About Yvon Prehn, founder and content creator for the Bible805 Academy
I am a writer and teacher for Jesus and Bible805 is my latest adventure in expressing that identity. The Bible805 Academy is part of that overall ministry.
Through the many twists and turns my life has taken, from the time I started helping kindergartners in Sunday School class when I was in third grade, to working with youth groups, teaching adult Bible classes, and working as an associate professor of church history at a Jesuit University, being writer and teacher for Jesus has been part of my life.
Along the way I’ve read the Bible many times, studied it deeply, and as a layperson tried to share that the Bible is the source for truth, salvation, meaning and purpose in life now and forever.
The Bible805 Academy is a long way from the flannelgraphs I used when I was teaching children over 50 years ago. When I was in college, I felt the Lord gave me Acts 1:8 as a defining verse in my life, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” I’ve tried to be His witness in teaching and writing and with the internet it literally goes to the ends of the earth.
Bible805.com is currently the hub of my Bible teaching ministry. It started out as a podcast and an adult Sunday School class. In doing both I needed a blog to go with them and so I developed the website (www.Bible805.com) to share notes and additional Bible information.
I totally stopped doing anything on the podcast and website after teaching through the entire Bible for a year because of major surgery and some difficulties surrounding it. I felt like going through the Bible in chronological order was one of the best things any Christian could do—it had changed my life as a believer in Jesus. I had recommended it throughout the years of teaching that’s what I taught for the past year.
Though the podcasts and live classes seemed useful and the feedback was positive, I wanted to do more, to continue teaching this topic and this way. But I was exhausted, the surgery overwhelming, and I didn’t even look at the podcast or site for months.
When I did, I was astounded. My podcast audience had grown tremendously. So had hits on the website. A lady called and asked about a lesson I had made a mistake on and asked me to redo it. I did, sort of in a daze that someone was using the lessons to teach others. A few people were even donating to support the podcast. I had not done a thing for many months—nothing. Nada. But I was getting a greater response than when I had worked hard on sites and promotion on them.
I’d been praying about what to do about the Bible805 ministry before I even looked at the site and dense person that I can be, I felt the Lord was telling me to do what I’d always wanted to do—to take the massive amount of material I had on going through the Bible in chronological order and share it.
I also have a church communication ministry (www.effectivechurchcom.com) and one of the things I frequently tell church communicators is that to reach people today they must put their material in as many media formats as they can. If I was going to get serious about doing Bible805 I knew I needed to do that.
I then decided to redo the foundational lessons on why we can trust the Bible, why it’s important to go through the Bible in Chronological Order and then starting in 2021 to teach through the Bible in chronological order. I decided I needed to do the teaching in blog, podcast, video, and in a format where others could share it in Bible classes or small groups and the result is the Bible805 Academy.
I wanted to make the content downloadable and able to be viewed on computers, screens of all sizes, plus projected from a computer. I also wanted to create notes, journal pages, discussion questions, and various additional materials.
After lots of time spent in prayer, journaling and listening to the Lord, I knew that is what I had to do. What I didn’t know is how much work it was going to be.
It started with redoing the schedule
I have an online video that explains why I did all I did in this, but this was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I’m a big picture person and the details of the schedule and the spreadsheets where overwhelming—but they are done, and I think will be extremely useful to people.
I’d rather create ten websites than do one more spreadsheet ever—but I have three of them for you—one undated with numbered readings, one dated for any year, and one with Sundays marked for 2021.
The podcasts were the easy part, I started using the Anchor system last year and have been very happy with it and will continue to use it. You can listen to Bible805 on iTunes, Spotify and many other podcast channels.
Then I wanted to do videos, and this is in two parts. One is released through YouTube because I wanted something free for everyone. But of course, YouTube has ads and recently they decided there was no way to opt out of having ads.
I also wanted a training component and settled on doing it through Teachable. I spent over a year in massive frustration trying to get an online training program set up through Podia for my church communication ministry and after all that finally realized, no it wasn’t me (I am very tech savvy), it was them and turned to Teachable which I am delighted with and believe has helped me produce a very clear and organized way of presenting the materials. Teachable also totally redid their interface and some parts I didn’t like when I used them in the past were totally changed and I believe make lesson information much clear and accessible.
I’m calling the Teachable component the Bible805 Academy and to make it complete have lesson outlines, transcripts, videos, plus reading schedules and other related materials. I have question and answer pages for personal journaling, small group, and training interaction. There are both undated lessons and I will be going through the Bible again redoing the teaching on the entire Bible in Chronological Order. For a subscription in the Bible805 Academy, you have permission to download and use the materials for small groups and Bible classes.
The Bible805 website remains the hub for all materials and links to them. You can freely download schedules and Bible-reading journal pages, listen to podcasts, and link to courses and other resources from the site.
About my educational and theological background
I hesitate to put this in as there are few things I despise more than talking about myself, but I know I want to know this information from anyone I read or learn from who teaches the Bible. None of what follows is a matter of debate or discussion, but for informational purposes only.
My mother was Mennonite, my father Catholic. I attended both churches with extended family for many years and I cherish both traditions. When I was growing up we were a military family and moved constantly. I never started or finished a school year in the same school through all of grade school.
Though we always attended church, it was more a matter of what was convenient than what was theologically preferred in those years. When my father retired from the military we moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado where we attended the Presbyterian church.
I was heavily involved with the Navigator ministry in college as well as InterVarsity Christian Ministry and as I’ve mentioned in other places taught some sort of Bible class or group from 3rd grade on.
Educationally I have degrees in English, Education, plus an additional major in history. I have a master’s degree in History, focusing on church history. I’ve done additional graduate work in Communications and have attended seminary. I taught at a Catholic high school and Jesuit university.
My husband was a bi-vocational pastor for many years, and we ministered at Baptist, non-denominational, and Presbyterian Churches. A number of these were Purpose-Driven churches.
At the same time, I started my church communications ministry, Effective Church Communications and for over 20 years traveled all over North America (I do it all on-line now) teaching church communication seminars to every imaginable denomination. The seminars were sponsored by a secular company, but I had total control over the content of the seminars. They were advertised to the entire church audience wherever I taught, and a huge variety of churches showed up. In discussions, interactions, and looking at their materials, I got to know and love the broad variety of expressions in the Body of Christ. From this experience I sometimes have referred to myself as a walking ecumenical council.
I currently in Ventura, California and attend Orchard Community Church, part of the ECO Presbyterian Denomination, where I am a teacher in the church. I periodically (or I did prior to Covid challenges) attend Episcopal, Catholic, and Lutheran Churches to nourish my soul with their liturgies.