One-To-One Bible Reading
With all the programs, methods, philosophies, and books that are available on the subjects of evangelism and discipleship, who would have thought the answer was sitting here in front of us the whole time; the Bible.
That is essentially the contention of David Helm in his book One-to-One Bible Reading.
Read the Bible with non-Christians for evangelism, with new Christians for discipleship, and with established Christians for continued strength and training. Wherever a person may be in their journey with God, there is a place for spending time reading the Bible aloud with another Christian.
Read the Bible? Seriously? Yes!
Helm shares a statistic from Ed Stezter:
“We asked a total of 1,000 twenty-something unchurched people; 900 American, 100 Canadian. And we compared them to a sample of 500 older unchurched (30 or above)…
One of the questions that we asked them to agree or disagree with was: ‘I would be willing to study the Bible if a friend asked me to?’ Among twenty-somethings, 61-percent said, ‘Yes.’ Among their older counterparts of 30 and above, 42-percent said, ‘Yes.’ And that was a statistically significant difference, telling us there’s something going on, there’s an openness that’s there. So we’re seeing that as an opportunity–that in the midst of some negative views of the church, there is also some openness to the things of God.”
I’m encouraged to think there are people out there who’d be willing to spend time catching up to read and discuss the Bible. More often than not, the biggest obstacle in these matters is my fear and my lack of asking.
I’m further encouraged as I consider my fellow brothers and sisters in the Lord. How can they be discipled, and how can we mutually encourage each other in the faith? Helm has reminded me that such discipleship can be as simple and inexpensive as a cup of coffee and a BYO Bible.
Helm makes the case for One-to-One Bible Reading very convincingly. But more than that, he provides all the practical details you’ll need to begin with whomever it is you have in mind. He describes what a meeting might look like, and offers two different suggested ‘systems’ for how you might go about discussing the Bible text after you’ve read it aloud together; one basic (the Swedish method) and the other more advanced (the COMA method). Helm provides specific hints for reading different Bible genres and provides breakdowns of different books of the Bible that you could use depending on who it is you’re reading with.
I read this book in one sitting, and within a week I found myself in my lounge with a cup of coffee, my bible, and a brother in the Lord. We read Romans 5:1-11 and spent over an hour working through it, and then time praying together concerning what we had discussed. We both came away from our time wrecked by the grace of God, and then established in it once again. Thank You Lord for the justification that comes by faith in the finished work of Christ alone!
Now to invite a non-Christian to join me.
Puzzled, but thankful.
In all honesty, I’m not sure why David Helm had to write this book (come on, the answer is so obvious!) but I’m so glad he did. I’m also glad my Pastor bought me a copy. I needed to be reminded, and David Helm offers all the tools to make this simple, easy, and effective.
If you’d like to sample the book you can download the Table of Contents & Introduction [PDF]. If you’ve read the book you might find their printable One-to-One Bible Reading Sheets [PDF] useful.