January 02, 2014
With the start of a new year, many people are making resolutions that they hope will help them to change their lives for the better. This year, the Lamplighters, a group at Grace Community Church, hopes to encourage more people to become consistent Bible readers, and read the complete Bible before the end of the year.
The goal of Lamplighters this year is to have 1,000 people take up the challenge. The organization is seeking people who have thought about doing so but lacked the discipline to join them as they read the entire Bible from cover to cover in 2014.
The Lamplighters program is a read-through-the-Bible incentive program to help individuals who wish to read the entire Bible to do so in one calendar year. Participants follow a daily reading plan that requires no more than a seven- to 10-minute commitment each day to know all of what God has written in his book for you.
Anyone can join the free program that offers several alternatives to help participants track their daily readings. In fact, if you own a smartphone or have access to the Internet, there are numerous one-year Bible reading programs you can access for free, including audio Bibles if your preference is listening instead of reading.
According to program directors Giorgio and Lyric Knowles, there are four plans available from which persons wishing to take on the Lamplighter challenge may choose:
Plan 1: The Lamplighters Standard involves reading through the entire Bible - Old and New Testaments.
Plan 2: Lamplighter Lite participants may choose Lamplighter New Testament, designed to take them through the New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs. Or they may choose Lamplighters Old Testament that takes them through the Old Testament only.
Plan 3: Lamplighter Fast Track participants may choose to fast track their readings and finish in six months by doubling their daily readings.
Plan 4: Lamplighter Kids is a program specifically designed for young children to get them into the habit of Bible reading. In this program, children are provided with very short passages of scripture accompanied by a worksheet that has an activity associated with the passage. "The goal of Lamplighters is to encourage as many persons from our community to become consistent Bible readers," said Lyric Knowles, one of the program's directors.
Giorgio Knowles, another program director, said while Lamplighters is a program of Grace Community Church, participants need not be members or followers of the church to be registered as a Lamplighter and gain the benefits associated with it. He stressed the fact that there are no meetings to attend and no affiliation beyond the point of persons registering their interest to read the Bible in one of the organization's reading programs.
The directors said the benefits of registering mean that participants become part of a community that will encourage and support them to finish their readings.
The group's directors connect readers to the links to get them started, or set them up on their smartphones or with the appropriate software. Participants also receive a Lamplighter pin to celebrate their achievement and officially designate them as a Lamplighter.
The directors said topping all of the achievements will be the personal satisfaction they get from completely reading the word of God, and that they will find personal encouragement and insight from God's word.
The Lamplighter program was launched at Grace Community Church, located in Palmetto Village, in January 1995. The name was derived from Psalm 119:105, which states, "Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path". The Lamplighter program was inspired by Elder Emeritus Herbert Treco's and Marjorie Treco's accomplishment of reading the Bible in a year.
At the time of the program's launch, both were annual readers of the entire Bible and had each done so for 30-plus years. Leroy 'Tinkle' Hanna, associate pastor of outreach at Grace Community Church, decided that such an example should be duplicated and developed Lamplighters to encourage the church's members to make the annual reading of the Bible a personal goal. Approximately 50 people took on the challenge that year and many successfully completed. Since that time, hundreds have taken the challenge, and this year organizers have their sights set on 1,000 people making the commitment to the daily reading of God's word.
To sign up, go to www.gracechurchbahamas.com, download the PDF form and return it to Grace Community Church. Or call in your information at 394-7223, weekdays between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. to register you over the telephone. People can also register in family groups, as businesses or civic organizations.
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