USA (MNN) — The New Testament is coming to Houston, Texas, through iPods and stereos as Faith Comes By Hearing brings a new campaign to the city.
You've Got the Time-Houston is a citywide challenge for churches to engage their members in listening to the entire New Testament in 40 days.
The program is simple: Faith Comes By Hearing
provides free Audio Bibles for every man, woman and child in the
participating church or parish. Church leaders then challenge their congregations to
listen through the entire New Testament – 28 minutes a day over a
period of 40 days.
The hope is to give believers a better overview of the Bible and motivate them to read more on their own.
Out of the 3,000 churches in the Houston area, hundreds have already committed to participate. Over 1,000 churches are expected to join the challenge altogether.
"65 percent of Bible-believing Christians have never read the entire New Testament," says FCBH National Director Troy Carl, explaining the urgency of this type of challenge. "So one of the things we're passionate about is getting the church in America to return to knowing the Scripture for themselves."
FCBH is perhaps most excited by the piqued interest in the campaign by the Catholic church. Over 50 parishes have already signed up to listen to the entire the New Testament during the Lenten season.
"The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, is challenging every parish in the Houston area to participate," says Carl. "And so we have over 150,000 people in the Catholic church listening to Scripture over the 40 days of Lent, and of course we anticipate more."
Similar campaigns have been successful in the past, according to Carl. "We've found that after doing the listening program, between 20 to 30 percent of the churches we surveyed saw an increase in multiple areas: in new converts, in new visitors, in new baptisms, and in spiritual questions. So we believe that's indicative of the change that is possible as people come to know the Word of God for themselves. They'll make different life choices."
That is certainly the hope for Houston. "Our plan is that we'll see close to 2.5 million people listening to Scripture throughout the Houston area over the next year," says Carl. If the body of Christ remains committed, this very well may be the case.
Faith Comes By Hearing plans to have more citywide You've Got the Time campaigns in other major metropolitan areas, including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. If you would like the campaign to come to your area, contact Faith Comes By Hearing by calling the number provided to the left of this article. For more information, you can also visit the ministry's Web site.