JEAN—Get the Bible into people’s hands, and lives are changed, Pastor Gary Riley believes. By that logic, his church recently helped alter the future of 120 people.
Jean Baptist Church recently has been following what Riley believes is a calling from God to distribute free Bibles. The church first gave away free hot dogs and Bibles in a park in Olney. About 45 people turned out from the community, and the church gave away 60 Bibles.
One of the people who attended the event in Olney encouraged the church to repeat the effort in Newcastle. Soon after, the congregation did that, finding little demand for the hot dogs, but giving away another 60 Bibles.
The church is considering giving away hot dogs and Bibles again in two other cities, Riley noted. The congregation simply is trying to be obedient to what it senses God asking members to do. After each distribution effort, church members feel more encouraged to repeat the ministry again.
“It’s just something I felt God wanted us to do,” Riley said.
The Baptist General Convention of Texas is in the early stages of Texas Hope 2010, an initiative to encourage Christians to share the gospel with every Texan by Easter 2010. Bible distribution will be one approach churches use to fulfill that challenge.
While Jean Baptist Church hasn’t seen instant results, Riley notes the Bible indicates wherever it is, lives will be changed. He prays people are coming to faith as a result of reading Scripture.
“The idea wasn’t to bring people into our church,” he said. “It was to get God’s word out and bring people into the kingdom.”