Hello, family! I wanted to take few moments and update you on the latest news regarding our new reading cycle and some other big changes that have taken place and will be taking place – all for the good! In case you missed or wasn’t able to tune into my Facebook Live last week, I announced that the new reading cycle will begin January 1 rather than October 2, as we have done for the past two years.
Why the change?
Firstly, I realize that the last quarter of the year is often very busy for families. With the heat of summer over, fall holidays taking place, and numerous opportunities for families to gather, I’ve noticed that this is the one time of year in which large numbers of people fall behind in the Bible study. While many struggle to get caught up, eventually most simply dive back in where we are when they find they have time to do so again. This is understandable and I actually encourage diving back in. However, these first few months of the Bible study are absolutely integral in building a foundational knowledge of Scripture in order to understand the rest of the Bible. They are often the most neglected in the whole of the Bible yet the ones in which our Father audibly speaks the most and lays out clear groundwork for the rest of the Word to build upon. We start building a house with the foundation, not the first floor, second floor, or even the attic, so these are the most crucial months of our study and I want to give us all the absolute best chances of tuning in and grabbing hold of that knowledge.
Secondly, I always open membership for a small window of time. When we finish a cycle one day and begin a new cycle the next day, it is a bit of a mad rush to admit folks into the group. We usually have thousands waiting to get in and each one must be reviewed and admitted by the membership admin of the group. This window is only open for a short period of time to combat the modern inclination to skip over the first part of the Bible and just tune into the last 1/4 (I’ve done this myself most of my life!). That is just not how this Bible study works. We respect, revere, and honor the whole word of YHWH. We start together and we end together. However, being that the fourth quarter is so busy for folks, come January 1 I always get a huge influx of membership requests from folks who are anxious to start a new Bible study. What a way to start the year! In the past I have not been able to allow them in at that time and they’ve had to wait until October but this year we will be able to admit new members for a period of three months. That will give us plenty of time to tell our friends, go through and approve all of the requests, and get to know and encourage our new members a bit before we start.
What will we do during the last three months of this year?
Here is what I will be doing (much of it involves you!):
- Redesigning and working on the website in order to make it more user friendly for those who want to take part in the study but do not want to be part of the Facebook discussion group, preferring to go it on their own without the community element.
- Researching and writing new Bible studies, articles, and posts. For those who have gone through our one year cycle at least once and want to go deeper still, look for a slower, deeper study in the Fall of 2021.
- Offering up regular Facebook Live chats in the group to help build community and encourage members in the Word.
- Digging deeper into my own personal Bible studies in order to facilitate other studies I’d like to write.
Thirdly, I have another reason why January 1 is a better start date. For those of you who met me through Southern Plate, you know that God answered a big prayer and I am now able to focus on Seeking Scripture full time. There are many improvements I want to make to the site, to the Bible study, and in my home. These three months are a bit of a transition period to allow me to get caught up with some things around here and with the Bible study that I’ve not had the dedicated time to do.
Please know that I have prayed diligently about this and I am confident that the Father will keep our flock active and flourishing during this brief sabbatical and when we begin again, we will be stronger than ever and ready to dive deep once more in the Word!
Frequently Asked Questions:
When can I invite my friends to join the Facebook Discussion Group? Now! This is a great time to invite them. We will begin admitting new members next week and will continue to do so until we start January 1, then the doors close for another year. Be sure to tell them to answer the membership questions, though, so that we can admit them. If you have a friend who is not very computer savvy or are having difficulty getting to the questions, let a group admin know and we will do what we need to do to get them in the group. The group link is here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/frontporchfellowship
It is best to contact your friends and let them know when you have invited them to the group so they can then go answer the membership questions and get approved.
If you have never taken part in our reading cycle before, please visit this post for full information.
Where do we join the group? This is the link. It is best if you share the full link with folks and let them click on it to request membership. However, if you are already a member, you have an option in the group to invite folks, just make sure you tell them.
Do I have to be on Facebook to take part in this Bible Study? Nope. You just need to do three things:
- Mark your calendar for January 1
- Visit SeekingScripture.com on January 1
- Read the Bible passages for the day and the notes. Repeat steps 2-3 daily.
Do I have to be in the Facebook group to take part in the daily discussion? The short answer is, “Yes.” The long answer is, “Yes, I’m afraid so.” That is simply the platform where the bulk of our group is and we can easily have these daily discussions as we have been doing for years now. However, the Bible study is accessible to anyone on Seeking Scripture. It is just the discussion that you miss by not being in the group. Having said that, I don’t want to appear in any way to diminish the tremendous positive impact which comes from being part of our wonderfully encouraging Facebook community so do join if you can – but make sure you do so before January 1.?
If I’m already in the group, do I need to do anything to take part in the new reading cycle? What a blessing to go through the Word with you again! Each time we go through it, we learn so much more so expect even more growth than the first time around! If you’re in the group now, you don’t need to do anything. Just hang out and begin with us when we dive in once more.
Do you have a group for going at a slower pace? The most important study is the one that reads through the entire Bible. We only have one group for that. However, you can print off the Bible Reading Plan checklists and go at your own pace on your own if you like. Still, I highly recommend taking part in our daily Bible reading plan along with the group on Facebook if at all possible. The discussions are invaluable and the community is one of the most encouraging ones you’ll find for helping you to become a daily Bible reader. The time needed to read the notes and the Bible readings can be done in about thirty minutes a day. Most folks spend more time than that scrolling through Facebook, watching Television, or surfing around on the internet. With determination, we can redeem some of that time and give it to the Father in study of His word. I promise that your entire life will change as a result.
How do I get on the email list? My hope is to design the site so that we don’t need an email list because email services are very cost prohibitive (you can’t send a large quantity of emails without a paid service) and my earnest goal is to keep the website and all of the Bible studies free and available to the public without any need for revenue. In order to do this, I must actively work to keep site costs to the absolute minimum. If you are on my email list, that will continue for the time being and I will save that list should we require one in the future. We will definitely be discussing this further as I begin to work on the site once this reading cycle is completed.
Get ready, family, our adventure is about to continue!