A youth group’s Bible-reading project

I was driving down Main Street and saw a tent pitched outside of a residence that was next to the downtown business district.  A bunch of teenagers were milling about.  There was a podium, and it looked like someone was reading from it.  A sign said, “I ate them.com.”

Of course that aroused my curiosity, so I went to the site and saw that the reference was to Jeremiah 15:16, about “eating” the Word of God.  What was going on downtown was a Bible reading marathon!

The website, designed I assume by the group, featured a video, produced I assume by the group, which gave two different perspectives on the Bible from atheists as well as believers, and then challenged people to read the Bible for themselves to form their own opinion.

The site also included evangelistic and apologetic material, with links to other sites on these topics, as well as Bible-reading resources.

In a day of stupid youth group tricks, I thought, this was an ingenious, fun, and meaningful project!

Imagine my surprise yesterday to learn that the inspiration came from this blog!   Rich Shipe, pastor of Blue Ridge Bible Church and frequent commenter here, wrote me yesterday saying he got the idea from this post.

Rich said it took them 70 hours and 34 minutes to read the whole Bible.  They were able to share the Gospel with about a dozen passersby.  And reading the Bible in shifts was a devotional experience.  He said he himself realized how helpful it is to read the Bible in big chunks, so as to get the contexts and continuity, as opposed to the verse sampling that has become more common.  They went on to make a time-lapse video of the three-day event (see below).

So I salute those of you who participated in the “I ate them” project.  (Rich invites other churches to do the same and said that they could use their website.)

iatethem.com | Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart -Jer. 15:16.

I ATE THEM Promo Video from Kylene Arnold on Vimeo.

i ate them 2012 from Rich Shipe on Vimeo.

The Bible in 72 hours

A church in Superior, Wisconsin is sponsoring a Bible-reading marathon.

SUPERIOR, Wis. – Superior’s Central Assembly of God is ringing in the New Year with a marathon Bible-reading session. Over three days, members will read the entire Bible aloud from the pulpit into a live microphone.

“It’s an incredible thing to think you can read through the whole Bible in 72 hours,” said Rhonda Horyza, church secretary.

The “Take Up the Sword” event is more of a relay than a marathon. Reading is nonstop, 24 hours a day. Members, one at a time, read in one-hour shifts. Some couples split the time equally, sharing passages. The experience encompasses generations, from 20-year-old readers to those in their 80s.

So it only takes 72 hours to read the whole thing! The 17th century Anglican community of Little Gidding would sometimes do Psalms marathons and the like. This would be a good activity for youth groups (they could get people to contribute for each hour they read) and whole congregations (I’ve been in churches that have prayer vigils–why not Bible reading vigils?).


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