I don’t know about you, but the idea of a being a disciple and making disciples is very daunting to me. Jesus tells us in the Great Commission that discipleship includes observing and teaching others to observe all that he commanded (Matthew 28:20). That’s a tall order!
Over the years I have jumped around from one study to the next trying to answer the question, “How do we get around to all of it?” Often I’ve found some tools too basic and others overly advanced. When I use some tools, I feel like I am neglecting my own growth in the Lord as I come alongside others. Then there is the reality of training others to do the work of evangelism and discipleship. That seemed to require a whole other track of development. That’s why I was so helped by David Helm’s short book, One-to-One Bible Reading.
At the outset, Helm identifies the various people that we have in our lives—solid believers, new believers, maybe believers, and many forms of lost people. We know some of these people from church, our neighborhood, from work or our families. While we could take a different approach for each group, there is one way for all to be mighty affected: through the prayerful study of God’s Word. This can happen one-on-one or in a small group because it is God’s Word that changes lives.
Helm writes, “So why read the Bible one-to-one with another person? We do so because of our convictions about the power of God’s Word. When people are exposed to it, they find salvation in Christ, they are sanctified in faith, they are trained for effective ministry, and they find community in a web of relationships that are unlike any other the world has to offer” (p. 16)
Over the past four years I’ve sought to put into practice one-to-one Bible reading. It’s taken more of the form of a small group that meets weekly. Right now it looks like men gathering at 7am on Sunday mornings at the church. Discipleship happens. Training for discipleship happens. By God’s grace, I’ve seen God bring people to faith who meet like this. We will never exhaust what God has revealed for our good in Christ. So I commend to you Helm’s book and I commend to you the practice of reading God’s word with 1-2 other people. If you have someone in mind that you would like to do this with, shoot me an email and I’ll get you a copy of Helm’s book for free.