By Sam House, LifeWay Communications
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP) – Join God where He is working.
That simple premise hasn’t changed during the two-decade history of “Experiencing God,” an interactive Bible study first published in 1990 that taught a radically God-centered way of life.
Initially written by Henry Blackaby and Claude King, the material was revised and expanded in 2007 by Richard Blackaby, Henry Blackaby’s son.
Now, 20 years since its debut, the workbook is available in more than 45 languages and has sold 7 million copies. Internationally, reader testimonials describe deeper and more intimate understandings of God’s desire for relationships with them that will change their lives forever.
On a larger scale, Experiencing God has affected entire organizations, many of which credit the study with helping turn bad situations into good and bringing hope to tragic circumstances.
In 1995, Burl Cain became the new warden at Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, arguably the most violent and dangerous prison in America. Knowing how God had used Experiencing God in his own life and believing that real change takes place in the heart, Cain soon introduced the workbook to the 5,200 inmates at Angola prison.
A January 2007 news story led to the start of Christ’s Starfish Foundation, a program committed to helping non-cancer patients in pediatric hospitals and their families. Carldon Lahey traces the inspiration for the foundation to his Sunday School class’ study of Experiencing God.
JOIN GOD WHERE HE IS WORKING
Since its beginning in 1956, Emmanuel Baptist Church in Farmington, N.M., has been known as a church with a heart for missions. When Emmanuel studied Experiencing God as a congregation, one line in the material – “You cannot be in relationship with God and not be on mission” – convinced church members they should determine where God is working and join Him.
REVISED BUT UNCHANGED
Through the years, LifeWay Christian Resources has published an entire family of Experiencing God resources, including an Experiencing the Word New Testament and the Experiencing God musical.
The 2007 revision, adding Richard Blackaby as a co-author, offers DVD messages and new applications and stories.
The vehicles carrying the message have changed, but the message remains the same.
Experiencing God leads believers to know God intimately and encourages them to faithfully step out and join Him in His work – with miraculous results.