As an encouragement to develop new good habits, and in the spirit of New Years resolutions, our church made a 50 Day Promise together. We promised to read our Bibles and pray for 50 days. Participation was voluntary. We started on the first Sunday of the year and ended on a Sunday six weeks later. Bookmarks were handed out with check boxes for the 50 dates. Two weeks in, we sent out this survey, which asks participants for their level of success for the first 14 days of the 50 Day Promise. The survey was meant to be a means of accountability, but it also served as an encouragement for others when the survey reported a high percentage of success overall.
It was emphasized that reading the Bible and praying in themselves is not a ritualistic act to win God’s favor, or a magic combination for good religious standing. Rather, we understand that anything we can do to increase our passion for God and His word will only bring us more joy and more satisfaction in our relationship with Him.
In our case, the 50 Day Promise was a very positive experience. In one case, a woman returned to reading her Bible after years of resisting. She shared her touching testimony following the 50 days, and she continues to inspire those around her.
In retrospect, the 50 Day Promise was so beneficial, we wish we would have promoted it more formally. As it was, we handed the checklist bookmarks quickly during announcements one day, and only mentioned it once or twice throughout the 50 day duration (though reminders were consistently present in the bulletin and on the website). The kick off date could have been more inspirational, and more testimonies could have been encouraged throughout the 50 Day Promise.