A reflection on reading the bible with youths

First off, I am genuinely confused about how to start. I have been asked to write about doing one-to-one bible reading with the youths. I have no words for it. The first thought that came to mind was, ‘Huh?’ I had never really reflected on this.

I am kind of a follower — someone who just does what others say. I really had no big ambition when I started doing the bible reading. I was pushed to do it, in a sense, because it was something that Pastor Luwin said could help bring the YGLs and the youths closer together. I was apprehensive — I am the least likely person to start telling others about Christianity. I remember back when I was a youth, I was dragged to youth meetings on Saturday and thought they were mandatory for a young Christian. I never really came into my identity as a Christian until my last year of junior college. Even then, I must say, I was still struggling with the idea of being Christian.

In the short time I have spent with the youths last year and this year, seeing things through their eyes has been a delight. Their questions and answers are full of humour and it is always a delight to have questions answered. They have a wealth of knowledge of being a teenager in the 21st century and also a wealth of potential. There is some maturity in the way they speak of their identity as Christians while they figure out their way in the world. I am learning much from them. The more interaction I have with them, the more I appreciate Christ. But, with every interaction, I am always inundated with thoughts about whether what I am doing is right. Will I suddenly say something wrong? I am glad that even when I am so worried about each and every action, God gives me the strength to go through the bible reading with the youths.

Recently, I read through Psalm 48, Ephesians 4 and Ecclesiastes 1 with the youths. These different passages showed me God’s glory and power. I have learned so much while reading through each of them. It has increased my desire to know God better. It has also motivated me to replicate that desire to know more of God in the youths that I am reading the bible with. I am not sure if their curiosity has been aroused but I hope that it has.

The bible reading was not easy to begin with. I had a lot of doubts. It took me so long to come to the conclusion that I could do it. Just like Nike’s trademark quote, I went ahead and did it, and to reassure myself, I created some guidelines I felt was necessary so that I didn’t make any missteps while reading the bible with them. I prayed a lot before I made the step, and since then, it is something that I try my best to do. It is not easy because a portion of my night is taken up by Bible reading. But it is so delightful when this time spurs me to read God’s word and to experience God’s word with the youths.

If I were to go back in time and hype myself up to start reading the bible with the youths earlier, I would tell myself that it would not hurt to try. As much as we as adults feel that they should learn from us, there is always something to learn while taking a journey together, and seeing with the eyes of a youth. They have such interesting insights in life as they are not overwhelmed by adulting.

I really want to thank the youths who have set us on this wonderful journey of discipleship because I see myself learning from them. I do hope to continue this new culture of reading the bible with the youths.

– Ms Fong Wen Wei