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Online Bible Groups Encouraged Amid Lockdown

As people around the world are now tied to their homes, a Bible publisher created an online program to encourage Christians to continue studying the Bible with others amid state-imposed lockdowns.

Tyndale House Publishers, together with the Institute for Bible Reading, launched “Immerse From Home,” a 10-day reading plan with full texts of the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles. This free digital resource allows Christians at home to study the Bible with other believers.

One of the things that we’ve seen recently in the midst of this is that reading the Bible by yourself can be lonely. You’re there alone to wrestle with your questions. And so…we want to bring people together. —Paul Caminiti, senior director of mobilization for Institute for Bible Reading

In an interview with Christian Post, Paul Caminiti, senior director of mobilization for IFBR, said, “We really made a hard pivot away from Bible studies to book clubs. So there’s no participant guides. There is no filling in the blanks.”

Immerse From Home requires participants to have a Bible study via video conferencing. The goal is for a Bible study group to read eight to nine pages of Scripture every day. Questions are available to facilitate discussion among group members and instructions on how to set up a Zoom account for teleconferencing are also provided.

Caminiti explained that, “One of the things that we’ve seen recently in the midst of this is that reading the Bible by yourself can be lonely. You’re there alone to wrestle with your questions. And so…we want to bring people together.”

While most Christians prefer to read the Bible privately, the Bible itself promotes engaging with fellow Christians.

On his website, Doug Britton, a Bible-based Marriage and Family Therapist in California, encourages having small Bible study groups. He wrote that in small groups, members are given more opportunity to discuss verses and be active participants. A study session becomes more personal and intimate, allowing members to minister one another. By joining a Bible study group, you are not only accountable to your plans in life, but also with the plans of fellow members.

Caminiti said the COVID-19 pandemic has a given people a great opportunity. “Shaken from our usual routines and frenetic pace, the coronavirus has given us an opportunity to refocus on our founding story told in the Scriptures.”

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