Starting a B90 Group

Summary: Thousands of B90 groups have been gathered around the world … but, you’ve never started a group. No worries: begin right here to learn the basics of how to start a B90 group of your own.

Journeying through the Bible in 90 Days (B90) with a group together greatly increases the chance of success, and yields the highest finish rates. The premise is simple: all participants read 12 pages a day using the B90 Bible on their own. Then, once a week, they meet together in a group for discussion, viewing a teaching DVD, and fellowship. Meeting times usually last at least one hour. This gives every participant an accountability group, a chance to share insights, and to get an overview of the previous week’s reading (via the DVD).

Who can lead a group?

Almost anyone really. By using the recommended resources, even those with little knowledge of the Bible can lead a group through The Bible in 90 Days. This works because the B90 Leader’s Kit is designed to help you facilitate a group rather than teach. The main criteria for a leader is that he/she be committed to leading a group through the reading — and either (a) will be reading along with the group or (b) has previously read through the entire Bible.

Starting a group.

First, select the dates of your reading session and your meeting day. Think about the time of year and the availability of potential participants as you select your dates. For example, starting a B90 group near the Thanksgiving or Christmas holidays will be too challenging. It’s far better to lead a B90 session which ends before Thanksgiving — it will be more successful. Think of days and times that will be most convenient to you and your group.

Choose a video series.

A unique feature of B90 is that it offers two full series of DVD video lessons to choose from:

  • One series of lessons is led by Jack Modesett, a business man, former Chairman of the Board of Christianity Today, and gifted communicator. Jack presents his insights in effective and entertaining ways that keep participants engaged in their daily reading.
  • The other series is led by John Walton, PhD and Mark Strauss, PhD. John teaches Old Testament at Wheaton Graduate School and College and is the author of several books on the Old Testament. Mark is professor of New Testament at Bethel Seminary in San Diego and a member of the Committee on Bible Translation, and has written or contributed to numerous books and articles on the New Testament.

For each group participant, we recommend they purchase a B90 Bible and a B90 Participant’s Guide, or purchase both together.

Prepare for the first meeting.

Your initial gathering should be an information session. When possible, take advance registration and have the Bible in 90 Days materials on-hand for participants to purchase. Inform potential participants about B90 material costs before the first meeting so they can be ready to make purchases.

Publicize the first meeting in advance.

When offering a church-wide or public setting for B90, use emails, fliers, your church newsletter or bulletin, or social media to spread the word. Feel free to use any of our B90 logos in your materials. As participants register in advance, also encourage them to invite a friend to join the group.

Think outside the original target audience.

When the Denver Post visited a Bible in 90 Days host church, there were 600 participants! Of the 600, there 200 who weren’t even members of that church … they came from the surrounding community! You just never know whom you might reach with the Bible in 90 Days.

FAQs: know the answers.

Be prepared to answer most Frequently Asked Questions. Help your group members understand what materials they will need and why and what will be expected of them.

Plan for accountability.

The B90 Leader’s Guide details a simple and effective reader-accountability plan using two-colored name tags. At first, you might be uncomfortable using this group accountability method … roll with it. Alternatively, groups can use a roll call to announce if they are caught up or not. Other groups have used a check-in sheet to indicate their reading status. Know your group, then encourage everyone to acknowledge where they are each week so that no one gets too far behind.

Keep group sizes small.

If a group has more than 12 participants, then divide it into two smaller groups for accountability and discussion, but ALWAYS view the DVD together as the larger group. Appoint a discussion leader for each small group. In the B90 Participant’s Guide, you’ll find discussion “rules of engagement” that will help guide the discussion times. Remember: this is not a Bible study … it’s just reading through the entire Bible. As facilitator, you must ensure that all discussion takes that into account.

Set a finish date.

Clearly set a finish date so everyone is fixed on the same goal. People can join in later, but it will be a huge challenge for them to finish on time. Starting together, being on time, with consistency, sets up participants for success, and will minimize discouragement, dropouts, or failing to finish.

Celebrate completion!

Many groups celebrate the half-way mark (usually week 7) with refreshments. Even more groups plan a completion or graduation party for the last meeting. So take advantage of our B90 Completion Certificates for your completion party. Also ask your graduates to share their stories here on the B90 Testimonials page. Finally, encourage graduates to spread the word about Bible in 90 Days. Perhaps some of them will launch new B90 groups!

