I’ve just returned from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia where I participated in a very unique gathering called Living Hope–five days of worshiping, praying and working with Scripture Union International leaders from around the world.
What a joy and privilege it was to stand with my sisters and brothers from every tribe and every nation; it was a picture of heaven on earth. But I have to say the experience also left me with a question, “Why has Scripture Union spread to 120 countries, and lasted for over 145 years?”
In other words, what’s Scripture Union’s secret?
I think part of the answer is our Aims: Bible engagement and children’s outreach. Since the founding of Scripture Union in 1867, those have been the twin rails that have guided the movement. And as it turns out, research now shows those are two of the most strategic mission opportunities in the world today. Another part of the answer is our commitment to contextual ministry: we encourage each country to develop programs that fit their culture.
But as I interacted with my colleagues at Living Hope, I was reminded that the distinctive feature of Scripture Union is something far more basic: we are a fellowship of people from all countries, cultures and Christian denominations who have built our lives around the simple practice Bible reading and prayer. And we do so not just out of a desire for more biblical knowledge or for greater spiritual discipline. Rather, what drives Scripture Union is a quiet passion for meeting God every day in his Word.
That’s what inspires us to help people of all ages read God’s Word. That’s what motivates us to present God’s Good News to the next generation. That’s what compels us to reach out to a world in need. And that, I realized as I made the long trek home from Malaysia, is the Scripture Union secret. And I thank God Scripture Union USA is part of such an amazing global family.