At what age do you think Americans are the least religious? Age 22. Only 17 percent of age 22 Americans, according to data from over 30 years of the General Social Survey, attend a religious service at least once a week. We have been called to a New Evangelization, and what age group needs evangelizing the most in the U.S.? Clearly the college-aged. FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students) is addressing this need with all of their energy and strength every single day on college campuses across the United States.
FOCUS was founded in 1998 and with just 4 missionaries serving at one campus. Today, 14 years later, FOCUS has 264 missionaries serving on 58 college campuses. This means that FOCUS reaches over 8,000 students annually. How does FOCUS evangelize on these campuses? Through everything from events to one-on-one conversations, but primarily through Bible studies. At the University of Nebraska alone FOCUS has over 100 Bible studies running. FOCUS realizes the power Bible studies have in sharing the Gospel message.
FOCUS ought to inspire us and teach us a valuable lesson. One of the best ways to true conversion or reversion is through studying the Catholic Bible. Bible studies allow us to look at the love Christ has for us in a new way and remind us what this life we have been given is all about. They remind us to live with a mission, the mission that God wills for our lives. Bible studies, if done rightly, open the door to our hearts and minds so that Christ can come in and make himself at home.
Bible studies are not just for college students, but rather they are for people of all ages. I have been a member of a Bible study in all of my semesters at Belmont Abbey College, and they have challenged me and benefited me in ways that I could never have imagined. A Bible study gives, on top of everything else, great fellowship and I encourage you to start one with your friends. Believe me, you won't regret it. I know I haven't. What kind of Bible study do you like to be a part of or would like to start with your friends? One on a particular book of the Bible, or on a certain theme?