Mona Community Church in Sandane, Norway, has discovered a new evangelistic tool: The Guinness Book of World Records. Last Easter, the church held an 88-hour, 25-minute service mainly based on reading through the Bible in one sitting. The effort won recognition from media and the folks at Guinness, and (more important) it prompted many "to take the Bible down from the shelf again," reported the newspaper Aftenposten. Pastor Olav Sigurd Gundersen plans another congregational feat for this year: singing through every word of the hymnal. No word on whether Gundersen will take a shot at the longest sermon, preached last June by Chris Sterry of Whalley, England, for 28 hours and 45 minutes.
The Aftenposten article explains that during the 88-hour service, "a total of 150 parishioners took their place at the lectern to share the task of reading from the Bible and worshipers packed the church, many staying for several hours."
Articles on Chris Sterry's 28-hour sermon include:
Vicar breaks preaching record - BBC (June 30, 2001)
Vicar aims for preaching record - BBC (June 29, 2001)
Vicar plans record 36-hour sermon - The Guardian (June 27, 2001)1