In reading David Helm’s excellent book, One to One Bible Reading, I came across the following statistic about how open young adults are to reading the bible with a friend:
We asked a total of 1,000 twenty-something unchurched people (900 American, 100 Canadian), and we compared them to a sample of 500 older unchurched (which would be 30 or above)…
One of the questions that we asked them to agree or disagree with was: “I’d be willing to study the bible if a friend asked me to.” Well, among twenty-somethings, 61 per cent said, “Yes.” And among their older counterparts of 30 and above, 42 per cent said, “Yes.” And that was a statistically significant difference, telling us there’s something going on, there’s an openness that’s there. So we’re seeing that as an opportunity–that in the midst of maybe some negative views of the church, there is also some openness to the things of God.*
Consider those odds for a moment. 61% would say yes! That means that out of two tries, you are practically guaranteed that one of them would be into a one on one bible study! However, keep in mind that the original survey question was “I’d be willing to study the bible if a friend asked me to.” We need to find ways to befriend unbelievers. I bet the statistic for willingness to study the bible if a stranger asked is in the single digits.
*Ed Stetzer, How Unbelievers View the Church, radio program, The Albert Mohler Program, 30 July 2009, cited by David Helm, One to One Bible Reading (Kingsford, Australia: Matthias Media, 2011), pp. 15-16.