One-To-One Bible Reading
This isn't another gimmick
DISCLAIMER: I received an Advance ReaderÃ¢ÂÂs Copy of the book One to One Bible Reading by David Helm from Matthias Media Publishers in exchange for a publicized review of the book.
I must admit that at first glance, I thought this was going to be another evangelistic gimmick with a new approach to pressuring people with the Gospel. Thankfully, I was wrong. This book is more than just an evangelistic tool Ã¢ÂÂ it is a relationship tool. Many of us in our world desire relationships with people but donÃ¢ÂÂt know where to begin. Here is a great place to start. I had never heard of the idea of reading the Bible one to one, but it sounds simply wonderful. Helm goes through and gives ideas about how to read different types of the Biblical literature, and even presents a possible plan for reading the Gospel of Mark to give you a place to start. But it is really up to the two individuals as to what and when to read. And that is the simplistic beauty of it. You just find someone to ask if they would like to read the Bible with you, decide on where you would like to begin reading, how often you would like to read together, how long you can or want to read together each time, where you would like to meet to read together, and thatÃ¢ÂÂs pretty much it. If you want to pray you can or not. If you want to discuss the reading you can or not. It is not about applying pressure as most evangelistic programs do, it is about just reading Scripture. Helm provides various tools such as suggested reading guides and questions to be asked of the text, but the decision to include those in your reading is strictly up to the two of you. And you can read with believers or non-believers. Reading the Bible together develops a relationship. And that is the intent of this book. There will be a little anxiety about asking your first person to read with you, but once you jump that hurdle, it is clear running from then on.
October 19, 2012
Fellowship around scripture...
A recently released resource is available that trains believers in having one-to-one bible reading times with their friends who are non-believers, young believers, and growing believers. One to One Bible Reading is a brief book by David Helm, who pastors Holy Trinity Church in Chicago. This resource is inspired by the people from down-under at Matthias Media and especially another book that I have already reviewed, The Trellis and the Vine by Colin Marshall and Tony Payne.
Part of HelmÃ¢ÂÂs premise is inspired by a paragraph from the Trellis and the Vine:
Imagine if all Christians, as a normal part of their discipleship, were caught up in a web of regular Bible readingÃ¢ÂÂnot only digging into the Word privately, but reading it with their children before bed, with their spouse over breakfast, with a non-Christian colleague at work once a week over lunch, with a new Christian for follow-up once a fortnight for mutual encouragement, and with a mature Christian friend once a month for mutual encouragement.
Prior to referring back to this quote from Marshall and Payne, Helm says in One-to-One, Ã¢ÂÂWhat is this way? What is this activity that is so simple and so universal that it meets the discipleship needs of these three very different people? We call it reading the Bible one-to-one.Ã¢ÂÂ
By design the one-to-one concept is meant to remove all the programmatic pressure that todayÃ¢ÂÂs American church-goer is inclined to burden himself or herself to in the discipleship process. Rather than approaching discipleship with the expectation of having a directed program, professional curriculum, and polished facilitation, Helm frees Christ-followers from feeling like they have to be a bible study specialist and gives us confidence that meeting to read scripture together and discuss will be a catalyst for gospel, spiritual, and community growth.
Any committed Christian is capable of initiating a good conversation on a biblical text. In reality, your fears in this area of personal work betray two Screwtape-like lies that every Christian must resist. First, that gospel growth depends on us and on our abilities. This is simply not the case. Our proficiency in the Bible is not the final arbiter in seeing spiritual growth occur. The Holy Spirit can and does use timid people just like us. The second lie we fight against is disbeliefÃ¢ÂÂdisbelief in the potency of GodÃ¢ÂÂs word. We need to be reminded that God does his work in his way, and it is his word that accomplishes whatever he desires in the world.
The concept of One-to-One centers Christian fellowship around scripture. By design this fellowship leans heavily on the Holy SpiritÃ¢ÂÂs work in the lives of two people developing a mutual friendship around the Word of God.
This concept is not novel. This concept is not trendy. This concept is not vintage. It is simply rooted in historic biblical Christianity. This resource comes highly recommended!
View more book reviews by Joey Cochran at jtcochran.com.
September 29, 2012