ONE CHURCH’S JOURNEY IN GROWING TOGETHER AROUND GOD’S WORD
“Over the last three years we’ve had our biggest growth; in unity, in people coming along, and in people growing in spiritual maturity.”
At the end of 2017 the leadership of the Hukanui Bible Church bought a bulk order of Bibles and set the challenge - let's read through the entire Bible together in one year as a church.
By the end of 2018, 60-70% of people from the church were reading through the Bible together. The youngest readers were 11-12 years old, and the oldest in their 70s. The Bible reading challenge became a way for families to connect over the Word and develop everyday habits.
Pastor Gary Gilpin says that while the growth the church has experienced over the past three years is due to a number of factors, reading the Bible together definitely led to development in other areas:
“In 2019 we decided to really focus the church on discipleship. This became really important among our young adults. We ran Discipleship Explored, an 8-week journey through the Apostle Paul’s letter to the church in Philippi and found this to be a really helpful foundation for building discipleship relationships.”
The church leadership encouraged mentoring and discipleship—people in twos, threes and small groups intentionally meeting together to share life around the Bible:
“For some older members this was a new idea, in comparison to younger people who were more culturally comfortable with the idea of being mentored.
We noticed real growth as people who were quieter became more open.”
2020 was meant to mark a focus on prayer:
“The lockdown and COVID-19 has changed our expectations and the shape of this! Instead, we’re hoping to make 2021 a year where we focus on prayer.”
One area of growth where Bible reading and discipleship has really flourished is getting younger people more involved with church life:
“It has been so encouraging to see the hunger young adults have for the Lord, a hunger for truth and a desire to grow. We’ve also got seven young guys now regularly speaking at Hukanui—Bible reading and discipleship played a huge role in preparing them as developing leaders.”