I’ve always admired people who have read the Bible cover to cover. It’s a grand accomplishment that requires disciplined dedication. I’ve started reading the Bible in this way many times, but midway through Exodus my daily discipline turns into an occasional practice that never survives through Leviticus.
A few months ago I heard someone reference the “snowball” model of debt reduction. Basically, the model is that when someone has a list of debts, this model suggests that it’s more effective to pay off the smallest debts (by amount) first. While mathematically a strategy of paying off debts with the largest interest rates first is a solid approach, a new study from researchers at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University found that the emotional motivation gained from paying off accounts through the “snowball” method led to better results long-term. (See http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/news_articles/2012/snowball-approach.aspx.)
This study got me thinking. What if I aimed to read the Bible as a snowball? I googled “Bible reading checklist” and printed off a checklist that has a check box for every single chapter in every book of the Bible. Then I started with the book that had the smallest number of chapters—Jude! In one sitting, I read a whole book of the Bible. Yay! And, instantly, I was hooked. The Bible Reading Snowball is working!
So here is a challenge to you. If you’ve been longing to be a regular scripture reader, consider joining me in the Bible Reading Snowball as we roll from Jude all the way through Psalms. No snow required.
It’s a joy sharing our experience with others. In recent weeks we’ve received several how-to questions about Potluck Church, and it got us wondering if those who read this blog might also have similar questions. So, here are three quick questions and answers:
How do you arrange the tables?
At present we place four 96” x 30”, plastic, heavy-duty folding tables together into a large rectangle and set up to 18 chairs around the large rectangle. Then we cover it with two barely overlapping king-sized white sheets to give us the look of a unified tablecloth. This allows us to all sit together and have one conversation around what feels like one table. In the center with the Christ candle we will have some sort of simple table decoration that will set our theme or enhance our worship time together in some way.
Do you have music in worship?
Other than times when we listen together to a piece of music that relates to our theme or scripture, or the annual Christmas caroling trip, we typically do not have music. The simple reason for this is that no one around the table currently has expressed an interest in sharing their gifts of music with us. Our worship is an authentic expression of the spiritual gifts present around the table when we gather. Music would be a wonderful way to worship in Potluck Church. This question reminds me that Matthew 26:30 tells us after Jesus and the disciples celebrated the Last Supper, they sang a hymn before they went out to the Mount of Olives. What a meaningful way to end such a meal!
How do we decide who prays?
We typically have an opening prayer and another dedicated time of prayer as we end our conversation and turn toward the bread and cup. Both of these are often spoken extemporaneously. Sometimes a topic or liturgical season will lead us toward a printed prayer that is recited. Whatever the style, type or method of prayer, we simply ask for volunteers in the moment. “Who would like to pray for our meal tonight?” Or, “Who would like to say a prayer for these prayers that we’ve shared?” Most nights someone will quickly speak up. If no one feels called to pray aloud, we will have a time of silence to say our own prayers from our hearts. By inviting everyone around the table into opportunities for leadership, we make the worship together.
What questions do you have about Potluck Church? Send me a message and we'll try to answer them as best we can.
written by Rachel
Set a table, invite Christ and others, leave an empty chair, serve up some powerful questions, and break bread.