Genesis: In the Beginning


In the Beginning...

How Blitz Through the Bible Began

I was tired but wired. I did my nightly routine of reading a couple of pages from a novel on my nightstand and then passed out. 

What I didn’t realize is my mind was working overtime on a seemingly intractable problem. I was the chairman of the High Tech Prayer Breakfast, and the year was 2009. 

The Problem

We wanted our table hosts to invite a subset of their High Tech Prayer Breakfast guests to a follow-up Bible study. But the table hosts just wouldn’t do it. There was never an issue with the table hosts sending invites for the breakfast, but a follow-on event invite got little cooperation.

I was awakened at 3 am. It came to me while sleeping. We were trying to solve the wrong problem. We had it backwards. The problem definition should be: How do we get our Prayer Breakfast guests to invite their table host to the next event? We were trying to solve this too simply. 

Compelling Event

I jumped out of bed and went to my home office. What event could we possibly create which would get this level of interest in our prayer breakfast guests?

In 1995 I had my first exposure to the Bible. I found it fascinating. It spoke to me personally. It revealed who God is and who Jesus is. I saw my life unfold in the family histories shared for close to four millennia. I was learning who I was with each page I turned. I never encountered any book like this. I was hooked.

I was fortunate back then to have some really gifted Bible study facilitators and mentors. These business people patiently brought me along and helped me find the answers to all my questions. They put up with my direct confrontations with love and maturity. Eventually, I wanted to learn more, to go deeper. They recommended I lead a Bible study. Me? I thought.

They left, and I took over. That was January 1995. Being a newbie at this Bible leadership, I invited other newbies to come learn with me. We weren’t sure how to learn the story of the Bible, so we started at the beginning. This is how we approached all the other books we read, so maybe it would work here too.

It turned out we were all former church goers. In traditional church services, they usually read an Old Testament passage and a New Testament passage. Most of us didn’t even know what Old Testament and New Testament meant. From our backgrounds, we’d all heard some parts of the Bible. We knew a couple of stories and characters. But none of us had any context on how it all fit together.

So we started together. We looked at the table of contents, went to the first page, and started reading. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Let the discussion begin. We fought about everything. But we would always remind ourselves, we are here to learn what the Bible has to say, not just voice our opinions. 

That first time through the Bible took a year. We didn’t read every page but covered enough in sequence to get the whole story. We loved it and wanted more. We invited a few other friends who were where we were a year ago. They, too, wanted to learn about the message of the Bible. We showed up every week and so did the newbies. What was cool is they thought we were Bible scholars!

We continued leading studies like this for over ten years. The interest from new people never died out. 

The Answer: Blitz Through the Bible

So what event might our prayer breakfast guests find compelling? I slept on this one too. Once again, the idea hit me in the middle of the night. Take these prayer breakfast guests interested in the Bible through the book in two hours.

No way. I thought. How do I condense a one-year curriculum into two hours? I discussed this with Matt Stevens who was the president of the ministry, and he thought it was a good idea. He said, “But you have to allow time for discussion, too.” 

“You’ve got to be kidding?” We compromised and made it a two-and-a-half hour session. 

We decided to do it two weeks after the 2009 High Tech Prayer Breakfast. I dedicated a solid week to cramming the one-year curriculum into a couple of hours. It was an exciting event attended by close to two hundred people. We even had the guests do all the Bible readings. 

The Promise

We’ll be doing Blitz Through the Bible on October 20th from 7-9:30 am. It is an invitation-only event just like the High Tech Prayer Breakfast. If you’ve been invited to the breakfast and are interested in attending Blitz Through the Bible, be sure to ask your host to reserve a seat for you. 

In two and a half hours, you will learn:

  1. The Bible’s origin and authors
  2. How the Bible is organized
  3. Understand the story of the Bible
  4. Meet the God of the Bible and his plan for men and women
  5. Come to understand yourself in a new way

I look forward to seeing you at the High Tech Prayer Breakfast and Blitz Through the Bible. It's a lot of fun, fast-paced, and informative. In two and a half hours, we will review a book which covers four millennia. Imagine that! 

Charlie Paparelli is president of High Tech Ministries, angel investor and blogger. Twice each week email subscribers to his blog receive his thoughts on being a successful entrepreneur and Christian leader.