Facilitating a B90 Group

Summary: It’s been said that everything rises and falls upon leadership. Click here for our best tips to help you facilitate your B90 group from start to finish.

b90-facilitategroup

Once you’ve decided to facilitate a Bible in 90 Days group, and become familiar with these Steps for Starting a B90 Group, here are a few best practices for facilitating your B90 group:

Pray.

At beginning and end, and throughout the week, pray for yourself, and your group, that God will reveal Himself to each participant as they read through His Word.

Read it yourself.

Commit to the daily reading yourself, and complete the reading ahead of the group. Your own commitment is paramount to the group’s success. Participants need to know that you understand the commitment needed to achieve this goal.

Honor everyone’s time.

Everyone seems strapped for time. When you start and end each meeting on schedule, they’ll know you value their time. So, to ensure a meeting’s success, do the readings, be prepared by using the B90 Leader’s Guide, and stay focused on what needs to be discussed. If your meetings are online, refrain from banter so you can start and end at the times you’ve scheduled.

Foster accountability and fellowship.

Help group members get to know each other, to feel comfortable discussing the reading, as well as holding each other accountable. Encourage members to pray for each other. Accountability for online groups is an additional challenge because they may never be face to face. If hosting an online group, do weekly check-ins with each other. You can do this via a Facebook group, blog page, Twitter (with the #B90Days hashtag) or by email. One successful online B90 leader paired her group members so each had a direct accountability partner.

Use the B90 resources.

This website contains a complete line of B90 articles and free resources. You’re free to customize the resources to better fit your group. We have carefully designed, developed, and tested our materials to ensure success. Many thousands of participants have successfully completed reading the Bible in 90 days by following these procedures. If you want to succeed, then use the system that’s already proven itself to be valuable.

Facilitate — don’t teach.

Often your readers will have questions about the content of the reading. Your job is to help them read, not teach. Most often the two best answers to reader questions are “What do you think?” or “Keep reading and let me know what you think later.” Suggest that they write a list of questions to research and delve into after the reading is complete. One B90 leader invited the senior pastor to the group’s graduation celebration, where participants could then ask any questions they had collected during the course.

Ask the Holy Spirit for help.

Again, throughout your B90 experience, always acknowledge God’s presence (Jesus assured it) and ask for the Holy Spirit’s guidance as you facilitate. Lay your challenges at His feet. He will guide you and your group to the finish. Encourage group members to do the same.

B90 Core Materials

Summary: We have so many tools to help you make the most of your B90 experience. If you’re looking to learn more about our process by looking at our nuts and bolts, a quick read here will give you exactly that!

b90-materials

The Bible in 90 Days™ Bible  |  Purchase Here

Each participant in The Bible in 90 Days program, or anyone who wants to read the Bible from cover to cover. We selected this Bible for the curriculum and worked with Zondervan to modify it because it is a very good reading Bible. Its benefits include:

  • NIV translation (very readable; contemporary language, yet a rigorous translation)
  • Larger print
  • Minimal footnotes
  • Thin and portable
  • Start and end markers for each day’s reading
  • Read just 12 pages a day to finish entire Bible in 90 days

This Bible is strongly recommended for anyone who desires to successfully read the Bible from cover to cover in 90 days. Even if you already own a Bible, this Bible is the one you need for this reading and will greatly increase your chances for success.

B90 Participant’s Guide  |  Purchase Here

The Bible in 90 Days Participant’s Guide includes one chapter for each week of study. Features include book overviews, personal progress charts, room to journal, questions for reflection, and questions for small group discussion. One Participant’s Guide for each participant is recommended.

B90 Leader’s Guide & DVD Kit  |  Purchase Here

This includes the printed Leader’s Guide and 3 DVDs with 14 teaching sessions. The DVDs are comprised of two complete lesson tracks. The leader or group will select one track for the group to follow.

TRACK A
Lesson 1: Overview with Ted Cooper Jr., founder of the program.
Lessons 2-10: Presented by John Walton, professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College Graduate School.
Lessons 11-14: Presented by Mark Strauss, professor of New Testament at Bethel Seminary in San Diego.

TRACK B
Lesson 1: Overview with Ted Cooper Jr., founder of the program.
Lessons 2-14: Presented by Jack Modesett, Jr., Sunday school teacher, business man, and former Chairman of the Board of Christianity Today magazine.

