DAVIS—Pretty sure that students don’t talk about the Bible outside of church, leaders at Falls Creek Baptist Conference Center are using this year’s theme to change that. Each week during two Morning Tabernacle Experiences (one for high school and one for middle school students), Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma youth specialists James Lankford, Andy Harrison, Norman Flowers and Todd Sanders emphasized Echo groups—friends who are already in Christ meeting to encourage one another.
“Getting together in Echo groups is a way to pass on our faith one generation to the next,” Sanders told the students.
In addition to the teaching time, the leaders challenged the students to a 10-month commitment to their Echo groups after camp to memorize and talk about a passage of Scripture a month, find a practical way to really serve people and hold each other accountable to living what they believe about God. Emphasized in the Echo groups is Scripture memorization.
“The Bible is the way God reveals Himself to us,” Sanders said. “Scripture reveals Jesus, and the more we know Him, the more we understand how to follow Him.”
Lankford noted that to some of the students, the stuff about the Bible is all new, yet some have been in church all their lives and still don’t understand much about the Bible.
“There is some Scripture you don’t understand, and some you just don’t want to follow,” he commented. “We want you to get your friends together and discuss the Scripture you struggle with. My guess is most of you have never talked with your friends about the Bible outside of church.”
Harrison encouraged the students to take a verse and study it for one month.
“Memorize it, focus on it, live it out,” he explained.
Flowers suggest each Echo group take action on God’s Word in addition to studying, talking about and memorizing it.
“Think how you can make a difference in your community,” he said. “For example, mow the lawn for an elderly neighbor, and leave a Bible verse.”
Lankford explained that the Bible didn’t just fall out of the sky, but is 66 books combined in an easy carrying case.
“The Bible is the story of God’s redemption from beginning to end,” Lankford explained. “From the time God spoke matter into existence through the end of the New Testament, the Bible tells you how to know and follow God.”
Flowers gave the students a practical way to study Scripture using the acronym SOAP.
“Open Scripture, study it sytsematically,” he began. “Observe what God is saying; write it in a notebook. Apply it by asking what God is saying to you, and Pray God will help you and work in your life through the Scripture.”
Harrison said getting into God’s Word and letting it transform your live will make a big difference.
“Whatever we think upon is what we do,” he said. “We begin to absorb Scripture, and our life changes dramatically. Read it, study it, absorb it. Live it out.
Lankford said the bottom line is for students to apply Scripture into their friendships.
“If you can talk about sports, shopping and friends, what’s the big deal about talking about the Bible?” he said.