I first heard about Bible in 90 Days on a Ring member's blog. Quotidian Grace spoke very highly of it without offering much in the way of details. So, when it came up in my Adult Ed Committee, I was already interested.
Basically, Bible in 90 Days is a curriculum published by Zondervan that uses a specially published NIV Thinline, a Participant's Guide and some seriously good videos to get groups of people to read the Bible, cover-to-cover, in 90 days -- well, 88 actually.
Sound nuts? It works.
My church offered it starting in January. We had almost our entire average worship attendance sign up. We estimate the completion rate at around 80%. I kid you not.
So, what happened here. First of all, the curriculum works. Ninety days is long enough to get it done (12 pages a day in the specially published Zondervan Thinline), but it is still short enough not to lose enthusiasm. Second, the group format provides just enough support. Third, the videos are seriously good. There are actually two sets of videos. We did not use the set done by Biblical scholars. We used the set that is less intellectual. I thought that was a huge mistake. Let me state it here publicly, I was wrong. I'm sorry, you couldn't hear me? I WAS WRONG. The videos were wonderful, and I believe were largely responsible for the success rate.
Other factors involved were that the sermons for the entire 13 weeks of readings came from the week's readings. Second, the brand new Senior Pastor was behind it. Third, we offered virtually nothing else in the way of Adult Ed on Wednesday nights. Fourth, we put some effort into getting groups set up at different times. We had groups meeting Sunday mornings, Sunday evening, Monday morning, Tuesday evening, Wednesday evening and Friday morning.
Is this a Bible study? No. It is just getting through it. So, what's the point? First of all, everyone winds up with at least a passing familiarity with all the major themes and players. Second, the Old Testament ceases to be impenetrably scary when you've actually read it. Finally, it has produced an excitement and a hunger that is really refreshing.
There are two web pages with more information -- www.Biblein90days.com and www.Biblein90days.org -- one is the official Zondervan site, and the other is a site run by the man who started this whole thing -- at a PCUSA church no less. The two sites work well together. They do have different things, and it is worth checking out both of them.
3 years ago