COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (BP) – Online campfire gatherings, a Facebook Live celebration and subsequent monthly outreaches will energize Bring Your Bible to School Day Oct. 1, an annual event focused on religious liberty, discipleship and evangelism.
Skillet Christian rocker John Cooper, For King and Country, Nick Vujicic of Life Without Limbs, motivational speaker Emma Mae Jenkins, comedian Bob Smiley, Sunday Cool’s Carll Hooper, Connect Ministries, Trail Life USA, and the Grace and Mercy Foundation’s Public Reading of Scripture outreach are all joining the Focus on the Family-sponsored event this year, said Focus’ Danny Huerta.
“It’s exciting to see when the body of Christ works together to influence the culture and to have God’s Spirit to move,” said Huerta, Focus on the Family vice president of parenting and youth. “It calls us into unity as we do so.”
In addition to the online celebrations, students will hold small in-person and virtual Bring Your Bible to School events at schools, homes and outdoor venues across the nation in the observance that involved 50,000 schools and 540,000 students in 2019, Huerta said. During the COVID-19 pandemic that has made it difficult for schools to hold in-person classes, students are encouraged to bring their Bibles to school and find creative, socially distanced ways to share Scripture, spread the Gospel and promote the Bible simply by making it more visible.
“What we’re telling kids to do, if you do get together, be responsible in social distancing, maybe get together at a park and pray, and wherever masks are required make sure you’re following that,” Huerta said. “Because that’s part of the example of being able to live within the rules that make sense, that have been given in the land. You’re respectful of that.
“We’re telling kids be creative,” he said. “You can even wave at each other, show each other your Bible and smile … through your eyes. … It’s going into school … and knowing we’ve all brought the Sword of the Spirit with us today.”
Registrations are on track to surpass 2019’s participation in the event, now in its seventh year, that Focus on the Family hopes will draw as many as a million students, parents and youth pastors, Huerta said.
The 2019 motto “Bring It. Share It. Live It” is repeated this year with expanded emphasis on “Live It” discipleship and evangelism events for students and their families.
Trail Life USA will host the Sept. 29 campfire event at traillifeusa.com at 8 p.m. ET, allowing as many as 1,000 small groups to hold simultaneous events around a virtual campfire. Smiley will emcee the event that will encourage students to proclaim their faith and bring hope to a nation divided over racial justice issues. Several Focus on the Family staff members and speakers will also participate.
“It’s a reminder wherever you’re at,” Huerta said, “that you can take your Bible wherever you go. What we’re hoping for is that they will continue with that idea of bringing the Bible in their hearts throughout the entire year with ‘Live It’ challenges and prayer and things like that.”
An Oct. 1 Facebook Live celebration at 7 p.m. ET will cap the special day, featuring a roundtable panel with eight students, motivational videos from Cooper, Vujicic and Jenkins, and prayers for families and students. The event will challenge students in a weeklong prayer emphasis.
“Live It” challenges include regular prayer as a family in November, and reading the Scripture aloud daily in December.
Focus on the Family launched Bring Your Bible to School Day in 2014 after hearing students’ stories that they couldn’t read their Bible during free time at school, or were told that Bibles should be hidden to avoid offending others. First Liberty Institute has partnered with Focus to provide religious freedom information to students and to provide legal counsel as needed.
Focus has said it views the event as an “easy, proactive and positive way for students to express their faith and start conversations.”
Website links, registration and other resources are available at bringyourbible.org.