Last updated 30th March 2021
Bishop Julian introduces his 'Bible challenge'
At the heart of Vision 2026 lies the call for Christians to be first and foremost disciples of Jesus Christ.
That entails, in part, a deeper commitment than attendance at services of public worship, a more generous giving of time, talents and money in promoting the Gospel and growing God’s Kingdom, and a better knowledge of the Scriptures; God’s revelation of who He is, what He has done and what He requires.
In 2019, as part of our stated aim to have an ongoing 'focus on discipleship' ... seeking to create 'whole-life disciples', living out their faith every day, I introduced the 'Bishop's Bible Challenge', encouraging us to learn key verses of Scripture, to create a kind of 'internal treasure store' of the promises and command of God.
A 'focus on discipleship' should be a constant in our daily walk with Christ so, even as we find ourselves in the midst of the current pandemic, this challenge continues. It also continues to feature regularly as part of our 'Blackburn Prayers' (see below for more).
It is a key part of our current work as a Diocese to develop ‘whole-life disciples’ – which includes encouraging better knowledge of the Bible – an initiative supported by a YouTube video, featuring people of all ages and backgrounds from across Lancashire, and first shown at the Diocesan Conference in September 2018.
At the Primary Visitations of Churchwardens in 2019, the Bishop's Bible Challenge was launched with a new booklet, entitled 'Knowing The Scriptures Better'. The booklet is suitable for a wide age range and people at all stages of the discipleship journey.
'Knowing The Scriptures Better' is a focussed six week study booklet allowing you to consider the Bible more deeply, with memory verses to learn, and space for your notes as you pray and talk to God.
Some copies of the booklet may still be available from the Diocesan Offices - see the end of this article for order details.
There is also a Bishop's Bible Challenge 'memory verse' at the top of the 'Blackburn Prayers' prayer diary for each day.
You can also sign up for a Daily Prayer email. Also see below for how to engage with Blackburn Prayers and the Daily Prayer email.
Memory verses are chosen each year for each of three Vision 2026 themes of making disciples, being witnesses and growing leaders; 36 verses in all across the 12 months.
I commend the memory verses; the booklet and the prayer diary to the Diocese as a way of growing as disciples of Jesus Christ.
There are three ways to access Blackburn Prayers and the Bible verses:
Ronnie Semley; created in 2019 and updated further in April, August and October 2020