Bible Class Movements

Bible Class Movements

Duncan Macleod

Boys Brigade had started in New Zealand in 1886. Young Mens Christian Association and Young Womens Christian Association had arrived with the settlers from England in the 1840s and 1850s. Christian Endeavour, an ecumenical gathering of Evangelical youth started at the turn of the century.

It was the Bible Class movements that provided the Protestant denominations in New Zealand with national and regional networks for young people for much of the twentieth century. Bible Classes were well established by the turn of the century but at this time were being reorganised to give young adults more involvement in their own classes. The movements began when groups travelled to join each other over Easter and Summer.

Young people were encouraged to learn from the Bible, retain strong morals, find a safe social peer group, and lend support to the Church’s mission ventures overseas. Significant turning points were the establishment of Bible Class unions for women, the lowering of ages for members, and the combining of mens and womens Bible Class unions.