Globally distribute a free comprehensive curriculum for becoming molded by Christ through His Scriptures
|WHO||People who are hard to reach and underserved using conventional outreach methods|
|WHAT||Help grow Christian disciples through regular devotion to prayer and Scripture|
|WHERE||Global reach (see map below)|
|HOW||Publishing accessible educational and devotional content|
This ministry began in November 2016 when Common Devotional was initially published. Introduced during a Sunday School class on personal piety at Bellefield Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh, PA, its modest goal was to help those folks experience what days framed by morning and evening personal worship felt like.
Many of us in the contemporary church often feel insulated from Scripture and isolated from God in our daily lives. How can Old Testament laws about planting seeds relate to me today? Isn't the Bible outdated? Why does God sometimes seem so mean? What if I just don't get much out of regularly reading my Bible? Our ancestors in the faith understood that it is we believers, not Scripture or God, who need to grow and adapt to overcome that felt distance. Their prescription was to worship the Lord in the morning when you rise and in the evening, to worship before you sleep. How might such a worshipful approach to our relationship with Christ change us?
A modular and modernized update of the famous 1662 Book of Common Prayer, Common Devotional soon began to take on a life of its own. Word of mouth spread its use to people beyond that Sunday School class. Requests were made to expand it for use by couples sharing devotional time together and for families around the supper table. The 1647 Directory for Family Worship, an integral part of the original Westminster Standards, was the basis for these family worship guides. That the Holy Spirit was working through this historic means of grace in powerful ways soon became apparent. Over the ensuing years, The Holy Books has since become a ministry with a global reach supported by more than 150 volunteers, but it still retains that original emphasis on developing disciples in local churches through regular devotion to prayer and Scripture.
Everything we do is designed to reach people who are not well served conventionally. We reach the overlooked colloquial Welsh speaker whose language is too small to matter. We reach the disconnected urban professional whose Bible reading feels too controversial. We reach the frustrated believer with dyslexia whose Bible reading seems too slow. We reach the isolated house church in Oman where Christian materials in public are too dangerous. We reach the confused believer struggling to make sense of Numbers whose questions seem too dumb to ask.
How do we do this?
|About the ADHD Bible||ADHD-friendly Bible and Christian education content|
|About Bible Elements||Bible study guides to aid understanding|
|About the Bible Observer||Bible reading devotional with a focus on what you notice in each chapter|
|About the Bible Tools||Bible study tools like cross-references, maps, and a dictionary|
|About the Common Devotional||Worship-based devotions for individuals and families|
|About Devocast||Custom-made audio devotions|
|About the Dyslexia Bible||Dyslexia-friendly Bible and Christian education content|
|About the Jesse Tree Devotional||Advent devotions for families with young children|
|About the Scripture School||Accessible self-guided Bible study courses for ages 10+|
|About Teach the Bible||Guidance for Christian education teachers|
|About the Welsh Bible||Colloquial Welsh language Bible and Christian education content|
|About You Can Read the Bible||Audio and textual 15-month Bible reading plan|
During 2019 we served more than 5.7 million downloads from our library of more than 19,000 media resources to more than 168,000 unique visitors in 97 countries.
A more detailed view of the reach of any of our individual ministry projects can be seen on their respective ministry project overview pages.
The heatmap below, which is updated nightly, shows the geographic concentration of those people who've been served through our entire ministry effort during the past week.
Are actual people using The Holy Books materials and services this much? How do you know this isn't just bots or something like that?
We take this issue very seriously and have devoted considerable time and resources so that we can be confident in our descriptions of who and where we serve. This map only shows usage from real people. Everything else is filtered out.
Thankfully, we have the expertise and computational power available to use Botlab's Nameles system, the most advanced web traffic fraud detection software available. This is the same system that the World Federation of Advertisers recommends to its members to prevent ad fraud. Nothing is perfect this side of heaven, but that system is state of the art.
For more details, please see the overview page for each of our ministry projects.
Join us in advancing the kingdom of Christ! We really do need the help of people of all ages and abilities.
How can you help?
|501(c)(3) status achieved|
|Added an additional church partner|
|Created questions & answers for every Bible chapter|
|Created interactive maps for every Bible book|
|Created cross-references for every Bible verse|
|Added our Bible projects|
|Created management software for projects|
|Increased IT capacity a lot|
|Grow our contributor and volunteer bases|
|Find additional church partners|
|Publishing agreement with Crossway|
|Translate all existing materials into colloquial Welsh|
|Additional underserved language Bible translation started|
|Teach the Bible project operational|
|Bible Tools project operational|
|Bible Curriculum project operational|
|Dyslexia-friendly and ADHD-friendly versions of all content|
|App versions of all web services|
|Print versions of all existing content|
|$20,000/year in direct expenses|
|4,500 hours/year in volunteer labor|
|Donated data center space, servers, laptops, software, copyrights, recording equipment, food, & meeting space|
|$30,000 for capital expenses|
|$150,000/year for ongoing expenses|
|5,000 hours/year in volunteer labor|
|More church partners|
|More prayer partners|
|More financial contributors|
|Donated servers, laptops, software, copyrights, recording equipment, food, meeting space, ...|
|Bellefield Presbyterian Church||Pittsburgh, PA, USA|
|Bethania Calvinistic Methodist Chapel||Swansea, Wales, UK|