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80 Hour Relay - Issue #95

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The General Rules of The United Methodist Church call on all to attend to the ordinances of God including "the ministry of the Word, either read or expounded" (Book of Discipline ¶103).

The Bible consists of 66 books containing 1,189 chapters and 31,103 verses. By reading three to four chapters a day, it is possible to read the whole Bible in a year. Holliston United Methodist Church in Pasadena, California, recently read the entire Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, in a little over three days.

Holliston UMC describes itself as a "church being built with the Word and prayer." Believing that God speaks to us through the Bible and we receive the power of the Holy Spirit in prayer, Holliston asked its members to participate in an 80 hour relay of prayer and Bible reading. Over 200 members ranging in age from nine to eighty committed to reading the entire Bible aloud, in relay fashion, from the pulpit of the church sanctuary.

The small groups of Holliston UMC were vital in the success of this endeavor. Various small groups volunteered to take two to three hour shifts of Bible reading. While some members were reading the Bible, other members were praying in the church prayer center.

To enable all members to participate, even those who couldn’t physically come to the church, the Bible reading was broadcast online.

Some Questions for Discussion

  • What ministries does your congregation have that allow people of all ages, from children to older adults, to participate as partners in ministry rather than one age-group ministering to another?

  • What might you do to create excitement and renewed commitment to living the General Rules of doing good, doing no harm, and attending to the ordinances of God?

  • How are you helping people to be informed, formed, and transformed by Scripture and prayer?

David Kwangki Kim is Director of Korean, Asian American, and Pacific Islander Ministries at the Discipleship Ministries. He may be reached at [email protected]ip.org

In 2007 church leaders throughout The United Methodist Church in the U.S. were invited to identify churches that demonstrated the vision of discipleship described in the twelfth chapter of Romans. Over 200 churches were surveyed or visited. Issue #95. © 2011 Discipleship Ministries. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to copy this page for use in United Methodist congregations.