We’re partnering with the Scottish Bible Society to share God’s Word with people throughout Scotland, during the 2014 Commonwealth Games and beyond.
This summer, the world’s second biggest sporting event is coming to Scotland. And so are two new opportunities for sharing the gospel.
Like the Olympics, the Commonwealth Games are held every four years. This year’s event is set to open July 23 in Glasgow. About one million spectators and 4,500 athletes are expected, making this an unparalleled opportunity to share God’s love with people from more than 70 nationalities — all gathered in one place.
Mark Finnie, Biblica’s Director of Church Engagement for Europe, sat down with our friends at the Scottish Bible Society to explore how the two ministries can work together to spread the good news. One of the ideas: a commemorative New Testament that ties into the games.
“We’re calling it the NIV Commonwealth New Testament,” Mark said. “It will be given out to people who attend the games, the athletes, the hosts, the hospitality people, and it will be used in the summer to reach everyone who comes through.”
My prayer is that as you read this book you will find much that inspires me and the Christian church.
—Queen Elizabeth, writing in the foreword to the Commonwealth Games New Testament
Queen Elizabeth, who in addition to being the sovereign of the United Kingdom is head of state for 15 Commonwealth realms, has lent her support, writing the foreword to the NIV Commonwealth New Testament. “As the story of Jesus unfolds it shows us a way to live that brings peace, justice, love, and joy — all much needed in our world today,” she writes. “My prayer is that as you read this book you will find much that inspires me and the Christian church, in Scotland and throughout the world.”
“What can we do for Scotland itself?”
The NIV Commonwealth New Testament was only the beginning. “What about the Scottish people?” Mark wondered. “Is there anything we can do for Scotland itself?”
The answer was yes. Specifically, the Penny Gospel.
“Glasgow is well known for its Victorian Penny Bazaars,” Mark explained. “People would come along with their one penny to buy a bag of sweets or to buy a book. Despite inflation, these kept going for generations.”
What Detroit is to North America’s motor industry, Glasgow is to the UK shipping industry.
—Mark Finnie, Director of Church Engagement, Biblica Europe
The Penny Bazaars were a bright spot in a sometimes turbulent city. “What Detroit is to North America’s motor industry, Glasgow is to the UK shipping industry,” said Mark. “It’s a very deprived, urban city. Lots of slum housing, tenements [low-income multi-family dwellings], and poverty.
“We thought it would be brilliant if we could provide a gospel that was contemporary, that fit in with their culture. So the Scottish Bible Society suggested doing a gospel for this traditional community and calling it the Penny Gospel.”
The Penny Gospel is being distributed to churches in Scotland for (you guessed it) a penny per copy. The response so far has been overwhelming, with churches ordering 250,000 copies already — in a country of 5 million people. “This is going to be given out in the streets, in pubs, in sports clubs, and in schools,” said Mark.
But the opportunity for impact doesn’t stop there, because for Biblica, helping people access the Bible is only a first step. We also have a responsibility to help people read the Bible well, so their lives are transformed by God’s Word.
The goal is to see 80 churches across Scotland participate in Community Bible Experience over the next 6 months, reading the entire New Testament together.
That’s why Biblica and the Scottish Bible Society are partnering to promote Community Bible Experience, our 8-week New Testament reading campaign, throughout Scotland. The goal is to see 80 churches participate in Community Bible Experience over the next 6 months. Every copy of the Penny Gospel will direct readers to a website where they can find a Community Bible Experience group near them.
We need your help to reach even more people with the gospel. It takes more than a penny to cover the cost of each Penny Gospel New Testament. It takes ten. Every dime given can help us share one Penny Gospel with someone who needs the hope of God’s Word. We’ve already been able to share 250,000 copies with churches across Scotland, but there are more waiting to be part of this unique evangelism opportunity. They need your help. Just think of the impact!
God is up to something big in Scotland. Will you be part of it?
Help us share the good news of God’s Word with people in Scotland and around the world! Every 10 cents can provide a New Testament for someone who needs the gospel. A $100 gift is enough to provide 1,000 New Testaments! Donate
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