Project Ezra began a week before Easter, 2009. While reading his Bible, Tony read: “Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching” (1 Timothy 4:13). As he read that verse, he was reminded of the account found in Nehemiah 8:1-8, where Ezra gathers the nation Israel and, for hours, reads the Law of God to the people. And then the thought came to mind: “What if people around the world gathered on Good Friday to read the account of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ?”
So, with only a few days for people to prepare, Tony called on his friends on Facebook to join him on Good Friday to read Matthew 26-28 aloud, in the open-air. The response was amazing. More than 170 people from more than 30 states and several foreign countries participated in “Mission Good Friday.” Even more exciting were the testimonies that poured in after the event. Many of the people who participated had never open-air preached. Having stepped so far out of their comfort zones to stand on a box in public and read the Bible aloud, a number of people reported that Mission Good Friday” was the catalyst and encouragement they needed to try preaching the gospel in the open-air.
The next Project Ezra event was “Sermon on the Mount Saturday,” which was held on May 23, 2009. Once again, more than 170 people from around the world participated. More amazing testimonies came in, with many accounts of people breaking the evangelism sound barrier, as they read God’s Word in the open-air.
The most recent Project Ezra effort was “First John on July Fourth.” This time 150 people from around the world read all of First John, in the open-air.
Taking Project Ezra to the Next Level
After consulting with Project Ezra administrators, Daniel Beaudoin and Bart McCurdy, Tony decided it was time to take Project Ezra to the next level, which meant more organized public readings of the Word and getting more people involved. The decision was made to organize Project Ezra readings every weekend and during all of the major holidays.
The New Project Ezra Strategy
In order to fulfill the vision of organizing people around the world to read the Bible in the open-air every weekend, a new strategy was needed to make such an effort manageable, as well as appealing to participants without overwhelming them. Here’s the strategy.
The Bible will be broken down into ten lists. The lists will follow Dr. Grant Horner’s Bible Reading System:
List 1 -- Matthew, Mark, Luke, John
List 2 -- The Pentateuch
List 3 -- Romans, 1&2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Hebrews
List 4 -- 1&2 Thessalonians, 1&2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, James, 1&2 Peter, 1, 2&3 John, Jude, Revelation
List 5 -- Job, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon
List 6 -- Psalms
List 7 -- Proverbs
List 8 -- Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1&2 Samuel, 1&2 Kings, 1&2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther
List 9 -- The Prophets
List 10 -- Acts
Participants will commit to reading one chapter from one list, each week. Participants will choose any chapter they want from the list. Participants will read their chosen chapter sometime during Friday, Saturday, or Sunday each week. Participants will then choose one chapter from the next list, to read the next week. And so on. Of course, participants can choose to read more than one chapter each week, if they like.
Tony Miano and the Project Ezra administrators will post reminders, reading schedules, and suggested chapters to read from each list. From time-to-time, Tony and the Project Ezra administrators will also provide devotionals about the Bible chapters they’ve read in the open-air, on the Project Ezra Facebook page and official blog.
Project Ezra members will participate in mutual accountability by posting their Project Ezra testimonies on the project’s Facebook page and/or blog.
What If I Can’t Participate Every Week?
That’s okay. No worries. Participate as often as you can. If you have to miss a week (or more), simply go to the Facebook page to see from what list you should choose a chapter of the Bible to read, for the current week.
Again, this new strategy is designed to make it easier for people to participate more often.
Welcome to Project Ezra! Our hope is that you will be blessed through your participation and that you will grow in your love for and obedience to the Lord and His Word.
Schedule for the Remainder of 2009
All dates are Saturdays. Project Ezra participants can choose to do their open-air Bible reading on Friday through Sunday of each week. See “An Introduction to Project Ezra” information for books of the Bible in each “List.”
July 18 -- List 1
July 25 -- List 2
Aug 1 -- List 3
Aug 8 -- List 4
Aug 15 -- List 5
Aug 22 -- List 6
Aug 29 -- List 7
Sep 5 -- Special Labor Day Weekend Reading (Matthew 11 &12)
Sep 12 -- List 8
Sep 19 -- List 9
Sep 26 -- List 10
Oct 3 -- List 1
Oct 10 -- List 2
Oct 17 -- List 3
Oct 24 -- List 4
Oct 31 -- Special Halloween Weekend Reading (Revelation 20-22)
Nov 7 -- List 5
Nov 14 -- List 6
Nov 21 -- List 7
Nov 28 -- Special Thanksgiving and Black Friday Weekend Reading (Psalm 138 and James 4 & 5)
Dec 5 -- List 8
Dec 12 -- List 9
Dec 19 -- List 10
Dec 26 -- Special Christmas Weekend Reading (Luke 2 and John 1)
Click here to join the Project Ezra Facebook group.