Teleios Research Surveys Young Evangelicals About Teaching the Bible!
Teleios Research recently surveyed adolescents and millennials regarding their perceptions on what they define as teaching the Bible, and their own Bible teaching habits. The survey was promoted on the Christian Instagram accounts, InstaPray and GodsHolyScriptures. Of the 230 respondents the majority were: female (63%), <35 years old (86%), from the United States (68%), and evangelical (73%).
The results showed that about 27% of participants indicated they teach directly from the Bible at a pre-arranged time at least once a week. In contrast, 40% responded they never instruct others in scripture.
For those who do not teach at least once a week the most common reasons were: that they do not know enough scripture (42%); do not know how to teach (but would like to learn, 37%); or might make a mistake (34%). Interestingly, only 11% answered ‘they already teach once a week or more’ (in contrast to the 27% noted above when asked directly if they teach) indicating that there may be 16% (27% -11%) who perceive they teach when asked directly but then give reasons why they do not teach. This finding indicates some Christians might overestimate their frequency of teaching when asked directly.
For those who do teach at least once a week, their preferred method was verse by verse (32%). In addition, their favorite venue in which to instruct was in a small group, in person (27%); or one-on-one, in-person (19%).
Participants indicated that additional potential valid informal ways to teach scripture were: to write encouraging notes or letters (62%); strengthening others verbally with scripture verses (62%); and living a godly lifestyle (71%). However, 70% agreed that verse by verse teaching had more value than informal techniques.
In total, 81% of respondents said the Bible was completely true. In general, respondents had good wellbeing (4.5/6.0 with 6.0 being the best wellbeing). However, those who regularly train others in the Bible (4.8/6.0) reported better wellbeing than those who infrequently (4.1/6.0) or did not (4.4/6.0) teach the Bible (P= 0.003).
The survey suggests that young evangelicals generally recognize the importance of verse-by-verse teaching to others and want to learn how to instruct others. Those who teach experience better wellbeing than those who do not. Nonetheless, young evangelicals are often reticent to teach fearing they are not capable or are not able to answer questions. Further, some may overestimate how frequently they teach the Bible.
WC Stewart, JA Stewart, LA Nelson
About Teleios – Teleios is a non-profit foundation that seeks to demonstrate the truth of scripture and the Christian faith through scientific methods by providing evidence for the positive results of a biblically-based lifestyle. Prior studies conducted by Teleios have shown that the practice of the Christian faith (praise, prayer, fellowship, service and Bible study) and security of salvation increases well-being while reducing guilt.