“The whole deal is to get people reading the Bible,” said Barry Schoder, a longtime Detroit Lakes resident and former pastor.
He’s referring to the upcoming “Fire in February” Bible-reading challenge, a monthlong event to get people to read all 28 chapters of the Book of Acts — one chapter a day, Feb. 1-28.
This is Schoder’s second time organizing the event; the first “Fire in February” was launched in 2018. Schoder is also the man behind Detroit Lakes’ annual Bible Reading Marathon, a “James in January” challenge, and the hard-to-miss Lord’s Prayer yard signs that pop up along West Lake Drive in the summers.
“My whole thing is to see Detroit Lakes become a ‘Beacon of Righteousness,’ so everything I do is focused in that direction,” Schoder said. “I want to get people thinking about spiritual things.”
The idea for “Fire in February” came to him in 2018, he said, after “it occurred to me that there were 28 chapters in the Book of Acts, and normally there are 28 days in February. I wanted to motivate people to read a chapter a day.”
“Fire in February” is not the kind of event that has one big central location; rather, individuals in the community are encouraged to engage in the challenge on their own, wherever works for them. They can simply read a chapter a day to themselves, or can choose to go the extra mile and lead readings at home with their families or arrange small groups to meet and read at an office, coffee shop, church, etc.
“I’m encouraging people (to take part), whether they’re Christians or not, whether they believe in the Bible or not, because the Bible is ... recognized across the board as a valuable piece of literature,” Schoder said. “From my perspective, if I can get people to read it, God can change their perspective in the process.”
The Book of Acts is the fifth book of the New Testament. It tells of the founding of the Christian church and the subsequent spread of the church’s message.
Schoder said he’ll be giving a summary overview of each chapter over the local radio airwaves, one chapter per day starting Feb. 1 and ending Feb. 28, on 1340 KDLM Radio at 9 a.m., noon and 5 p.m.