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Robert Lutjens
St. John’s Lutheran Church

Why did you do Immerse?

As a pastor, I wanted people to be involved in God’s Word, reading or listening to it for themselves.  While a number of my members use a daily devotional, I thought the format of a verse taken out of context and a couple paragraphs of explanation was insufficient.  The book-club format of Immerse was low-pressure enough that I thought I could get people involved.

What were some challenges? How did you handle them?

In spite of everything I did, I couldn’t get people to act as facilitators for the groups. I finally announced one group would meet Wednesday nights, and invited everybody to that one, and encouraged any other group to meet on their own.

The first night we had more than 20 people  show up. Then some older members approached me and asked if they could meet during the day. Their only condition was that they wanted me there in their group as well!

Of the 50 people that signed up for an Immerse Bible, I think we had 20 meet in groups that I was involved in, and a number of them simply did the readings on their own at home.

We all struggled with the amount of readings and time management involved in keeping up with the schedule. We also all agreed that it was a good thing to struggle with and all made adjustments in our lives to have daily Bible reading in our lives.

We are seriously looking at Immerse: Beginnings as our next experience, perhaps with a 16-week schedule instead of 8.

Was it worth it?

Absolutely. A number of our participants told me their felt they understood the New Testament better than they had before. We had some great discussions, and we all agreed this was worth it.