Church-led gatherings are cultivating community support
There was a time in our history when local congregations would rally around an opportunity to invest in the community. Across Hamilton County, this tradition continues today.
Noted pollster George Barna states that America’s youth are largely unfamiliar with the Bible’s basic teachings, inviting a host of social and personal troubles:
- 5 in 10 students have had little or no exposure to the wisdom and knowledge of the Bible.
- “God helps those who help themselves” is the most widely believed Bible verse among churchgoing teens, though it appears nowhere in the Bible and conflicts with its message.
- 8 in 10 people cannot say who delivered the Sermon on the Mount.
Many may be saying to themselves, “These statistics can’t possibly be real, not in the buckle of the Bible Belt.” But statistics like these are real in our nation and in our community.
For this reason, whole communities of churches have begun gathering to invest in their students, through the introduction of Bible history courses in the public schools. For example:
- In 2014, the East Lake Gathering funded a new teaching position at East Lake Academy for at least three years; and
- In 2015, the Hixson Gathering extended Bible history classes at Hixson High School for another two years.
These Gatherings have been highly successful in growing and diversifying our donor base. As Gatherings continue to cultivate broad community support for Bible history, the uninterrupted support of existing donors will be the key to reaching more students in more schools.