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One-to-One Bible Reading: A Simple Guide for Every Christian

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Imagine if there was a way that people could grow in their knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ—a way that returned gospel growth to the everyday fabric of personal relationship, rather than relying on church-run programs. That guided people in a deeper, more meaningful way than an event, program or class could possibly do—guided on an individual basis by someone who cared f Imagine if there was a way that people could grow in their knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ—a way that returned gospel growth to the everyday fabric of personal relationship, rather than relying on church-run programs. That guided people in a deeper, more meaningful way than an event, program or class could possibly do—guided on an individual basis by someone who cared for them personally. What is this way? What is this activity that is so simple and so universal that it meets the discipleship needs of very different people at very different stages of discipleship, even non-Christians? We call it reading the Bible one-to-one. But what exactly is reading the Bible one-to-one? Why should we do it? Who is it for? In One-to-One Bible Reading: a simple guide for every Christian, David Helm answers these important questions. About the Author David Helm is a pastor at Holy Trinity Church in Chicago, and Chairman of The Charles Simeon Trust, a ministry devoted to equipping expository preachers. He longs for all Christians to read God’s word for themselves and with others.


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Imagine if there was a way that people could grow in their knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ—a way that returned gospel growth to the everyday fabric of personal relationship, rather than relying on church-run programs. That guided people in a deeper, more meaningful way than an event, program or class could possibly do—guided on an individual basis by someone who cared f Imagine if there was a way that people could grow in their knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ—a way that returned gospel growth to the everyday fabric of personal relationship, rather than relying on church-run programs. That guided people in a deeper, more meaningful way than an event, program or class could possibly do—guided on an individual basis by someone who cared for them personally. What is this way? What is this activity that is so simple and so universal that it meets the discipleship needs of very different people at very different stages of discipleship, even non-Christians? We call it reading the Bible one-to-one. But what exactly is reading the Bible one-to-one? Why should we do it? Who is it for? In One-to-One Bible Reading: a simple guide for every Christian, David Helm answers these important questions. About the Author David Helm is a pastor at Holy Trinity Church in Chicago, and Chairman of The Charles Simeon Trust, a ministry devoted to equipping expository preachers. He longs for all Christians to read God’s word for themselves and with others.

30 review for One-to-One Bible Reading: A Simple Guide for Every Christian

  1. 4 out of 5

    Peter Krol

    When we talk about "Bible study," we usually refer to one of these two things: small group discussion or personal time with God. People study the Bible alone, or they study it in gaggles. But David Helm, in his short but wonderful book One-to-One Bible Reading, offers another option--that of studying the Bible with someone one-on-one. It only makes sense. One-on-one meetings are more common, more personal, more interactive, and more individually tailored than any other type of meeting. One-on-one When we talk about "Bible study," we usually refer to one of these two things: small group discussion or personal time with God. People study the Bible alone, or they study it in gaggles. But David Helm, in his short but wonderful book One-to-One Bible Reading, offers another option--that of studying the Bible with someone one-on-one. It only makes sense. One-on-one meetings are more common, more personal, more interactive, and more individually tailored than any other type of meeting. One-on-one meetings can produce intimate friendship and vigorous dialogue. Most people are used to them and take part in them regularly with friends, neighbors, and coworkers. But many people don't think of reading the Bible in such settings. As the book states, "The Bible really is a book you can read and understand--including in a one-to-one context. You don't need someone else to tell you what the Bible is saying. You can simply sit down with a friend and read it together, and hear God speak." In the US, we're used to saying "one-on-one" rather than "one-to-one," but don't let that difference turn you off to this book. I highly recommend it. Helm references a survey conducted by Ed Stetzer where people were asked whether they would be willing to study the Bible if a friend asked them to. For respondents age 30 and above, 42% said yes. Among 20-somethings, 61% said yes. Among younger generations, people show greater interest in reading and discussing the Scriptures with people they know. This fact provides a great opportunity. Is there someone you've been reaching, whom you'd love to introduce to Christ? Have you tried inviting them to church, but they haven't been interested? Perhaps you could ask this person to meet over coffee for a few weeks to read and discuss the book of Romans. Do you know a new believer in your congregation who hasn't made many friends yet? Would she benefit from a low-pressure situation where she can discuss the Bible and learn to understand it better? Maybe you serve in a particular role in your church. Can you think of someone you could train to help out or take over? If so, could you pass on the biblical principles that drive you in your decisions? Can you train the person not only to do the job but also to think biblically about it? Helm shows how one-on-one Bible study works with both Christians and non-Christians, of any maturity. And he goes on to explain how to do it. He walks through meeting dynamics and sample discussion questions. He does it all in 75 pages and a few appendices. It won't take long to read, but this book will increase your confidence that you can teach God's word to others. Check it out!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Hawkins

