A Lebanon church has issued a challenged to its members to read the entire Bible, cover-to cover, in only 90 days.
The Lebanon Presbyterian Church is reviving a movement started by Ted Cooper ten years ago. Cooper, a former Texas businessman, started the “Bible in 90 Days” movement as an agnostic, who didn’t believe God existed. He found the Bible hard to believe and made jokes about it, according to a local Cincinnati.com report.
“After several days, I quit making fun of it,” Cooper said. “I found myself engrossed by it. About halfway through – somewhere around Isaiah or Jeremiah – I started to believe what I was reading.”
In 2001, he created a curriculum to help people read the Bible in 90 days and it has been implemented in churches in over 40 states.
Peter Larson, Senior Pastor of Lebanon Presbyterian Church, says that lives are transformed when people read the Bible.
“For that reason, we are asking all of our 900 members to read the Bible from cover-to-cover in 12 weeks,” Larson said in Local Cincinnati article.
Larson says that the intention of the challenge is not to “speed-read” through the Bible, but instead so it as a complete story.
“It helps people read the Bible as a complete story and to see the big picture of God’s purpose in human history,” Larson said.
This is the first time that Lebanon Presbyterian Church is implementing this challenge, according to Associate Pastor Chuck Testas, who will be the coordinator of the “Bible in 90 Days” challenge.
“We sense that God is doing something new and we want to begin the year by doing something new together,” Testas said. “We hope it will be life-changing and people will begin to see the big picture of what God is doing our lives.”
Testas hopes the challenge will not only allow people to complete reading the Bible, but also help individuals in the church closer to one another and God, as well as live more for Him in this world. Testas is confident that the congregation of Lebanon Presbyterian Church will have success in the challenge.
“I think we will have a high degree of success,” he said. “People in this church are committed and determined … also, doing it together will help.”
In order to ensure the success of this campaign, the Lebanon Presbyterian Church will offer study groups for individuals to join, according to Testas. He said that each person will be given study guides and meet once a week, as well as on Sundays.
“Individuals will have the opportunity to talk about the material they’ve read, what happened and how it affected them,” Testas said.
There are many Americans who would like to read the entire Bible, but few ever do. Larson hopes that the “Bible in 90 Days” challenge will help them reach that goal.
“Instead of reading the Bible all alone, it encourages them to be part of a group,” Larson said.