Can the Bible draw worshippers to class?
admin | 3/1/2012, 4:38 a.m.
It is a peculiar contradiction that while the Bible is one of the most top selling text in the world, it is not read very often by Christian worshippers. This lack of more detailed study is obvious. According to the Pew Forums 2010 U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey, religious knowledge is limited among the faithful. Black Protestants answered an average of 13.4 questions about religious knowledge out of 32 correctly. Those low scores would not surprise the the Rev. Johnny Barber of Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church. For more than 10 years, the 39-year-old minister has led Bible study at the church. To be honest, most people say that they are going to read the Bible, but they really dont, he said. Most of the reading of the Bible takes place right at the church. Yet according to the Rev. Steven Caldwell, 45, of New Providence Missionary Baptist Church (MBC), Bible study is important for worshippers of all ages. It is christian education, he explained, You can be preached to on Sunday for inspiration and exaltation, but Bible study is where you get the fundamentals to live your life. So, why are not more Christians eagerly returning to their churches for Bible study classes? Some people stay away because they are not interested or because they feel put in their time at church during Sunday worship service, according to Barber. However, there are some genuine reasons that people dont find themselves in Bible study from their work schedules and things of that nature. He further explained, Really, coming to Bible study is a sacrifice and [people] have to see what is the benefit for them. Pastor Thea Jones believes that people have misconceptions of Bible study. They think its boring thats why they stay away, but the word of God is never boring, she said, but the teachers/leaders has to make it a little more interesting. Jones, the pastor of the non-denominational Christian Cathedral Church in Miami Gardens, holds exercises and prizes during her adult Bible study class to keep the 20 to 25 students alert and interested. Meanwhile, since Caldwell was installed as senior pastor of New Providence MBC last year, hes seen Bible study participants increase from 30 to 80 participants. Bible study classes are offered throughout the week and for different age and interest groups such as for couples, children and young adult. However, he does not contribute the increase in participants to any of his personal efforts. He explained, I know that if I just preach the word of God, the word would [draw people]. By Kaila Heardkheard@miamitimesonline.com