‘Route 66’ – Not Your Ordinary Road Trip

Post a Comment » Written on February 20th, 2009     
Filed under: News
By Gustav Skogens

MERCER ISLAND, WA (February 20, 2009) – For the members of Mercer Island Covenant Church, traveling on Route 66 means more than a road trip from Chicago to Los Angeles.

It is a year-long spiritual journey starting in Genesis and ending in Revelation.

This year, Senior Pastor Greg Asimakoupoulos will together with his congregation read the Bible from cover to cover. A friend and fellow pastor made the journey with his congregation in Southern California last year and the successful outcome inspired Asimakoupoulus to try the project in Mercer Island. The friend described it as an “effective and unifying experience, and it’s the same goal for us, “ he says.

“It’s like climbing a mountain . . . it is easier if you do it together.”

The name of the project, Route 66, dawned on Asimakoupoulos as he drove through the mountains of Washington. “It’s more fun than the ‘Reading the Bible in Year’ project.”

The title also is a play on words, referring to the 66 books of the Bible, which also draws attention to thoughts of adventure, journey and progress. “It’s like climbing a mountain, “ Asimakoupoulos explains. “It is easier if you do it together.”

Asimakoupoulos surveyed his congregation of approximately 400 members and only one-third of them had ever read the entire Bible. He arranged a discount deal on the Daily Walk Bible and sold more than 200 copies.

The weekly reading consists of about 20 chapters and the daily devotional notes that are included in the Daily Walk Bible’s New Living Translation.

Asimakoupoulos focuses his Sunday sermons on the readings of the previous week. The entire church is on the same passage, he explains, and it works as an aid in focusing his own preaching. Guest speakers also address the recently read Bible passages.

Moreover, Route 66 includes special home small groups, or “GPS-locations,” in 10 church members’ homes, where people can meet to discuss and interpret the weekly readings. There also is a question-and-answer box located in the church for members to submit their questions regarding what they have read. Questions have ranged from “What is the difference between a Jew and a Hebrew?” to deeper theological struggles.

Asimakoupoulos says the congregation’s response has been overwhelmingly positive. He looks forward to future challenges – such as Christmas sermons based on the Book of Revelation.

(Editor’s note: Gustav Skogens is a North Park University student completing an internship with the Department of Communication.)

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