Cabinet Challenges Congregations to Read Through Bible in a Year
The IGRC Cabinet used its address to encourage United Methodists to continue to practice the spiritual disciplines of fasting and add an additional component: reading through the Bible within the next year.
“Teams that consistently win keep doing the basics well,” IGRC Co-Chair Randy Reese said. “The cabinet will lead you again this year in a call to First Thursdays … a call to prayer and fasting. It’s a spiritual discipline that is much more than a one-year fling.”
Co-Chair In-Sook Hwang noted that the role of leaders is to keep the vision before the people on a regular basis.
“In Kingdom matters, maintaining doesn’t really exist. We’re either moving forward or sliding backward. For us to celebrate that we have the same number attending worship this year as last year translates into God’s kingdom losing ground,” she said. “It’s bigger than bragging rights for attendance; it’s bigger than survival issues for my church; it’s greater than someone paying attention to me.”
Reese said the stories from around the conference from persons who are participating in First Thursdays are amazing.
“Young people leaving annual conference last year and getting commitments to fast and pray from someone in each church of the six-point parish they are a part of…stories of people praying together that don’t really like each other…stories of holy ground moments with others who have never prayed before,” Reese said. “The list goes on and on.” Reese noted that Tom Albin, dean of The Upper Room in Nashville, Tenn., who joined the Cabinet last fall for a retreat said that the initiative was creeping up in conversation in other annual conferences and in Nashville.
To complement the First Thursday initiative, the Cabinet is developing a “through the Bible in a year plan that will be available in the near future through the IGRC website and emails.
“I wonder if we could part some Red Seas together, see a bush burn and not be consumed, or through a mighty shout to the Lord, our God see walls like those of Jericho come tumbling down,” Reese said. “I wonder if we could change the heart of our souls, our churches, our general church, our nation or our world. I wonder if we could turn around years of not producing fruit to a place where our bins would not hold the harvest. …The passion of your Cabinet is to reap the harvest, sow new fields, water, nurture, prune…actually do whatever it takes for a revival to break out…people finding Christ…growing in Christ….and then planting their faith in someone else.”