The Story Behind Immerse

Another Bible. Another curriculum. Another study guide. Another campaign. Pastors are constantly being bombarded with offers for the “next big thing.”

Immerse wasn’t dreamt up as a clever way to sell more Bibles. Rather, it’s the result of more than a decade of research into the biggest barriers to Bible reading. Out of that research and experimentation came a philosophy of what it means to read the Bible well, which has finally led to Immerse.

Learn more and get involved:

This Church Read the Entire Bible With Immerse

A year after its initial launch, one church has read through the entire Bible together using Immerse! Macedonia Temple of God started Messiah in 2017 and went straight into Beginnings once they’d finished. Once they finished that, they didn’t want to stop, so they continued into Kingdoms. And so on.

Sometimes pastors are hesitant to continue into the First Testament after their church finishes Messiah. It’s less familiar and more difficult to understand. But as Pastor Chris Morrison describes in the video below, diving in to the story of Israel with Immerse makes it come alive like never before.

P.S. Chris contacted us after his church finished Immerse with a message about their plans for the future:

“Hope you’re all doing well. We finished all volumes of Immerse last week. I’ve been concerned about what to do after such a great experience. I didn’t want to go back to ‘stale’ teaching after the excitement of Immerse.

“I kept thinking that I was looking for the right lesson or program, and I was getting nervous because I couldn’t find one like Immerse.

“But there is no ‘next’ Immerse-like study. Immerse has literally changed how I want us to learn and share as a church family. If I stay true to that, our Immerse experience will last forever.

“Thank you again for Immerse. It has altered me and my church family in a great way.”

Video: Pastor Jim Cymbala Reacts to Immerse

Located in the heart of Brookyn, NY, The Brooklyn Tabernacle is a vibrant church with around 10,000 congregants from diverse cultural and economic backgrounds. When they decided to do Immerse last spring, we were excited to see how it would be received in a church that large in such a bustling urban environment.

A few weeks after they began, we got word from one of their pastors that he was seeing copies of Immerse: Messiah all over Brooklyn – at the gym, in coffee shops, in taxi cabs, you name it. In total, around 5,000 people read the entire New Testament with Immerse.

Here’s Senior Pastor Jim Cymbala describing his experience of leading the church through the New Testament and their plans to continue into the Old Testament.

Video Story: Immerse at Calvin Christian High School

We created Immerse for churches, but it’s finding its way into other contexts as well. Students at Calvin Christian High School in Grand Rapids, MI used Immerse: Messiah for their New Testament Survey class and experienced the Bible in its fullness like never before.

Christian education is an emerging area of interest for us at the Institute for Bible Reading. How do we introduce kids and teens to the Bible in ways that stick with them, that form their faith, that show them the Bible’s story and help them find their place in it? The experience at Calvin Christian with Immerse shows that, given the opportunity and the right tools, teens are excited and eager to dive into the Bible.

Immerse is one great resource for this space and we think it’s just the beginning. We want to do the deeper work of understanding how we can start kids on the right path from elementary school through college, helping them grow into Christ followers who love the Bible and know how to read it well.


P.S. A few weeks after the students finished reading through Immerse: Messiah, their teacher called us to share what one of his students had told him that day. “I’m sad we’re finished,” she said, “The same way you’re sad after finishing a really good book. You miss it.”

When have you ever heard a teen talk that way about the Bible?

Free Webinar: Boost Discipleship Through Group Bible Reading

Sometimes the best solutions are the simplest.

Join us on May 24th for a free webinar with our friends from Discipleship·org. We’ll be discussing how shifting from the traditional Bible Study model into an unmediated “book club” group reading experience can kickstart discipleship as communities immerse themselves in the Bible together.

Click here to register

From the website:

“Today​,​ Bible reading has largely become a solo sport. When groups interact with the Bible, it’s usually mediated by a Bible study guide or commentary. Glenn Paauw and Paul Caminiti from the Institute for Bible Reading and creators of Immerse: The Bible Reading Experience join Discipleship·org’s Bobby Harrington to discuss the value of “reading big” in community. Pastors report this simplified approach as being one of the most transformational disciple-making tools their church has ever used.”