B90 Freebies  |  Download Here

We have developed a number of free resources which will help you have a successful B90 experience. We’ve created bookmarks, church bulletins, promotional pieces, downloadable certificates, and more. You may not need all of these freebies, but we’ve done our best to assemble some useful tools that will help you succeed!

B90 Bible Reading Tips

Summary: Your life can change in 90 days — guaranteed! But for a life-change to happen, you need to complete the process. You’ll be surprised how easily you can do it if you’ll follow these simple instructions.

b90-readingtips

Reading the Bible in 90 days is an incredibly rewarding experience, and definitely a challenge. So here are a few tips to help you make it to the last page:

  • Make reading your daily priority.

  • Remove distractions: get in a quiet place; silence your phone, computer, and TV.

  • Pray before you read.

  • Don’t judge your response to what you are reading: just keep reading!

  • Write down questions as you read; investigate them later.

  • Take your Bible with you everywhere.

  • If you get behind, don’t give up and don’t quit! Use the weekend to catch up!

FAQs About B90

Summary: The only bad question is the one you don’t ask, right? Here are the most frequent questions about B90 with our straightforward answers.

b90-faqs

What is the process of reading the
Bible in 90 days in a nutshell?

Each participant reads on his or her own, then gathers once a week with other participants. The weekly meetings include small group discussion, activities, and a video lesson. Experience has taught us that for most people, the fellowship, accountability, and material shared during the weekly meetings are crucial to their successfully reading through the entire Bible.

Why 90 days?

The program is 90 days because most people can wrap their minds around doing something for 90 days. Imagine giving a person a choice to diet for three months … or twelve. Which is more likely to succeed? From day one, the end is in sight. This is important for each participant. Yes, the readings ARE a challenge. Yet most participants tell us it is a manageable challenge. And the payoff more than compensates.

Who can lead the B90 curriculum?

YOU can. All it takes is a desire to help people read the entire Bible. Some leaders start a group as a way to ensure that they themselves do the reading. That said, leaders should commit to read along with the group. Many leaders have gathered a B90 group, read the Bible for the first time, while facilitating the curriculum. In every case, the leader’s only job is to facilitate, not teach. The B90 Leader’s Guide makes it simple and straightforward.

Why does it work?

It works for many reasons. Here are a few:

  • Time frame: 90 days vs. a year (or longer) is very doable and easier to commit to finish.
  • Readability: The Bible in 90 Days Bible uses large print, minimal footnotes for distraction, and is an easy to read translation.
  • Community: Weekly meetings build support, fellowship, accountability, and knowledgeable insight.
  • Support materials: B90 provides just the right amount of support materials … so participants remain engaged and focused on one thing: reading the Bible!
  • A lowering of barriers: By emphasizing the practical aspects of Bible reading, we foster an environment where participants are more likely to recognize being led by the Holy Spirit while reading and thus be transformed by the Word.

How much reading is involved?
Do participants actually read the entire Bible?

Yes, participants read every word of the Bible. This is not an abridged program. Participants using the B90 Bible will read 12 pages a day, which usually takes about 45-60 minutes of reading time.

Do I have to use the official B90 Bible?

No, but we know with certainty that your chances of success increase dramatically if you do.

What materials are needed?

Can I listen instead of read?

To participate in the Bible in 90 Days program, you must read all the words of the Bible yourself. This is not a listening plan … its a reading plan. That said, some people while reading may choose to also listen to a recording of the Bible — which can help you remain focused while you are reading it. BibleGateway has an audio Bible you can use for that — just be sure you’re listening to the NIV version.

Can this really be done on a church-wide
or community-wide basis?

Yes, it can and is being done church-wide … and even in small communities. B90 was developed to scale up and down to virtually any size. But in all cases, the secret to success is doing B90 as a group!

What denominations have used B90?

B90 is a non-denominational curriculum which has been embraced in the following denominations:

  • Assembly of God  |  Baptist  |  Bible  |  Catholic  |  Church of Christ  |  Community
  • Episcopal  |  Evangelical Free  |  Lutheran  |  Methodist  |  Mennonite
  • Non-denominational  |  Pentecostal  |  Presbyterian  |  United Methodist  |  Vineyard

How do I get started?

These links: Starting a B90 Group or Starting an B90 Group Online detail the simple, easy to follow steps you can take to gather and begin a B90 group as soon as you like. YES YOU CAN read the Bible in 90 days — so let’s get started!

