CWR, the ministry of Selwyn Hughes, is inviting hundreds of churches across the United Kingdom to rise to the challenge of reading the whole Bible cover-to-cover throughout 2009.
The call follows the successful pilot run of CWR's new Bible reading scheme, Cover to Cover Complete, in 62 churches this year. CWR hopes the 2009 scheme will reverse the prevailing culture of Bible illiteracy that has crept into society as well as churches.
The scheme takes whole congregations on a chronological journey through the Bible, following the events of Scripture as they happen, while allowing church members to dig deeper in their understanding with the help of charts, maps, illustrations and diagrams. A timeline running at the foot of each page helps put the event in context and devotional thoughts from the late Selwyn Hughes offer readers a spiritual perspective to contemplate each day.
The leader of one church participating in the pilot since January said, "We have found it very inspiring, interesting, helpful and most of all encouraging … It has definitely stretched the faith of my congregation."
CWR is partnering with Christian bookshops to whet the appetites of local churches and house groups by providing posters, invitation cards and four-day samplers of Cover to Cover Complete.
Participating churches will be given access to their own online internet forum where they can share and discuss their reflections. The CWR website will, meanwhile, feature character studies, reader's testimonies and helpful hints.
Another participating church said in the September/October issue of CWR's daily devotional, Every Day With Jesus, "We see Cover to Cover Complete as a tool to help us get deeper into God's Word. Seeing God's story unfold in this unique chronological way gives us a better understanding and knowledge of how, as Christians, both individually and corporately, we fit into God's plan.
"We've seen a church with a renewed passion and desire for God's Word."
CWR is aiming for an additional 200 churches of all denominations to take part in the Bible reading scheme throughout 2009, equivalent to around 6,000 Christians.
Mick Brooks, head of CWR, said he was excited at the prospect of so many Christians gathering together on January 1, 2009, to read the Bible together regularly and cover-to-cover, many for the first time.
"Cover to Cover Complete springs from the very heart of our ministry at CWR. It is our biggest ever investment in any single publication," he said. "It is a wonderful resource and my prayer is that thousands of Christians will see God's eternal purposes unfold before their eyes as they embark on this journey of discovery."