Bible Studies Using Electronics and Social Media
The Oldest Bible
The Sunday Sermon
How many hours in a week is a pastor suppose to dedicate to his sermon?
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."
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?
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 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:
- New American Bible, St. Joseph Med.Edition, Catholic Book Publishing Co., 1994
- Holy Bible, New International Version, International Bible Society, 1984
- The Essential Gnostic Gospels, Narrator Alan Jacobs, Watkins Publishing, 2006
- New King James Version, Nelson's NKJV Study Bible, Nelson Bibles, 1982
- TheBible, Old and New Testaments in the Common Version, with Amendments of the Language by Noah Webster, 1833 Noah Webster
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.
More Bible Study Materials for Young Adults
- Lilith's Legend Revealed
The story of Lilith, is the world's first action packed drama. Highlighted by pornography, espionage and murder.
- Roman Emperor at the Time of Jesus
A historical facts both of a non-fiction and fiction nature, about the Roman Emperor Tiberius. Who was the Roman Emperor during the time of Christ, and the beheading of John the Baptist.
- The Subject is Heresy
Summarizes the violent role of heresy in Christianity. Learn how heresy has shaped the religion of Christ. Learn the position heresy has today in the Roman Catholic church, and its definition.
- Unusual Demon Faces
Partial video of the real exorcism of Anneliese Michel's. Faces of demons. Popular collection of Lucifer quotes, written accounts, and demonic pics. Definition of a Lucifer and its real meaning.
- Lost History Surrounding the Bible
Lost historical facts surrounding the history of Christianity and the bible. Learn the true date of the birth of Christ and when some of the books of the bible were written. Informative article.
Americans and Their Bibles Resource Links
- Bibles.net - The #1 Online Collection of Bibles and Biblical Resources
FROM THIS WEBSITE, YOU CAN: READ the Entire Bible in Many Different Translations LOCATE Any Verse with an Online Concordance Search LOOK UP Scripture Cross-References & Commentaries ACCESS the Original Greek or Hebrew for Any Verse
- Bibles of Colonial America
Read the fascinating history of the Bibles of Colonial America, from the mysterious Bibles of Boston, to Robert Aitken, Isaac Collins, Isaiah Thomas, and Matthew Carey.