Thursday, February 7, 2013
New Jersey Church Attendees to Spend More Than 66,000 Collective Hours Reading the Entire New Testament Bible Over 40 Days
By Michael Ireland
Special Reporter, ASSIST News Service
MORRISTOWN, N.J. (ANS) -- Liquid Church is one of NJ's fastest-growing Christian churches. Founded in 2001 by Lead Pastor Tim Lucas, the church's vision is to "take church to the people" with campuses in Morristown, New Brunswick, and Nutley.
More than 2,500 people experience Liquid's worship services each weekend in New Jersey and around the globe through Church Online.
Now a press release from the church says that statistics report more than 700 people give up reading the Bible every day in America. However, this church in NJ is bucking the trend.
Recently, church leaders challenged congregants at Liquid Church in Morristown, Nutley and New Brunswick to devote 40 days to reading through the New Testament by Easter (March 31, 2013). In response, over 3,300 adults and children have begun to read the Bible cover to cover during the season of Lent.
"The outpouring of interest surprised us," said Tim Lucas, Lead Pastor of Liquid Church, the Christian non-denominational church with 3 locations in New Jersey. "Although the media often highlights how irrelevant the Bible seems to modern culture, there is a growing hunger among the next generation to open the Scriptures and see what God's Word says for themselves."
To support the Bible reading, the church gave away over 4,800 copies of the New Testament for free to members, friends, and anyone interested. More than 300 volunteers have been trained by the church to host and facilitate almost 200 local reading groups across the state. Ten of the groups will meet weekly online using Google+ Hangout video conferencing services. Each group, consisting of 5-12 people will meet weekly for 8 weeks during the next two months leading up to Easter Sunday.
"Our oldest member reading the Bible is 70 years old, while our youngest is 7," noted Lucas.
"Although some think the Bible is an outdated document, young and old are discovering its message is timeless," he said.
All told, more than 66,000 hours’ worth of reading time are being invested in the Bible literacy movement growing in New Jersey.
"So much of our faith today has been reduced to bumper stickers and bracelet slogans. But God's message of love & hope is profoundly personal, and our people are hungry to experience it first-hand. It just goes to show you, when God shows up, things heat up," said Lucas.
40 Day Bible Challenge Fast Facts:
** 2,875 adults signed reading pledges committing to finish reading the entire New Testament in 40 days.
** 491 youth are also participating in the Bible reading movement.
** 196 reading groups are gathering weekly across New Jersey to discuss the Bible in a book club format.
** The desire to connect with the Bible is one of the biggest reasons people come to church: 87 percent of churchgoers say they are seeking help understanding the Bible in-depth. (Source: REVEAL)
** The average household owned 4.3 Bibles in 2012. (Source: Barna Group)
** 60% of people say they wish they read the Bible more. (Source: Barna Group)
** 83% of people prefer to read a print Bible. Even among millennials, preference for print remains strong (77%). (Source: Barna Group)
** More than new Bibles were published and distributed in partnership with the publisher Biblica.
As a part of its global outreach Liquid provides clean drinking water to the poorest of the poor with dozens of completed projects in Ethiopia, Central African Republic, Haiti and El Salvador.
** You may republish this story with proper attribution.
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