Introducing the work of Precept Ministries Ireland
In the 5th century, Ireland was considered a “pagan” country with its people worshipping multiple gods represented by the sky, earth and water. It is in this context that St. Patrick came to Ireland with the news of the one true God: a God who truly loved them. Over a short period, Patrick made an impact on over 120,000 people as people chose to accept Patrick’s God as the one true God. What Patrick did was astonishing. He established Ireland with the truth of God’s word and offered people the opportunity to experience God for themselves. It is this same vision that God has placed into our hearts at Precept Ministries Ireland.
It is no secret that biblical literacy is in decline. This has become evident as we watch people on popular game shows unable to answer simple questions based on Bible stories. In a recent survey carried out by the Bible Society, one in three didn’t consider the Nativity story to be part of the Bible. Over half (59 percent) didn’t know that Jonah being swallowed by the great fish is in the Bible. Around 30 percent of parents didn’t know that Adam and Eve, David and Goliath, or the Good Samaritan were in the Bible.
That lack of biblical literacy has led to a lack of biblical doctrine as people deem the Bible to be irrelevant, out of date and unimportant for society today. According to recent polls even churchgoers aren’t reading ‘The Book’ with 40% saying that they only read their Bible occasionally (once or twice a month). One in five admitted to never reading the Bible at all. I believe one of the reasons for this is that people don’t understand the BIG story of the Bible. They don’t see the continuation of its message and therefore miss what it is communicating to those living in our world today.
Precept Ministries Ireland desires to see Ireland established in God’s word by helping people to discover their passion for the Bible, to engage with God through it and to go on to live as followers of Jesus Christ. We do this by helping local people to commence Bible study classes in their area and through practical resources and workshops that share the skills of inductive Bible study.
CLASSES, RESOURCES AND WORKSHOPS
Trained leaders throughout Ireland offer classes in churches, homes and other small group settings. These provide the opportunity to go deeper into God’s Word with others as you study the Bible together. We have a wide range of helpful, practical resources available both for individual and group Bible study.
Precept Ministries also offers training for small groups, churches or groups of churches. Topics include:
- Introduction to the Inductive Bible Study Method
- How To Study Old Testament Prophecy and History
- How To Study New Testament Epistles
- Introduction To Biblical Prayer
- Introduction To Spiritual Gifts - “Finding your place of service in the Church”
- Witnessing - “God’s Blueprint from the Book Of Acts”
- Precept Leader Training - Equipping you to lead others
ALL IRELAND TOUR 2016
From April to June, Precept Ministries Ireland travelled around Ireland with a tour entitled, “How the Bible fits together”. This was a one-day interactive workshop identifying the main people and time periods of the Bible. As we looked at these together, participants learned how to recognise their lives within God’s big picture. The purpose for this workshop was to introduce people to God’s Word in a different way, to bring clarity for people in how it fits together and for people to see that the Bible is central to all that we believe.
The tour went to five locations across the island of Ireland including Derry, Ballinasloe and Tralee. During this time we also introduced people to the Precept Ministries 40-minute series that enables people to start studying God’s Word together.
WHAT WILL OUR LEGACY BE FOR THE NEXT GENERATIONS?
Today, St Patrick’s legacy lives on although he may not be remembered in the right way. However, for those of us who desire to live in accordance with God’s Word, we owe him our gratitude for bringing God’s Word to Ireland.
But, what will we pass on for the generations that are coming after us? Precept Ministries Ireland sees the importance of reaching out to each and every generation by showing them that they can know God through His Word. It is our time to pass something on and at Precept Ministries Ireland, we look to get alongside and support youth groups across Ireland with the skills of inductive Bible study.
Tradition has it that St Patrick began his mission by starting a fire that was counter to the culture of that time. One thing that God has stirred in the hearts of Precept Ministries Ireland is that God is lighting a fire across Ireland and it is with this message that we would like to leave you.
‘Hear the word of the Lord: thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I am about to kindle a fire in you, and it will consume every green tree in you, as well as every dry tree; the blazing flame will not be quenched and the whole surface from south to north will be burned by it.’” Ezekiel 20:47-48
If you would like more details on Precept Ministries Ireland please go to www.preceptireland.org.
Gareth Bell lives in Dromara in County Down with his wife Joy and baby son. He is the new National Director of Precept Ministries Ireland and played host to VOX editor Ruth Garvey-Williams during this year’s Finding Faith Tour.