For Church LeadersPastor's Guide
Lead Your Congregation Through Scripture
Immerse provides a unique and powerful way for congregations to journey through the entire Bible together.
As the leader of your church, what could be more important than helping your congregation become fluent in the story of Scripture? The Pastor’s Guide will give you a better understanding of the materials included with Immerse and walk you through some of the best practices for how to implement the program in your church.
The Vision for Immerse
Immerse isn’t designed to be a one-off program. Instead, it’s meant to give your church a framework for regular community immersion in the Scriptures. By reading together twice a year, your church can read through all six volumes—the entire Bible—in three years…
…and then start again. Immerse provides a way for communities of believers to form a habit of regular, ongoing engagement with the Scriptures.
Support Tools To
Enhance Your Immerse Experience
The Immerse experience involves far more than just reading a series of books. Various support components have been developed to enhance your community reading experience. These resources are included at no additional chanrge. And as resources are updated or added, your church will be given immediate access to them, allowing you to provide the most up-to-date tools and information to your community.
Custom Audio Bible
Full audio recording that follows the natural literary breaks found in Immerse: The Reading Bible.
2-3 minute “trailers” highlighting what to expect and look for in the following week’s reading.
Guide to help pastors implement Immerse: The Bible Reading Experience in their church.
Abridged reading for kids with custom discussion questions so the whole family can participate in Immerse.
Quick Start Guide
Delivered as a bookmark within each book (also downloadable). One side gives the reading plan and discussion starters; the opposite side provides three tips for getting the most out of the reading experience.
Downloadable kit containing hi-res image files for use in church programs, PowerPoint slides, etc.
“Our congregation’s response to my appeal was, ‘You know what, he really believes in this. He can’t wait to get started.’”
—Jim Cymbala, Lead Pastor, The Brooklyn Tabernacle
- 8-12+ Weeks Out: Involve your entire church staff and key leaders in the initial planning for Immerse: The Bible Reading Experience.
- 8-10 Weeks Out: Designate a “point person,” whether yourself or another staff member, that will be the main communicator between your church and Tyndale. Whether for placing orders or sending us questions, it’s much simpler than having multiple points of contact within one church.
- 4-6 Weeks Out: Begin promoting Immerse to your congregation each Sunday. You can download promotional materials including a Graphics Kit at ImmerseBible.com.
- 4-6 Weeks Out: Lead a training session with all of your group hosts and explain the unmediated nature of Immerse. Reiterate that as group hosts their main role is to facilitate conversation. Be sure to have the Group Host’s Guide available (included with Immerse Resources).
- 4 Weeks Out: Order the appropriate number of copies of Immerse: The Reading Bible for your church.
- 3-5 Weeks Out: Create discussion groups that fit the context of your church. Try to have less than 12 people in each group. If existing small groups work, great! You will likely have to create new groups for anyone not involved in a group already.
- 1-2 Weeks Out: Distribute copies of Immerse: The Reading Bible to your congregation. Each copy will include an insert that contains a participant Quick Start Guide, reading plan, discussion questions, and URL for additional resources.
Check in with your group hosts occasionally to see if anyone has any new questions.
Take an active role in encouraging your congregation through their Bible experience. We recommend preparing your sermons based on each week’s reading, reinforcing that Immerse is central to your church’s spiritual journey for eight weeks.
Upon Completion: Celebrate! Finishing such a large portion of the Scriptures together is a milestone achievement. Make sure your congregation appreciates their accomplishment and begin encouraging a regular Bible reading rhythm.
Send feedback about your experience to firstname.lastname@example.org or call Sergey at (630)784-5147. We’d love to hear about anysuggestions, questions, or problems.
Encourage your congregation to keep immersing themselves in the Bible outside of whole-church campaigns. Keep reading whole books and talking about them together.
If you had a great experience, tell other pastors about it!
Begin planning your church’s next Immerse experience.
“Immerse isn’t just building up churches, it’s also building up families”
—Michelle Sanchez, Executive Minister of Make and Deepen Disciples, Evangelical Covenant Church
1. Take the lead.
Immerse offers the opportunity to focus your church’s attention on reading the Bible together during a specific period of time. As much as possible, make this the singular focus of your life together during these weeks. If you champion this experience, your church will follow.
2. Involve other staff and key leaders in the process.
This is a wonderful opportunity to break down the silos or barriers that can form between different areas of ministry in your church. Take advantage of this opportunity to come together as a team around a single purpose.
3. Include your entire congregation.
This isn’t just for adults. Encourage your youth and children’s ministries to participate in Immerse and ask parents to use the Family Guide to bring this experience into their homes. Invite families to read aloud together! Cross-generational involvement will strengthen the bonds within your church and ensure one “heartbeat” for eight weeks.
4. Make it work for your context.
The materials and outlinewe’ve provided reflect what we believe is the best way for your church to experience the Bible together. But if something doesn’t work for your church, we encourage you to adapt this program to fit your needs. Just make sure the core DNA of Immerse remains intact: reading at length and having honest, unmediated conversations around the text.
5. Keep it simple!
The evidence is overwhelming that simply reading the Bible as presented in Immerse: The Reading Bible and then discussing it in community has a powerful impact. The Holy Spirit works through the Word of God as people engage in reading the entire Bible. Even people who have read through the Bible multiple times are saying that reading Immerse is like reading it for the first time. So keep things simple and allow your church to enjoy the Bible as it was intended to be read—uncluttered and in community.