    The idea is excellent: get more people, especially Christians, to read the Bible. It isn’t mainly about church programs or events (though they may help), but instead about getting individual Christians to sit down with other individuals (Christians or not) to really read the Bible. And grounding this whole book is the belief that engaging God’s word truly is life-changing. (And this belief is founded both in God’s word itself and in statistics that show that by far the most important factor in s The idea is excellent: get more people, especially Christians, to read the Bible. It isn’t mainly about church programs or events (though they may help), but instead about getting individual Christians to sit down with other individuals (Christians or not) to really read the Bible. And grounding this whole book is the belief that engaging God’s word truly is life-changing. (And this belief is founded both in God’s word itself and in statistics that show that by far the most important factor in someone staying in the faith and in a Christian’s growth is if they read the word). That all was great. And if someone reads this book to have that idea introduced to them or refreshed to them, then great. The reason I give the book 4 stars and not 5 is *not* because I disagree with the premise. I do with all my heart. But instead because I think it was lacking in a little detail. I get that they didn’t want it to be a long book, and they did include some practical stuff, but they could’ve explained a bit more about what the time together would look like in terms of awkward silences, asking non-written-out questions, etc. For my fear would be that someone would read this book, pursue one-to-one Bible reading, and find it more awkward and hard than they expected. Perhaps not, but perhaps so. And that would hinder them from doing it again. But overall, I love the idea. And just like *The Trellis and the Vine*, I love Matthias Media’s approach to ministry and discipleship. It’s biblical, refreshing, and I think a needed correction to our event- and program-based evangelical church model we’ve had for some time.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Trzeciak

    Easy, simple way to engage others in discipleship. Uses the acronym COMA, context, observation, meaning, application, to help people read, understand, and apply the Bible. It also includes sample questions and examples of how to use this system.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jon

    Great simple approach to a simple framework for discipleship with another believer. Maybe too simple to warrant a book and not a blog post? Imagine if all Christians, as a normal part of their [walk with God], were caught up in a web of regular Bible reading—not only digging into the Word privately, but reading it with their siblings before bed, with their parents over breakfast, with a non-Christian at school once a week over lunch, with a new Christian for follow-up every couple of weeks for mut Great simple approach to a simple framework for discipleship with another believer. Maybe too simple to warrant a book and not a blog post? Imagine if all Christians, as a normal part of their [walk with God], were caught up in a web of regular Bible reading—not only digging into the Word privately, but reading it with their siblings before bed, with their parents over breakfast, with a non-Christian at school once a week over lunch, with a new Christian for follow-up every couple of weeks for mutual encouragement, and with a mature Christian friend once a month for mutual encouragement. It would be a chaotic web of personal relationships, prayer and Bible reading—more of a movement than a program—but at another level it would be profoundly simple and within reach of all. It’s an exciting thought! Tony Payne and Collin Marshall, The Trellis and the Vine

  5. 4 out of 5

    Christina C

    This is a great book for using the Bible to disciple someone regardless of where they are and regardless of where you are in your journey with Christ. It is short and easy to read which makes it a great resource. It provides encouragement (the why) and practical tips on the how. There are different methods provided that can be used to guide study/reading and questions that can prompt thought and discussion. While it isn't an indepth guide on "how to study the Bible" (nor was it written to be one This is a great book for using the Bible to disciple someone regardless of where they are and regardless of where you are in your journey with Christ. It is short and easy to read which makes it a great resource. It provides encouragement (the why) and practical tips on the how. There are different methods provided that can be used to guide study/reading and questions that can prompt thought and discussion. While it isn't an indepth guide on "how to study the Bible" (nor was it written to be one) it is a great guide to help equip believers to share the the joy of the Word of God with unbelievers and believers alike

  6. 5 out of 5

    Hannah McCarthy

    This good is helpful for what it is—a brief explanation of one to one Bible reading, a couple frameworks, and a plethora of reading suggestions. The most helpful parts of this book for me were, 1) the outlined schedules for various books of the Bible and 2) how to apply the COMA framework to the various genres of the Bible. Overall, this book is more of a resource to reference than a book to be read straight through for knowledge.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Tom Wilding

    A really quick and easy introduction to one-to-one Bible reading in two parts. Part one explains why it is such a good thing to and how to go about it generally. Part two offers more practical tips and techniques for reading with different groups: non-Christian, new Christian and established Christian. I found it encouraging and hope to put some of it into practice..

