Thursday, January 7, 2010

CBF Launches Audio Bible Listening Campaign

/PRNewswire/ -- Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF), a fellowship of about 1,800 Baptist churches across the country, officially kicks off You've Got The Time this month.

You've Got The Time is a nationwide Bible listening initiative launched by Faith Comes By Hearing, the world's foremost Audio Bible ministry. Almost 14,000 churches have participated and more than four million Audio Bibles have been provided free to churchgoers.

Participating churches listen to the Audio New Testament 28 minutes a day for 40 days. Research shows nearly 70 percent of believers have not read the New Testament and many do not read their Bible regularly.

Daniel Vestal, CBF's executive coordinator, is encouraging all 1,800 churches in the fellowship to participate.

"We place high value on Scripture," said Vestal. "We believe the Bible is central to the life of the individual and the church. But if we're honest about it, all too often we spend little or no time with God's Word in our daily lives... that's why CBF is embarking on this new initiative unlike any we have ever attempted before."

Bo Prosser, CBF's coordinator of congregational formation writes, "The You've Got The Time Bible listening initiative is gaining momentum. We're feeling the excitement and affirmation."

More than 200 CBF churches signed up and half of these finished listening before the close of 2009.

For those listening to the Audio Bible, Prosser said he anticipates personal and congregational spiritual growth as people engage in serious conversations centered around Scripture. He also expects engaging in the Scriptures will encourage support of global missions.

CBF plans to sponsor Audio Bible recordings for people who, due to poverty and illiteracy, don't have access to God's Word. Offerings received are slated for recording the Bible in audio for the most neglected people groups where CBF personnel work.

Half of the world's population is functionally illiterate and lives on less than $2 a day. Faith Comes By Hearing has seen how God's Word in audio breaks through poverty and illiteracy barriers, giving everyone the opportunity to hear God's Word.

"We will be transformed by listening to God's Word, reflecting on it, discussing it, and sharing it with others," said Vestal. "It will create greater desire to study and share Scripture as we open ourselves to the Spirit by hearing the Word of God."

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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

FIREPROOF Pastor Reveals Church Secret

/PRNewswire/ -- How does a church in southern Georgia turn out box-office-hit movies? The secret isn't superior production or top actors but a top-down policy to make revival the first, second, third, and fourth priority.

Michael Catt, senior pastor of Sherwood Church in Albany, shows the roots of that policy as he opens The Power of Surrender: Breaking Through to Revival," number three in his trilogy on God-dependence, from B&H publishing: hitting stores on March 1. "I am a man who begins with the thought of 'What if?'" Catt writes. "What if we were willing to lay hold of the altar and not let go until the Lord blessed us and changed our lives? What if we stopped our conniving and started a concentrated emphasis on seeking Him?"

Sherwood Church senior pastor since 1989, Catt is executive producer of the surprise movie successes FIREPROOF (2008's top-grossing indie film), FACING THE GIANTS (the breakout Christian film of 2006), and FLYWHEEL (now in a re-mastered DVD). The Power of Surrender maintains that surrender is the key to revival and revival is the key to spreading the gospel--by any means.

"I had a roommate in college who didn't like the word surrender when associated with Christian life," Catt writes. "I find it refreshing. It's the awareness of my desperate need for something or someone to lift me out of the miry clay and set my feet on solid rock . . . It's not overstating to say revival is our key to survival."

Catt sees the disciplines of revival lived out in his congregation firsthand. "People are being saved. Members are inviting their lost friends and un-churched neighbors," he says. "Attendance shot up. Why? Revival produces evangelism."

As part of Sherwood Pictures, Catt has appeared in the New York Times, on the 700 Club, the Dr. Phil Show, Glenn Beck, Washington Post, Baptist Press, Leadership Journal, and FamilyLife Today among many other national media. But he's the first to say that filmmaking is not the hallmark of Sherwood's faith in God. Surrender is.

Michael Catt is the think-outside-the-sanctuary leader making good on his church's goal to "change the world from Albany, Georgia." He's also founder of Sherwood's annual ReFRESH revival conference. In 2008, he headed the Southern Baptist Convention Pastors' Conference, representing more than 42,000 churches. He is a prolific author, speaker, conference founder and leader, and pastor to pastors.

B&H Publishing Group is a division of LifeWay Christian Resources, the world's largest provider of Christian products and services, including Bibles, church literature, books, music, audio and video recordings, and church supplies. LifeWay serves 150,000 church customers, shipping more than 61 million units of product a year from a 350,000 square-foot distribution center. From its original core of Bibles, textbooks, and reference titles, B&H has developed into a major publisher of Christian living, fiction, youth, history, academic, reference, and electronic products. B&H is home to bestselling authors Beth Moore, Henry Blackaby, Gary Chapman, Oliver North, Chuck Norris, Vicki Courtney, Dan Miller, and Thom S. Rainer.

The Power of Surrender is appropriate for personal, small-group, or church-wide study.

Release Date: March 1, 2010
ISBN-13: 978-0-8054-4869-6
Retail Price: $14.99
Web Site:

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