Q&A with Rev. Rob Hoskins

Q&A with Rev. Rob Hoskins


Rob Hoskins was born to missionary parents, which is where his passion to spread the truth in God’s word began. He has served with OneHope for more than 26 years, and has been president since 2004. Rob is an ordained general-appointed missionary of the Assemblies of God and currently serves as Chair of the Board of Trustees at Oral Roberts University.

Q: OneHope’s landmark Attitudes and Behaviors of Youth (ABY) research among teens 13 to 19 in 44 countries found that a high level of Bible engagement is a strong predictor of positive teen behaviors. This is great news! Why do you think Bible reading and behaviors are so strongly correlated? 01

In an increasingly relativistic and pluralistic world, where foundational truths are undermined, many young people struggle with insecurity, indecision and even fear. Having the Bible as an authoritative text and engaging with it consistently provide the confidence, security and certitude that many youth lack today.

God’s word is powerful, and it changes lives. We know that the message of Christ’s love and redemption speaks not only to a teenager’s eternity but also to his or her present reality. Our ABY research reveals the three major factors that influence young people; one of them is engagement with religious texts. When teens read the Bible—more so than any other religious text—they build the strongest foundation to stand strong against negative cultural influences, and instead make positive life choices. For instance, teens who read the Bible at least monthly:

  • Have better relationships with parents and purpose for living
  • Engage in significantly less sexual activity, substance use, crime, lying and physical aggression
  • Are nine times more likely to believe the Bible provides a clear and indisputable description of moral truth
  • Are 10 times more likely to find their faith is important to them
  • Are nearly four times more likely to believe that prayer can change what happens in life
  • Are more than five times more likely to recall a time when their religious beliefs changed the way they behaved

Q: OneHope puts great emphasis on developing digital tools to help kids engage with the Scriptures. How have you seen these tools increase or deepen Bible engagement? 02

The potential in the digital space is unlimited! It has been exciting to see some innovative approaches— like augmented reality, social media platforms and “gameification”—connect with 21st-century digital natives. Not only are they increasing biblical literacy, but also repetitive engagement with God’s word is developing their spiritual formation as truth from the Bible is cemented deeply into their hearts. The practical applications give young people an outlet for not only taking in God’s word, but also sharing it with others with a single tap or click. We are hearing stories of children bringing parents and grandparents to Christ by insisting they “play the Bible” together or by watching the testimony they created and shared on social media. And some digital programs are being used in ways we never imagined—ESL programs, for example. People trying to learn English are practicing by reading stories from the Bible, and then coming to faith! We are also excited about resourcing churches with tools that give youth leaders and parents the ability to track their children’s Bible reading and comprehension, and their practice of spiritual disciplines like prayer, giving and service projects.

Q: What excites you most about the next 10 years? Where do you see the most fertile ground for God’s word to take root and bear fruit? 03

I’m so excited about new frontiers for sharing God’s word. The potential of digital is immense—we’re living a “Gutenberg moment,” where technology is allowing us to take the Scriptures farther, faster and into places where the printed Bible cannot go. For instance, the Bible App for Kids has been downloaded in every country in the world, even ones where the Bible is banned!

Another frontier ripe for harvest is unreached people groups. There are new methods speeding up the Bible translation process that not only get the Scriptures into new languages, but that also utilize highly innovative and relevant delivery methods. We are seeing unrivaled success with contextualized programs in some of the most fertile ground in the world: the Sahel region of Africa, which is predominantly Muslim.

Everywhere seed is being thrown, it’s taking root and growing quickly. People are hungry for the hope and freedom that can be found in Christ. Every week we have reports of hundreds of new believers. We can hardly plant churches fast enough for the number of new believers. God’s word is truly going forth like never before!

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