Starting an Online B90 Group

Summary: Online communities can be significant, personal, and truly vibrant. We’ve seen online B90 communities thrive, and we’ve assembled some effective guidelines for you here.

 

b90-online

Sometimes it’s not possible for a B90 group to meet in person. When that’s the case, often an online group can still afford the fellowship and accountability needed to read the Bible in 90 Days. Bloggers and church leaders have successfully launched and conducted online Bible in 90 Days groups. With a little internet know-how, you can, too.

If you would like to facilitate a B90 group online, then the best place to start is to reach out to Amy Gross of MomsToolbox.com. Amy has hosted thousands of Bible in 90 Days readers on her website using her blog platform, Facebook, Twitter, email mentor teams, and more. Drop her an email, let her know what type of group you have in mind, and she’ll be happy to help you out.

Day 9: True Repentance

Example in Church History 

Read

In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; make his paths straight.”  — Matthew 3:1-3 ESV

Optional fuller reading: Matthew 3-6

Reflect

John the Baptist prepared the way for the Lord by calling people to repentance. The same may be said about one of the greatest revivalists of the 18th century, Charles Grandison Finney.

On the eve of the Industrial Revolution, Finney’s preaching sparked the second great awakening, bringing a divided country together around Scripture and prayer. More than half a million people were converted through his influence. His approach to theology and his methods of ministry laid the groundwork for the holiness movement and for methods of revivalism that would be employed even to the present day.

Born in 1792, approximately a year after the death of John Wesley, Finney’s parents did not claim faith or religion, despite the abundance of Methodist circuit riders that passed through their town in western New York. Their part of the state was known as the “Burned-over District,” as so many Methodist preachers had passed through the area that people had become immune to their message. In this environment, Charles grew up with a distinct distaste for lukewarm religion and half-hearted Christianity. He began working as an apprentice to study and practice law when he was dramatically converted through a baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Charles gave up law and prepared for ministry in the Presbyterian Church. After being ordained in 1824, he began preaching in the frontier communities of upper New York where rigid Calvinism dominated the theological landscape. Finney spoke to people directly, arguing the case for their repentance with the practical logic and persuasive appeal of a lawyer on the bench.

Finney’s methods quickly became controversial. Unlike other preachers, he spoke extemporaneously and used common and informal language. Like John the Baptist who confronted the Pharisees and Sadducees, Finney was unafraid to call people out for their hypocrisy. He allowed women to pray out loud in meetings and he employed the “anxious seat,” or alter call method by which people would come forward to indicate their desire to be saved. He also developed the “protracted meeting,” moving the frequency of gatherings from weekly to nightly.

Finney’s innovations brought him much success and won him many enemies. When other pastors complained about his methods he infuriated them by asking who was bearing the most fruit. As Finney preached, people often fell under deep conviction for their sins and were soundly converted. Charles teamed up with Father Nash, who would go ahead of Finney and prepare the way in each city or town through travailing intercession. Charles preached with the expectation that he would see the Holy Spirit suddenly poured out. Until this outpouring would occur, he acknowledged, his preaching would have little effect. But once the Spirit came in power, Finney had little else to do than point people to the Savior.

In September of 1830, Finney brought revival into Rochester, New York, under great opposition. He persevered and God moved in power. Roughly one hundred thousand people, nearly the entire population of Rochester, was converted. God’s work in Rochester sparked a national revival that spread like wildfire across the country in 1831. Many of Finney’s antagonists became supporters. The membership rolls in churches everywhere began to swell, whether Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, Episcopalian, or Congregational.

Even today Finney’s methods are both debated and supported. Perhaps his strong emphasis on human means to bring about God’s divine work was necessary in his day to bring balance to a church that had so emphasized God’s work that they forgot how to repent. As with John the Baptist in the time of Christ, Finney called for a change of heart and life. His preaching laid the foundation for social reforms ranging from abolition to the temperance and civil rights movements.

Pray

Jesus, thank you for John the Baptist who prepared the way for your coming. And thank you for revival leaders like Charles Finney, a man who was willing to stand out from the crowd and call his contemporaries to repentance. Bring us more preachers like Finney who will preach your Word with deep conviction, calling the nation to repentance in the power of your Spirit. And send us more Father Nashes, intercessors whose prayers will rend the heavens and release your glory upon the earth.

