Stories of Impact

The Bible That Worked

One Couple's Mission to Spread the Word

one-couples-mission-to-spread-the-wordIt took Brad Miller at least six months to get his wife to read the Daily Walk Bible. Finally she picked it up and started reading—and hasn't stopped since. That was 10 years ago, and Brad laughs now about the results. "I only got one more person to read the Bible. She got about a thousand more at our church to read it."

Brad and his wife, Sheri Carmon Miller, became vocal advocates of daily Bible reading because of how it changed their lives. "We feel very strongly about it because neither of us were Bible readers," says Sheri. "Believers, but not Bible readers. And that's difficult because you're not feeding yourself spiritually if you're not reading the Bible."

The format of the Daily Walk Bible clicked with both of them. "It moved the Bible from black and white to Technicolor for me," Sheri says. They appreciate the daily overviews that keep the reader oriented to what is going on, and they love how the notes tie the Old and New Testaments together and help the reader make connections between them.

So eventually the couple approached their pastor about reading through the Bible as a congregation. Sheri and her daughter gathered up all the Bibles in the house—various translations, red and black letters, children's Bibles, women's Bibles, devotional Bibles, and more—and counted more than 40. They took them to their Colorado church and put them on the pastor's desk. "This is how hard we've tried," Sheri told him. Then she pulled out a Daily Walk Bible. "And this is the format I've finally been able to read."

The church spent the next year reading through the Bible as a congregation. Members would see each other in town and ask, "Did you do your reading today?" They even turned it into a playful contest in which each participant had to take a picture with the Bible wherever they went. One member went mountain climbing and had someone snap a picture of him at the top holding the cover of the Bible—just to say he hadn't missed a day.

But the experience went deeper than simply having fun as a congregation. The Millers noticed a heightened enthusiasm for Scripture; an increased level of accountability, as members encouraged and spurred each other to keep going; and a rising level of commitment to evangelism and missions. Toward the end of the year of Bible-reading, the church was taking up a collection to fund the printing of a Bible for a tribe in Africa so the people could have a translation in their own language. Most people expected the donations to equal previous offerings for special projects, but people with a renewed passion for the Word dug deep into their pockets. The church exceeded their usual giving by thousands of dollars, enough not only to provide that tribe with Bibles but also to distribute Bibles in another nearby country.

As the challenge gathered momentum, so did the Millers. They decided that if this process had changed their lives and energized their congregation, they would spread the joy. "We took it upon ourselves with some friends to put together some materials and really try to encourage other congregations to read through the Bible," says Brad. They developed slide presentations and a package of materials with testimonials, posters, a Daily Walk Bible, and more, and began contacting churches in the area and making presentations.

When Sheri told their story to a friend with whom she had reconnected after 20 years, the friend's church took up the challenge and went through the Bible two years in a row. A church in Nebraska walked through the Bible together, and several more in neighboring towns then caught the vision too. Through a connection with friends, a church in eastern South Dakota invited the Millers to come and give a presentation, so the Millers drove all the way and found that the church had gone all out to prepare a busy weekend of events to celebrate and start things off.

God has continued to open doors, and the Millers take advantage of as many of them as they can. They compare daily Bible reading to the meals you eat ("one big meal on Sunday isn't enough for the entire week"), and to the breaths you take ("you can't choose not to breathe one day because you don't have time"). They invest their time and resources into helping individual Christians and congregations read through the Bible.

And their vision is big. "It has meant so much to me personally," says Sheri, "that my desire is that the whole world becomes Bible readers."

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