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jesvin Jose

    Short and simple book explaining how to be engaged in one-to-one Bible reading with unbelievers, new Christians, or older Christians. Nothing new here, but the consistent practice of it will help the church grow together during the week. I enjoyed the practical insights and especially the encouragement for lay leaders.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ernest

    A short yet concise read, this handy little books give a good framework for not just one-to-one bible reading but can also be applied to personal devotions and to smaller groups too. Clear to follow without claiming to be the sole or definitive method, the process to follow is simple and can lead to reading the Bible more effectively for better results.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rob

    I appreciate the practicality of this book - specifically the plans/approaches for working through Scripture 1-1. While intended/focused on adults, I found the "Sweedish method" particularly interesting when contemplating a Bible study approach with our two middle-school-age children.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Steve Cox

    An excellent tool to just getting together and reading God’s Word with someone else! This is not rocket science or re-inventing the wheel but if you’re looking for something to get you started on the road to basic discipleship, this is a great introduction to the topic! Well done!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Peter Yock

    Excellent and super quick read. About half of it is more a resource to refer to as needed. Designed to help equip ordinary and non-confident people to sit down and read the Bible one to one with someone. And it does a great job.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Katy Sammons

    I love this simple approach to Bible study. We will be implementing it in the ministry I direct.

  14. 4 out of 5

    David Schultz

    A simple primer on small Bible studies. If you’ve read other books/articles regarding bible study this may be too basic.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Gavin Breeden

    Short and extremely helpful guide on sitting down with someone and reading the Bible together. Highly recommended for any Christian to read. Essential for those serving in any sort of ministry role.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Deb

    Very helpful little book

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lily Haug

    This book gives a simple, easy to follow outline for how to read the Bible with one (or more) people. It goes through how to analyze the text, how to approach Bible study, and what should be chosen as the focus for study depending on where the readers are in their walk. It is short and helpful.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Shelby Semjenow

    Great resource for some fresh questions and simple methods when reading scripture with friends or for yourself. Encouraging and practical. “Any Christian is capable of initiating good conversation on biblical text.”

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ben

    Is it fair to even call this a book? It's hardly fifty pages. Anyway... This was fantastic. I think so much of its power lies in its simplicity. We overthink things so much, but in reality making disciples and reading the Bible can be so much simpler. Make the Bible accessible to people. Quit telling people to read the Bible, and get them actually reading it. Quit telling them what the Bible means, and enable them to find out for themselves. Remove the professionalism of Bible scholars and pastor Is it fair to even call this a book? It's hardly fifty pages. Anyway... This was fantastic. I think so much of its power lies in its simplicity. We overthink things so much, but in reality making disciples and reading the Bible can be so much simpler. Make the Bible accessible to people. Quit telling people to read the Bible, and get them actually reading it. Quit telling them what the Bible means, and enable them to find out for themselves. Remove the professionalism of Bible scholars and pastors, and allow 2nd graders to learn interpret Scripture by practicing it. Act upon your belief in the perspicuity of the Scriptures, Sola Scriptura, the power of the Holy Spirit, the context of relationships, and the power of the Word of God to transform people. Let your beliefs as a Protestant be consistent with your practices. Let my people read! I am beyond excited to begin using this method in the context of my youth ministry's program, as well as personally as I meet with others I know. Helm makes a wonderful case and lays it out very clearly. The only reason I cannot give it five stars is because I would have liked to see these subjects expanded upon much further. What is the theology behind this? What does anthropology & psychology tell us about this approach? What are some further advantages or weaknesses of this approach? For some of those ideas check out this link: http://matthiasmedia.com/briefing/200...

