More than a year ago, I wrote a post called Pushing Paper where I laid out a case for encouraging students to bring a “real” paper Bible and to not rely on using one the many great App based Bibles for their phones. I felt my case of bulletproof, signed sealed delivered and the jury would be unanimous. Of course it was not that easy and lots of people had some well thought out arugments for and against the case that I laid out for using paper Bibles over electronic:
Status: I may seem obvious but in most cases, a student’s cell phone is the most expensive thing they own, its their treasure and something they have worked very hard for. I respect how important the phone is to them but I ask them to respect or request to put it away in place of a paper Bible. We do allow phones and have had students text in questions, but for the most part, we ask that they be present and resist outside distractions, allowing them to focus on God.
Less Distractions: I don’t often find students thumbing through Leviticus instead of listening to my Sermons but I know that there are tons of distractions on iPods and cell phones and if I were honest, I would be working my way through Angry Birds some nights. Limiting distractions is helpful to keeping students focused, and help to not be a distraction to those around them. After all paper Bible ddoesn’t get texts, tweets, instagrams, tumblr, facebook or any other sort of digital distraction and the battery never seems to die on my NIV either.
Bibles are Cumbersome: This is a good thing! I love seeing a student walk in with a Bible under their arm. They are distinct and beautiful, many decorated with stickers, duct tape and they are unmistakable. Carrying your bible around is a statement, it’s a stance, it shows that it is something you value and that you are willing to tote around this obvious symbol of that.
So I am bringing the issue back for your consideration because a few weeks back, I messaged our leaders and asked them to please bring their paper Bibles to youth group and refrain from using their phones. For most of the team, it was business as usual and they understood the rationale and were more than happy to not use their phone Bible App. But one my leaders; who often asks good questions, asked me if I was simply delaying the inevitable and that paper Bibles were a thing of the past and why not just accept it.
So my question is: Is my paper Bible going the way of the Commodore 64 / Blackberry? Am I just being a thirty-year-old fuddy-duddy? Is this a hill worth dying on?
Really enjoyed this simple spoken word video from Sol Rexius about the Bible. Really good stuff in there, might make a good bumper video or transition in a service. They’re using it to promote the upcoming Rock Solid Bible, which looks promising too. Get your students in the Word!
Now I will be the first to admit, that a HUGE part of ones job when they teach is to spend time in the Word solely for the purpose of teaching, but sometimes we forget that we need to spend time in the Word for ourselves. We need to be in there digging and learning for our own walk with God.
That’s what has happened to me, so how am I going to fix it? I have decided to spend some time in my journal, I will also listen to some worship music. I am going to turn off my phone, my laptop and my tv. I am going to go into solitude. I am going to sit and be still (something I don’t do well) and I am going to read my Bible for what God wants to teach me.
Now one thing I have started to do is have a Bible I just use to read for myself out of. This might seem crazy and perhaps even expensive because I already have so many Bibles, but I find if I don’t keep things separate I don’t shut off easily. So I will use that Bible, not my iPhone, study Bible or teaching Bible for my reading.
I don’t know about everyone, but one thing I know is if I do this there are a lot of others out there who fall off the wagon. So how do you stay on the wagon? What are you doing to keep up with your PERSONAL devotional time?
I Tweeted last night that we were continuing The Book series (40 Days in the Word Campaign) in our high school ministry by teaching a New Testament survey in 30 minutes. My friend Terrace shot me a couple videos from Elevation Church that would fit perfectly if you want to do this series or a similar one in the future!
Each week the sermon bumper video for this series grows by 20-30 seconds – here’s part 2 (of 6) for our student-version of the 40 Days in the Word campaign, The Book.
Service Length: 77 minutes
Understandable Message: This weekend we kicked off our church-wide campaign called 40 Days in the Word. In HSM we get to take on the same subjects and theme as the rest of the church but put our own student-friendly spin on it. This weekend I made comparisons of books sales of Hunger Games and Harry Potter vs. the Bible. I also talked about preservation (using the Declaration of Independence as a modern-day example) and the Dead Sea scrolls. It was by far a more historical and classroom-oriented lesson than we would typically have on the weekend, but it was incredibly fun to research and students seemed genuinely interested in this series. Going to be fun to see where this one goes.
Element of Fun/Positive Environment: This weekend we played a quick game of Who Wants to Be a Fraction of a Millionaire featuring Bible trivia questions. We also had too many announcements and a hilarious video called iBible which we ripped from YouTube.
Music Playlist: Brighter Days, Lift Him Up, Words That You Say
Up next: The Book: 40 Days in the Word (week 2 of 6)
Sweet new series video for The Book, HSM’s student version of the 40 Days in the Word church-wide. Parker is doing some awesome stuff with the videos, it’ll get new addition/expansion each week of the series, too!
Hilarious video we played (with a minor edit) during our kickoff to the new series The Book (student-version of the 40 Days in the Word campaign). So funny!