Did you read your Bible today? How many chapters did you read? Ask the average believer, the answer you get may not be favourable.
Though the Bible; both hard and soft copies is everywhere, its availability has not translated to readability. Many only get to open their Bibles on Sunday in church. Little wonder, many are being tossed about by every wind of doctrine.
But Faith Comes By Hearing; a US-based organisation is changing that narrative. The organisation has one burden; to increase Bible literacy among Christians.
Its goal is to also see all believers stand strong in faith with scriptures in their mouths. And it is leaving no stone unturned to make this happen.
To achieve this, the organisation has put in place a 90-day scripture challenge. The challenge will see participants taking a journey through the Bible under the supervision of a coordinator.
The Church in Uganda is the first to benefit from the Scripture challenge in Africa. At the end of the project, the country experienced a 51 percent increase in scripture awareness among Ugandans.
Buoyed by the Ugandan experience, FCBH is set for Lagos. The Lagos challenge will start on August 1 and end on October 30. Churches in Lagos irrespective of their denomination are expected to key into this life-transforming Scripture challenge.
The challenge is simple
The challenge is simple. But it will take the commitment of individuals and participating churches. Church leaders who place a premium on God’s word will no doubt encourage their members to be part of the project.
But the burden of providing the resources for the 90-day challenge rests on FCBH. The organization will provide the scriptures that will be read on daily basis. It will also make available online Bible applications and other necessary equipment to help facilitate the process.
The coordinator of the project in Lagos, Evangelist Edwin Ebeniro told Church Times that participants are not supposed to be more than 50 in a group. A church that has a membership of 200 for instance will have to split into four different groups. In phase 1 of the challenge, the 50-member group is expected to listen to scriptures on the digital application every day for 30 days.
The group will also create social media platforms on Facebook or WhatsApp. This will help members of the group in their daily Bible discussion. So, as they listen on daily basis, they will discuss the scriptures using lead promptings provided by FCBH.
The leader of the group is not expected to preach but to just coordinate discussions around the Bible passage being read. Participants are to do the Bible discussion.
Ebeniro said “this method works perfectly in Bible teaching. Participants are seen providing useful leads that will help enhance their understanding of the Bible”
For proper coordination, participating churches are expected to send at least two people to be trained by the FCBH team. The training is expected to hold before the programme starts in August.
Scripture challenge: What participants get
Ebeniro who is also the Lagos Chairman of the Nigeria Evangelical Missions Association explains further that participants who successfully complete phase 1 of the programme will receive free Proclaimers. This is an audio Bible device loaded with scriptures in different languages.
In phase 2 participants are expected to meet physically for 30 days for a period of between 30 minutes to one hour to listen to the scriptures. Trained facilitators are also expected to lead the team in the second phase.
The third phase according to Ebeniro is the Physical watching group. This time, rather than just listen to audio, members will engage with video scriptures chapter by chapter. Gospel films will be projected in a common evangelistic move throughout the 30 days.
Churches that successfully complete the second phase will qualify for the third phase which is also the final stage. They will receive free projectors or tablets loaded with Bible-related films especially films of the New Testament.
For those 90 days, participating churches will get free audio Bibles. They will get visual portrayals of the four gospels in different languages. They will get a solar-powered audio Bible device with the New Testaments in different languages. They will also get a dedicated projector with an inbuilt speaker and pre-loaded gospel films.
Beyond the free items; the overall effect the scripture challenge will have on participants can’t be quantified.
Ebeniro who just came back from Uganda said the testimony from the project in Uganda is awesome. “The Bible awareness has increased. Participants shared testimonies of how God’s word came alive to them in those 90 days. Though the challenge has stopped officially in Uganda, many churches are still carrying on with it.”
Time to stamp out Bible illiteracy
The ultimate goal according to Ebeniro is to stamp out Bible illiteracy among people. While explaining that the challenge is being done in the church environment so as to monitor its progress, he said it is hoped that the challenge goes beyond the church.
He said, “We hope that by the end of the challenge, participating churches can continue with it and take it outside the walls of the church.
“But for us, we need to monitor the progress. That is why it is limited to churches for now. But then, people from all walks of life are welcome to join churches that have subscribed to the challenge.”
Church leaders who so desire to be part of the project are expected to log on www.lagos90daysscripturechallenge.org.ng
They can register directly online by following this link: https://linktr.cc/LAGOS90daysregistratioN
They can also call Evangelist Edwin on +2348023164084