BERTHOUD, CO (April 4, 2017) – Teenagers spending their lunch break enthusiastically discussing the Bible isn’t the norm at most public schools, but groups of students who participated in the Community Bible Experience (CBE) through Grace Place Covenant Church were inspired by the new way of reading Scripture they were learning.
“They would say, ‘I never saw that before,’ or ‘It makes more sense now,’” said JJ Johnson, youth pastor at Grace Place. “They were eager to hear what their friends had to say.”
The Bible used in CBE has no verses or chapter headings, so it reads more like a regular book. More than 400 Covenant churches have participated since CBE was introduced last fall. The Grace Place congregation recently completed the eight-week experience.
The Grace Place youth ministry incorporated the program into its weekly home groups. “We created short videos for each weekly gathering that would launch the small groups into discussion around the five CBE questions,” Johnson said. “This was great for our younger groups who were having a hard time keeping up with the reading.”
Attendance is generally about 90 people, but 115 teens signed up to get daily texts that encouraged them to do their daily Bible reading, Johnson said.
“With these reminders we continually reinforced that we didn’t worry or care about being caught up with the reading, but it was important for us to spend time in God’s word,” Johnson said. “So even if you missed a few days, pick up on the current days pages and mark where you haven’t read. Use the weekends, a family trip, or this summer to get caught up.”
Johnson said the church received a grant to purchase the Bibles so that students didn’t have to pay for them, which he said encouraged greater participation.
More information and resources can be found on the CBE website.