Ponder

1. From what you know about Charles Finney, what do you think were his strengths and weaknesses? How do you think Finney would be received in our day? Why?

2. From Matthew 3:1-12, why do you think God used John the Baptist so powerfully? Do you know anyone like John in our day? Explain.

3. From Matthew 11:1-19, what significant truths about John did Jesus elucidate? (See also Malachi 4:5). Pray for the message of repentance to sweep our land, preparing the way for the Lord’s second coming.

 

The Need

Summary: Christians and churches find themselves powerless because they suffer from Biblical illiteracy. Congregations lose their moorings and believers struggle to know what they believe – because they are not people of the Word. This overview will help you understand the problem of Biblical illiteracy and introduce the need for BNEXT Studies.

bnext-asleep

Pastors and churches across the country face significant challenges in mission and ministry in this changing culture.

Biblical illiteracy has become commonplace in the Church today. A 2005 study by the Barna Group asked Christians to rate their spiritual maturity based on activities such as service, worship, and evangelism. Respondents were most harsh in their self-appraisal of their Bible knowledge, with only 25 percent considering themselves not too mature or not mature at all. A 2004 Gallup survey found that a mere 37 percent of teenagers could find the quotation from the Sermon on the Mount when given four choices. Time magazine observed in a 2007 cover story that only half of U.S. adults were able to name one of the four Gospels.

This lack of knowledge about Scripture and its relevance for our lives today is weakening the very foundation of the church. Pastors struggle to know how to motivate their people to learn, and to come to love the Bible. Bill Hybels, pastor of 20,000 member Willow Creek Community Church, expressed his alarm at the results of a 2007 ministry effectiveness survey taken of his congregation. The survey revealed a spiritual hunger among those coming into the faith, but even more alarming, a spiritual stagnation for believers desiring to grow in their faith.

These studies demonstrate the overwhelming need for ministries that develop disciples through teaching, personal and small group Bible study, prayer, and other spiritual disciplines for each willing member of a congregation. The need for resources and tools to meet this spiritual hunger, and for spiritual nourishment of the pastors who are challenged in providing for the needs of their congregation, is clearly evident.

Professor Andrew Purvis, author of The Crucifixion of Ministry, writes about pastors and others in Christian leadership, “Many of us are professionally, spiritually and financially depressed… Excessive demands on time, conflicts within congregations and between ministers and members, loss of personal spiritual life, and loneliness, account for a deep malaise within our professional and personal lives.”

BNEXT seeks to meet the need of over-burdened ministers by providing resources that enable them to preach well-planned sermon series from the Scriptures that are directly tied to congregation-wide small group Bible discussions.

Starting a BNEXT Study Group

Summary: Not every church has a small groups ministry, and not every church that has a small groups ministry has a healthy one. We have tools to help churches start from scratch or start anew to refresh their small group efforts.

bnext-start

These simple steps can help you as you begin using BNEXT in your church:

  1. Pastor explores the use of BNEXT with church leadership for the purpose of a mutual shared commitment.
  2. Inventory existing small groups and invite their participation in the BNEXT study series.
  3. Form a BNEXT small group leadership team to supervise recruiting and coordinating BNEXT small groups.
  4. Pastor/leadership sets a goal for total number of groups and begins recruiting small group leaders for new BNEXT groups.
  5. Train small group leaders using BNEXT Small Group Leaders’ Training material.
  6. Announce BNEXT to entire congregation using public announcements and bulletin inserts.
  7. Small group coordinating team begins recruiting for small groups and assigns them to BNEXT small groups.
  8. BNEXT study handed out as a bulletin insert* or made available as people exit the service the Sunday the related sermon is preached (alternately, some churches prefer to handout the BNEXT studies the week before the related sermon is preached).

(*Even those who aren’t in small groups can benefit from using BNEXT.)

BNEXT’s Simple Format

 Summary: So how are the BNEXT studies arranged? Take a peek here for a surprisingly simple overview.

bnext-format

Each BNEXT Lesson Series features this simple outline of the study material:

  1. Lesson teaching is the actual Bible study content.
  2. Devotion questions are written for your personal study.
  3. Discussion questions are especially for small groups; members who answer the questions ahead of time can bring more insight into their small group meeting.
  4. Digging Deeper questions are for those who desire additional personal or small group study.