Biblefresh is a new initiative from a number of churches and Christian organisations, including the Methodist Church of Great Britain. It's worth visiting their website for more information. Below is an excerpt, about their purpose.
Why does the Church need another new initiative? Surely Christians know and understand the Bible? These questions might easily be asked by many in the Church today. So why are we launching this new initiative?
In early 2006 some research was conducted by the Evangelical Alliance which revealed that low levels of biblical knowledge and understanding was becoming a significant and worrying issue in the Church.
Anecdotally, we had received evidence from some of the Bible colleges and theological institutions that new students were increasingly bible illiterate. More time needed to be spent giving students a basic grounding before they could tackle other subjects.
In March 2007 the Evangelical Alliance Council meeting approved the concept of a ‘biblicising the church’ campaign. Following this, various consultations were held with some of our current partner organisations and the outline of the Biblefresh initiative was formed.
Bible Society along with the Evangelical Alliance commissioned some research to explore levels of biblical literacy in the UK Church. 1731 church leaders and 1929 church attendees were surveyed. The findings underlined the anecdotal evidence: that the church as well as our culture has very low levels of biblical understanding and it is not only church members that struggle to read the Bible but church leaders also. In short, many are not familiar with the Bible; find it difficult to engage with it regularly and there is a real need for training and encouragement in how to do this. For the detailed summary report of the ‘Taking the Pulse’ survey, you can access it here.
It was decided that the Biblefresh initiative, as it was styled, would be focussed on the year 2011, which was also the 400th anniversary since the publication of the King James Version of the Bible. We would ask churches to join the movement by agreeing to increase their church’s level of biblical engagement in four ways: reading, training, translation and experience. Centrally we would encourage our partner organisations to respond to the need by providing access to relevant reading, audio, video, and training resources.
By asking churches to re-focus on the Bible for the year, we hoped that the fruit in the UK Church would be an increased hunger and desire for the Word of God which would result in more lives saved and transformed. That we would become ‘with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord… transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.’ (2 Cor. 3.18 NKJV)