the walk may not know certain answers but that is the whole point - they don't have too, they just have to believe it. You compared this to buying a car or a stove. Having faith in the Creator is like having children, truth is, you don't need anyone to tell you or teach you - you just know, it was put in you to know. Every single Christian is seeing the word from different angles, from different places in life, and no one has the same answers, and no one is right. It is the living word which means our understanding changes each day - we grow into it. Studying is good, but in the end, it can also blind you and make you less faithful if you let it.

Ecclesiastes 12:12-13 'And further, by these my son be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is weariness of the flesh. Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear the Creator and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.'

Peace.

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