As many of you know, our vision is to help the children and young people of Scotland explore the Bible and respond to Jesus. That statement unashamedly re-affirms our commitment to the Bible - we believe that children and young people can be captivated by the stories of the Bible, intrigued by it and drawn to the God who loves them. Our experience with Bible Alive, the Christmas presentation "Bubble Gum n Fluff" and similar Easter presentations is that there is massive ignorance but genuine interest in the Bible story. Re-engaging with the Bible

Of course, we are encouraging exploration of the Bible in an age when recent research from the Bible Society tells us that fewer Christians are regularly reading the Bible. 2011 is the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James version and provides an opportunity to highlight the impact the Bible has had on our society. Biblefresh is a project seeking to encourage Christians to re-engage with the Bible and we are fully involved in that exciting project. I would encourage you to take the opportunity provided by Biblefresh.

Is the Bible relevant?

We need to renew our confidence in the Bible to speak into our lives and relevantly into society. Firstly, we need to be aware of the influences on us. The Apostle Paul talks about the need for our minds to be transformed. We have warped views, caricatures often, of God, ourselves and others. Children and young people are plagued with low self-worth, so much so that we have a whole government-backed Centre for Confidence and Well-being in Scotland. What is going to straighten out our thinking? It seems to me that unless we are allowing the Bible to teach us who we are and why we are here then we will continue to go round our present cul-de-sac and get nowhere. We need the Bible's truth and we need it regularly.

Grasping the Big Picture

Secondly, we need to begin to grasp the big picture. Not just isolated, favourite parts of the Bible but the big story; God's purpose for the whole world, through all history. Part of the Biblefresh project is something called E100 - an initiative to help churches and individuals commit to reading 50 Old Testament and 50 New Testament passages in order to grasp the promise and fulfilment of God's purposes. Children and young people need a sense of where things have come from and a hope that there is a future. We can confidently help them engage with their part in the big story of God's salvation.

Take up the challenge...

We're excited about the Biblefresh plan to make 2011 a year of the Bible, and we hope you'll join with us on this journey. Why not check out the E100 Challenge for yourself - a great way to start your New Year... As we enter 2011 I'd like to wish you and your family a blessed New Year.

Andy Bathgate

Andy has been CEO of SU Scotland since 2001. When he's not busy with us, you'll find him playing with his grandsons or in an art gallery with his wife.