On Sunday mornings, members of a suburban church in Denver, Colo., come with their tablets, their iPhones and even their Bibles. They come with pens and highlighters, ready for the message. This is what church leaders have been hoping for, what they’ve been working on since last August, when they kicked off a year of Read Your Bible.
Eastern Hills Community CRC embarks on a year of Read Your Bible.
RYB is a message from God. Read Your Bible.
“We have done a good job of growing wider,” said Mark DeNooy, Missions Pastor at Eastern Hills Community Church, a Christian Reformed ministry in Aurora, Colo. “We felt convicted from the Lord to really get our folks deeper into the Word, to help people develop a habit of reading their Bible.”
“It impacted my life and my relationships,” said Jonathan Miller, an elder of Eastern Hills, who has recently read the Bible cover to cover. “People around me noticed it. I’m the president and CEO of a company. I haven’t intentionally injected anything, but when you’re reading the Bible it does affect your life.”
The staff used the Essential 100 Challenge (E100) as a reference to print and distribute five reading guides: a tour of the Old Testament, emotions in scripture, New Testament passages, the Lord’s Prayer, and finally, for the summer, a look at the book of Mark.
Eastern Hills provided tools to help people go deeper into the Word. Sunday morning sermons dovetailed with the reading guides. Senior pastor Shawn Sikkema put together questions for small groups to discuss the topics further, and a staff member or elder wrote a daily blog to match the daily reading guide.
“The Bible ended up permeating . . . my business. I’ve always wanted to plan everything in business. I have goals and I can achieve those goals,” said Miller. “I’ve been able to give up a lot of it, to surrender. It’s in God’s hands. That’s a pretty comforting thought.”