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The Bible, an epic miniseries by Emmy-winning producer Mark Burnett and his wife, Touched by an Angel's Roma Downey, could be the biggest discipleship and outreach tool on the screen since The Passion of the Christ. The 10-hour miniseries, which retells Scripture from the story of Noah to the resurrection of Jesus, will air in five segments beginning March 3 through Easter Sunday on the History Channel. 

Here's a list of ideas to help you and your church leverage this unique outreach opportunity. 

Idea 1 – Home Viewing Parties

Encourage your adults and youth to host Bible Viewing Parties in their homes for the five Sunday evenings of the miniseries. A Bible Viewing Party Kit is available that includes a host guide, discussion questions and invitations for inviting friends, family and neighbors. Hosts can then invite attendees to your sermon series and/or Easter services. This is the outreach opportunity your church has been waiting for!

Idea 2 – Postcard Invitations to Go Deeper

Mail a postcard invitation to every home around your church to come to your Bible sermon series and Easter services. Print extra invitations for church members to hand out. Consider providing newcomers with a Bible 30-Day Experience Guidebook as a gift for visiting.

Idea 3 – Launch a Sermon Series and Small Groups that Parallel the Miniseries

Thousands of people in your community will be watching the miniseries, invite them to your church to go deeper and learn how the Bible can have a personal impact on their lives. The Bible Church Kit includes sermons, video clips, small group DVD and guidebook/small group.

Idea 4 – Daily Bible Guidebook for Adults and Youth

Make available the Bible 30-Day Experience Guidebook for all of the adults and youth in your church. The Guidebook provides daily readings and action steps that parallel the miniseries and will help your church members dive deeper into the Bible and develop a devotional life. The Guidebook also contains small group questions that can be used during the series. 

Idea 5 – Evangelistic Booklets Featuring Graphics from The Bible Miniseries

Empower members to give their friends this easy-to-read booklet that includes a gospel presentation and an invitation to church.

Idea 6 – Prayer Walk

Encourage members to walk the neighborhoods around your church praying that the miniseries and sermons will make a spiritual impact on your community. Use Bible door hangers for leaving an invitation on doors as people pray.

Idea 7 – Go Deeper with a Sunday Night or Mid-week Service

Use the Bible Church Kit and/or DVD Study Kit to do a Sunday night or midweek more in depth study of the Bible during the miniseries.

Idea 8 – Bible Book Clubs

Use the popularity of book clubs to introduce people to the stories of the Bible using an easy-to-read translation or the novel, A Story of God and All of Us.

Idea 9 – Involve the Youth in Your Church

The Bible miniseries, Church Kit, DVD Study and Guidebook are all designed to be used by the youth in your church (13 and up). After the miniseries is over, use the Bible site license to show the entire series and launch small groups this fall. 

Idea 10 – Show The Bible Miniseries at Your Church

Starting April 1st, The Bible miniseries will be available to license and show at your church. Use the miniseries to show on Sunday nights, at midweek services, at retreats or for youth groups. The 7.5 hours of content can be used in so many ways and in so many places to support the ministry of your church. 

Idea 11 – Q & A Session

After the series, host a special Q & A service where people can come to ask additional questions about the Bible.

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Talk about it...

Ralph Drees

commented on Jan 30, 2013

Uh... while everything should be a discipleship tool, do you really think that someone associated with something so extrabiblical as "Touched by an Angel" should be looked to as a good thing in Christian circles?

Zachary Bartels

commented on Jan 30, 2013

Ralph, realize that this miniseries is a "sponsor," and this article is undoubtedly part of a business transaction that took place b/w the producers and this website...

Ralph Drees

commented on Jan 30, 2013

Well, that would seriously lead me to ask some hard questions about the motivations and the final arbiter of truth, amongst those who stand to profit from this transaction.

Brian Stewart

commented on Jan 30, 2013

I'm strongly cautioning our congregation about this series. Roma has a Masters from U. of Santa Monica in "Spiritual Pshycology" which is textbook humanism. I don't want Hollywood teaching our people the Bible. She may have gotten saved along the way, but her and her husband Mark Burnett (producer) are way too vague and secretive about their beliefs. Too risky!

Bill Williams

commented on Jan 30, 2013

Certainly, discernment is important. Still, it never fails to surprise me how cynical Christians can be towards each other! Especially considering how many pastors here "profit" from the preaching of the word. Perhaps you should direct some of those "hard questions" at yourselves first. Let me be clear, I have no problem with pastors being paid for engaging full-time in their ministry. Just don't fool yourselves into thinking that YOUR business transaction between you and your church is somehow more SPIRITUAL than the business transaction between a website and its sponsors.

Ralph Drees

commented on Jan 30, 2013

Bill, my earthly possessions include the clothes I have, which can fit into 2 suitcases. I have a laptop computer and a cellular phone. No TV, no earthly possessions. I take no salary and I am in full time ministry. Absolutely, we should use discernment. And I would never want to engage in a genetic fallacy, such as attacking the messenger. But I also wouldn't EVER let something like this happen without warning my congregants to stay away from it, or at the very least, instructing them of the potential that comes with the people involved. If anything, we're responsible to instruct them of the danger. But beside the point, your comment was off base. I take ministry very seriously and live a very frugal life. But even if someone is well paid for their ministry, we can't commit the fallacy of saying they aren't able to speak out. If they aren't diluting the Gospel to make money, they aren't hypocrites. And that is the way that accusation came off to me. I make absolutely nothing for ministry.

