Death of a Church Library

I was recently reading from the book of Matthew chapter 7 verses 24 through 28, the story of the Wise and Foolish Builders, when I suddenly remembered one of my favorite books from Arch Publishing.

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Going to the church library used to be one of the things I enjoyed most about going to church when I was a child. After the service was over, everyone gathered in the church hall for refreshments and the kids went to the church library to find books to check out and read at home the following week.

Another series of books I loved to read when I was young were the Bible stories by Arthur Maxwell.

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I remember sitting on the couch and my mom would read these books to us before going to bed. What wonderful, exciting things these books used to be!

My church today has a library but rarely do I ever see anyone enter. Most of the time the room is used as an extra classroom or for storage. Wonderful children’s books are everywhere but no children are to be found.

According to a recent study by the Bible Society, as reported by the Telegraph, a rising number of children are unable to recall the simplest of Bible stories including the Nativity, Adam and Eve and Noah’s Ark.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/10621856/Rising-numbers-of-children-no-longer-read-Bible-stories.html

According to the Telegraph, “Figures show that almost half of children – 46 per cent – read Bible stories at least once a year, compared with 86 per cent of their parents when they were growing up”. To me, these statistics are very upsetting.

1 Timothy 4:13 says, “Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching” NIV.

Matthew 19:14 says, ‘Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these”‘ NIV. Jesus wants our children to learn the stories of the Bible. But how do they learn them if they are not taught by their parents?

I mentored a confirmation group last school year and only one out of a group of four knew what the four gospels were. How sad that our young people are not learning the stories of the Bible. If our children are not exposed to Bible stories at a young age, what is the chance that they will ever read the Bible as an adult?

What do you think? I would enjoy hearing your comments or suggestions in the space provided below.