During his presidential address of the 77th Synod of the Diocese of Brisbane, Archbishop Phillip Aspinall affirmed the work of BIBLE360. The relevant section is included below, including some summary feedback from the "Introduction to the Bible Seminar" and "Small Group Facilitation Workshop". The full presidential address available here...
At Synod last year we launched Bible360, a one day course to give people an overview of the bible. We recognised that the bible is a complex collection of 66 different books, written at different times, in very different places for a wide variety of reasons, over about 1,000 years. A lot of people didn’t find it easy or straightforward to understand what they read. Bible360 was designed to help people get hold of the big picture and so to situate particular books and passages to improve understanding and applying them.
You will remember that I asked each of you to participate in that one day course during the coming year. And I asked you to go back to your parishes and organisations and encourage others to do the course as well. I said that I hoped that hundreds and hundreds, if not thousands, of Anglicans would do Bible360 in the coming year.
Well, up to the middle of May, Bible360 has happened in 23 locations around the Diocese. 850 people from 75 parishes have participated, more events are scheduled and we expect to pass the 1,000 mark sometime in July. (If you count the 200 people in Grafton Diocese who have also done it, we have already passed the 1,000 milestone, and Adelaide is expressing interest as well.) So hundreds and hundreds, if not thousands wasn’t pie in the sky – o ye of little faith!
And what’s more the feedback from people who did it is stunning:
- 96% said it met their expectations
- 98% said they’d recommend it to a friend
- 91% said they were more excited about the bible
- 93% said they planned to read the bible more as a result
- 72% actually wrote a personal bible-reading plan
- 52% were already in a small bible study group and 60% of the rest said they planned to join one (that would make over 80% altogether)
Getting those small groups happening is the next step. Already a workshop on running small groups has happened. 60 people attended and 24 of those 60 plan to start new small groups. A small group leaders network is about to see the light of day.
I have to say I am absolutely thrilled at what’s been achieved in 12 months. I congratulate and thank those who’ve made it happen: in particular Greg Jenks and Adam Lowe, the Project Officer, but others in the MEC and PMC teams who have pitched in as well. You have done a mighty job. Don’t stop. I know you won’t because as well as Bible360 – Introducing the Bible, on the drawing board already is Bible360 – Deep Dive, with more to follow.
What we’ve been part of over the last twelve months is the launching of a long-term initiative to help Anglicans approach the scriptures with their brains switched on and to find in those ancient texts food for the soul, wisdom for living in the 21st century. What we’re after is generations of Anglicans who are biblically literate, thoughtful about faith, spiritually perceptive and energetic and generous workers in God’s mission.