Anonymous

commented on Jan 30, 2013

The Producers of The Bible Miniseries, Mark Burnett and Roma Downey did consult a team of advisers while writing and filming the miniseries. Check the website, http://thebibleminiseries.com/ for more information on the team of advisors.

Ralph Drees

commented on Jan 31, 2013

Is The Bible miniseries on the History Channel theologically accurate/correct/factual and based on biblical scripture? The Bible is a docu-drama based on the stories in The Bible. As with any dramatization, some stories and timelines were altered to create a moving story that fit the 10 hour time frame. Mark Burnett and Roma Downey did consult a team of advisers while writing and filming the miniseries. This team includes: Rick Warren - Pastor, Saddleback, Joel Osteen - Pastor, Lakewood Church, Erwin McManus - Pastor, Mosaic, Jim Daly - Focus on the Family, Sam Rodriguez - National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, Paul Eshleman - Campus Crusade for Christ, Bobby Gruenewald - YouVersion Bible, Brad Lomenick - Catalyst, Leith Anderson - National Association of Evangelicals, Frank Wright - National Religious Broadcasters, Tom Peterson - Catholics Come Home, Geoff Tunnicliffe - World Evangelical Alliance, Gabe Lyons - Q, Luis Palau, George Wood - Assemblies of God, Craig Groeschel - Life Church, Denny Rydberg - Young Life, Andrew Benton - Pepperdine University The Bible miniseries is based on the (NIV) New International Version and the (NRS) New Revised Standard Version of the Bible. As I thought... a bunch of heretics.

Bill Williams

commented on Jan 31, 2013

@Ralph, in response to comment #6. I appreciate you sharing some of your background with me. And your overall point is well taken. Like I said, discernment is important. You and I agree. Frankly, I have not been aware of this miniseries, nor have, I imagine, most of the people where I go to church. But I imagine it is just like any other Bible dramatization out there: there's going to be a good bit of "creative license" taken. I think most people probably understand that, but certainly it is good to point it out, as well. Like Paul writes, test everything, hold fast that which is good, leave out what is bad. As far as my own comments, forgive me for being blunt; and I'm sorry that you felt it was off-base, though one could argue that insinuating that this website was somehow "selling out" for profit was also off-base. I'm willing to give you the benefit of the doubt, and I hope you do likewise towards me. My intention was not to offend, and I stand by my overall points. We tend to be MUCH harder on others than on ourselves, as well as MUCH more suspicious of others' motives than of our own. I'm not saying this about you personally, it's just human nature, and I include myself in this. I simply happen to think that we should be harder on ourselves than on others. And, while I agree that just because a person gets paid for their ministry does not mean they can't speak out, they also shouldn't be too quick to accuse others of diluting the Gospel for money. I guess it comes down to the Golden Rule: Do to others as you would have them do to you! Thank you for your ministry, and may you enjoy God's richest blessings today!

Bill Williams

commented on Jan 31, 2013

@Ralph, in response to comment #8, when you wrote, "a bunch of heretics," are you referring to all advisors that you listed, or the translators of the NIV and the NRSV, or both? Either way, though, I think you have a much more broad definition of "heretic" than what would historically be considered!

Ralph Drees

commented on Jan 31, 2013

Joel Osteen and Rick Warren are sufficient to discredit the project, but then you have Roma and her husband operating it. The History Channel is anything but. You look at the page for this project and they admit taking license with the Bible narrative. No thanks.

Zachary Bartels

commented on Feb 1, 2013

Bill, one's definition of heretic need not be irregularly broad to include Joel Osteen.

Bill Williams

commented on Feb 1, 2013

@Ralph, fair enough, but again, any Biblical dramatization is going to take some amount of license. That does not necessarily make it right or wrong. That's just the nature of dramatization. It's good of you to point that out.

Bill Williams

commented on Feb 1, 2013

@Zachary, interestingly I ran into this quote from Mark Driscoll yesterday: "I am aware of the theological differences that exist between our tribe and Pastor Joel. I also know my Reformed brothers like to treat Pastor Joel like a pi?ata, but there are worse things than being happy and encouraging at a time when the most common prescription medications are antidepressants. A few guys in our tribe could learn to talk about something other than painful, arduous suffering once and a while?if nothing else than for the sake of variety." Obviously not a ringing endorsement of Joel Osteen's ministry, of course. Yet considering that Driscoll is not one to hold punches, it would appear that Driscoll's definition of "heretic" would NOT include Joel Osteen...Personally, I think the words "heresy" and "heretic" have been so overused that we have effectively stripped them of their power to communicate meaningfully in contemporary usage. Too often than not, these words mean nothing more than, "That person's interpretation of Christianity is different from mine!"

Kevin Billiot

commented on Feb 22, 2013

I purchased the guidebook to coincide with the miniseries. After a quick preview of the study material, I am perfectly comfortable encouraging my congregation to watch the series with the caveat that "The Bible" miniseries is not The Bible itself. It's a dramatization which admittedly takes some license with how the stories are portrayed. I would encourage Ralph Drees not to have a knee-jerk negative reaction without even reading the material. Realize that your congregation will be watching this series. More importantly, those outside the church will be watching it. Use it as a teaching opportunity and encourage your congregation to use it as an evangelism opportunity. The miniseries portrays several O.T. miracles which are typically not believed by doubters and unbelievers. This will create lots of opportunities to discuss the legitimacy of the Scriptures. The list of advisors doesn't impress me either. Those same advisors also endorse the Scriptures; but their endorsement doesn't negate the legitimacy of the Scriptures.

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