I cannot tell you how personally excited I am about the NT in 75 Days Challenge. No really, I can't. I'm not even going to try. But I will try to explain it in words here so that you can jump in with us.
It's not very hard to explain, actually. We as a church are challenging one another and you to read through the New Testament in a 75-day period this fall. We will begin September 13th, reading every Monday through Saturday and leaving Sunday for reflection and any catch-up that might need to happen.
Some other helpful information...
You'll be reading, on average, about 4 chapters per day.
For those with an iPhone or an iPod Touch, we have an app sent to Apple for approval that we should have available next week. I saw the beta version last night and it's cool. Props to Mike W.
We have cards available in the Welcome Center with the reading list on them. We'll also publish it on the front page of our website. You can also email me directly and I'll send you a PDF (my email is trent at heritage park dot org - I wrote that out so spammers don't scan blogger and send me more junk).
The adventure will end the week of Thanksgiving.
One of the things that is going to make this so profitable is having the opportunity to share with others what you're seeing. It will also help keep you accountable. To that end, we'll be discussing it for a few minutes in Sunday School classes and small groups.
Parents: have a discussion each night at the dinner table or on the drive home about what you personally have seen. For parents of teens and preteens, EXPECT them to participate and then discuss for 5 minutes what they see. For parents of smaller kids, pick a verse, story, paragraph, or some portion and tell your children what it means. You don't have to be a teacher and, honestly, your smaller kids aren't going to listen more than about 3 minutes.
Spouses: encourage one another in the readings and then drift off to sleep after a brief discussion of what you've read.
Men: you should lead your families in the above. Step up and man up.
If you need some help on thoughts, I'll be blogging each day about the text and just a thought from it. You can also check out my wife's awesome idea, Testament Tuesdays. You can even participate or encourage others in the blogosphere to do so.
But what if you miss? You probably will, honestly. But that doesn't mean you stop. Just pick up and keep reading. You can catch up on the Sunday following. Don't let the Enemy, who hates the Truth of God's Word, keep you from it with accusation, guilt and condemnation.
Some have wondered about this, so let me try to put a rationale out there.
First, no spiritual growth happens apart from God's Word. Period. End of Story. Every step and stride made in the spiritual life with Jesus draws its strength from the Scriptures.
Second, we anticipate that having a concentrated and corporate time to do this will yield a synergy that will be far beyond just the sum of the individual parts. I have no idea what that's going to look like in November. But I am believing it will happen.
Third, reading larger portions of the Scriptures help us with bigger picture issues. We often see how God repeats themes throughout chapters or how stories tie together. For instance, in last week's sermon text, Jesus sighed at the brokenness of the world. In this week's text, Jesus sighs at the hardness of the hearts of the Pharisees. You might miss that connection if you didn't read Mark 7 and 8 together.
Last, taking a challenge like this honors God and His Word. We're for both.
So jump in with us. We can't wait to see what all God does.