The Bible According to Gen Z

More than at any other time in history, Australian young people are exposed to the Bible. Close to 40 per cent of all students undertake some of their schooling in a church-run school with religious education classes. Yet, one gets the impression from talking to many young people that the level of Biblical literacy is very poor. They know little of what is in the Bible and have little understanding of it.

In 2010 and 2011, a group of organisations led by the Bible Society commissioned the Christian Research Association to explore young people’s engagement with the Bible. CRA did that through more than 330 interviews with young people in youth groups, schools, cafes and other locations. The research has now been published in a small book along with comments and suggestions from a range of people working with young people across Australia.

We identified several disincentives to personally engaging with the Bible: 1) There are others ways of exploring faith, 2) Reading is a chore for many young people and 3) Finding what is relevant is hard

Most young people we interviewed who were engaging with the Bible were doing so because they were part of groups that gave them encouragement, that directed what they should read, and helped them in the interpretation and the application of what they read. When young people discovered that there were resources that were relevant and helpful to daily life, they became much more interested in reading the Bible for themselves.

Encouraging young people to engage with the Bible involves creating a ‘micro-climate’ in which there is encouragement to read, guidance in what to read, and assistance in understanding and applying what is read.

For more information see: Pointers, Volume 24, No. 1, Pages 12-13

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