Bill Campbell has been a pastor for three decades. During each of his pastorates he’s been compiling material that can be used as ministerial resources for fellow pastors, congregations and small groups. Now that material – focused on getting back to the basics of reading and studying Scripture – is compiled and available for distribution.
Called Scripture Awakening, the ministry is some 20 years in the making by Campbell, who recently launched the longtime idea with a web presence. The goal is to strengthen church-based discipleship through a number of online, printed and broadcast resources, all geared toward a deeper use and understanding of God’s word.
Campbell, who has been the pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Hendersonville, N.C., since 2001, is the executive director of the ministry and president of its board of directors. He said the ministry is one that hones in on reading and studying the Bible, citing statistics that less than 10 percent of Christians have read God’s Word from cover to cover.
“It’s a ministry that can impact churches and individuals in a big way,” Campbell said. “People just aren’t in the Word the way they should be. We are becoming Biblically illiterate. Christians are not reading God’s Word.”
Reading the Bible
Scripture Awakening is a ministry geared toward helping Christians and non-Christians read the Bible, study it and apply its teachings in their own lives.
Campbell grew up engrossed in the Community Bible Study program founded by his parents. It was through that study that he experienced the life-changing power of Scripture. As he set out on his pastoral journey, he constantly had people asking to use materials he shared in sermons, speaking engagements and radio broadcasts. He kept putting together materials and stockpiling them, generating the resources that now are available through Scripture Awakening.
“I felt led of God to do something like this for churches,” he said. “My concern is that people are not drawing on the rich, golden ideas from Scripture. The promises of God set our feet firm in the path God has for us.”
Now with a staff of full- and part-time personnel along with a board of directors, Scripture Awakening is a full-fledged ministerial resource available to teach people how to ready, study and apply the Bible.
“God has put an open door in front of us,” Campbell said.
Makeup of the ministry
B90 is the reading component and incorporates the Bible in 90 Days, a group-oriented Bible reading plan that engages people in a 90-day cover to cover reading of the Bible. It uses a specially designed Bible, multimedia teaching videos and group accountability to help participants navigate all 66 books of God’s Word.
“It’s amazing to read the Bible in a three-month span; most people can’t do that,” Campbell said. “But if you had a good novel, you would read it all the way through. The Bible is the only book inspired by God. We claim to be followers of Christ and should read this book all the way through.
The specially designed version allows for the reading of 12 pages a day and also has DVD’s available to help navigate even the toughest parts of the Old Testament.
“You read this in a short span, get the plot lines and see how everything unfolds and works together,” Campbell said. “I’d like to see all people able to read the Bible in 90 days.”
BNEXT is the studying branch of the ministry and answers the question “What’s next?” once the B90 component has been completed. This portion of the ministry is geared toward moving participants from a general understanding to a deeper appreciation of God’s Word. Pastors can incorporate BNEXT studies into their weekly sermons, connecting them with small-group studies and personal devotions. It offers topical themes or whole books of the Bible as downloadable resources that provide commentary and questions to facilitate in-depth reflection of Scripture.
Campbell said this component ties the study of God’s Word to sermons and personal studies, allowing participants to go deeper and learn more as they begin “mining for gold.”
He added that a video called “The Amazing Journey” is available to help people go through the Bible, book by book, covering its entirety in a little more than a year.
BEYOND is the living branch of Spiritual Awakening, providing a web-based resource of Biblically-based books, small-group issues and leadership training guides to help Christians find wholeness in their lives. Its purpose is to allow congregations an opportunity to grow in their understanding of Scripture and its application in the life of the church. Additionally, this resource offers podcasts from the Vital Connection radio show that include interviews with national authors, speakers, leaders and thinkers to provide an array of practical insights on a variety of topics relevant to everyday life.
“People want to live the Word but come up against obstacles in their lives,” Campbell said. “This component allows them to get insight for life.”
Committing to the call
Compilation of the resources has been an ongoing part of Campbell’s pastoral career, all leading up to the launch of the ministry, one that he said FPC-Hendersonville has embraced as an opportunity to share God’s Word and reach others with Christ’s message in a different way.
“Having the church share the vision and want to touch the world is very exciting,” Campbell said, noting the assistance he receives from staff members and the ministry’s board of directors. “If this was me alone, this would be impossible. But the assistance I have allows me to continue to be focused on pastoring and watch the ministry grow.”
Campbell said the ministerial resources that have been compiled for Scripture Awakening are ever-evolving and being added to as he and staff members continue to write and produce materials. The key to using the ministry is merely a matter of committing to do so.
“The first step to making this fulfilling is to get with a group of friends or as a congregation and make the commitment to get together and read the Bible in three months,” Campbell said. “Nothing is more powerful than the Word of God, and we need to get back into it. We need to dig to get that gold found in the Bible. It’s a personal study.”
“This is a self-service model. The tools are there. It’s just a matter of taking advantage of them.”
For more information about the ministry or to take advantage of the resources it offers, visit http://scriptureawakening.com/