  20. 5 out of 5

    John

    Helm subtitles his little book "a simple guide for every Christian" -- and does he ever deliver on that promise. This helpful guide can be picked up and understood by someone new to the faith and would also prove helpful to seasoned Christians. Helm has two sections in this brief book, the first is an exhortation to study the scriptures together with someone. Helm believes that people are changed when they read the Bible together -- this practice be transformative to unbelievers and Christian le Helm subtitles his little book "a simple guide for every Christian" -- and does he ever deliver on that promise. This helpful guide can be picked up and understood by someone new to the faith and would also prove helpful to seasoned Christians. Helm has two sections in this brief book, the first is an exhortation to study the scriptures together with someone. Helm believes that people are changed when they read the Bible together -- this practice be transformative to unbelievers and Christian leaders alike. He gives three simple options for such a study and clear instructions on how to start a study. The second section is hermeneutics 101 -- Helm helps guide the reader in his or her reading of the scriptures, giving a basic explanation of how to engage the various genres and what sorts of questions to ask of the text. I pray that my church would be a church where the one to one study of scriptures would spread like wildfire and I intend to put this helpful little book in front of anyone who would be willing to trust the Spirit to move in the Word for the kingdom's sake.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Matt Tyler

    This is just excellent. It's less than 70 pages, plus about 30 pages of some really helpful resources. This book encourages just the sort of thing that all Christians need AND can actually do as a way of evangelizing or discipling. It explains the why and the how of reading the Bible one on one with others. Plus, it never seems burdensome or difficult. Recommended for all Christians and highly encouraged as a resource for pastors and church leaders to use for training church members.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

    Great follow-up to the concepts in The Trellis and The Vine. Simple and profound.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

    Wow. Short, simple and extremely practical. Shows how to put into practice the vision from The Trellis and the Vine.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jan

    Handy little booklet. 3.75 stars

  25. 4 out of 5

    Deon

    practical & easy to read and apply practical & easy to read and apply

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jason Harrison

    Simple and clear. Beginning to think how to do this as a church.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Short

    When we think of evangelism and discipleship, we tend to think of resources. we want books and helps to guide us. This is partly due to inexperience and partly due to lack of confidence. It may also come from fear of misguiding another in spiritual matters. If we are not careful, these can paralyze us so we end up doing nothing. The suggestion in this book is not against the use of resources, but rather to recommend we use the best resource, the Bible. Helm lays out simple and helpful ways for u When we think of evangelism and discipleship, we tend to think of resources. we want books and helps to guide us. This is partly due to inexperience and partly due to lack of confidence. It may also come from fear of misguiding another in spiritual matters. If we are not careful, these can paralyze us so we end up doing nothing. The suggestion in this book is not against the use of resources, but rather to recommend we use the best resource, the Bible. Helm lays out simple and helpful ways for us to evangelize an unbeliever and disciple a younger Christian through meeting and reading the Bible together. If we think about different books in the Bible, who they were written to, and why, we already have custom resources for different types of people. So the Gospels and even Acts are books that can be used with unbelievers. The epistles in the New Testament were mainly written to younger Christians to ground them in the truth and equip them for perseverance and service. It makes sense these books can be used this way. Helm also gives us some examples where he breaks down some books to read this way. For instance, he gives us two approaches to the Gospel of Mark. If you meet with a person once a week, you could go through Mark with them in 8 weeks, or 20 weeks for a more in-depth reading. He does the same for some other books as well. He also gives two different methods, the Swedish and COMA methods, for how to do it. Obviously, a person can use some, all, or none of these suggestions, but they are helpful at least to show us how it could be done. If you think about this in the work of the church, this would also pair well with verse-by-verse preaching through books. So a pastor could preach through a book and put together a similar guide to use in one-to-one Bible reading with their neighbors, family, friends, co-workers, etc. In this way, a pastor could more fully equip his people for the work of ministering. I am thankful to have read this book. I want to pray through and think through how I can implement this in my own ministry. Evangelizing or discipling can be a daunting task to Christians, but the simplicity of this method could help us past such fears.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    This is a very brief, helpful book about reading your Bible with others. The main point is that Bible reading is for everyone (unbelievers, new Christians and seasoned Christians) and that you have the tools you need to benefit from it. The author begins by explaining why it's good to read the Bible with someone else, giving examples of who to look for in a reading partner and practical tips on how to get started. The second half of the book provides two simple frameworks to guide your Bible rea This is a very brief, helpful book about reading your Bible with others. The main point is that Bible reading is for everyone (unbelievers, new Christians and seasoned Christians) and that you have the tools you need to benefit from it. The author begins by explaining why it's good to read the Bible with someone else, giving examples of who to look for in a reading partner and practical tips on how to get started. The second half of the book provides two simple frameworks to guide your Bible reading, suggestions for books of the Bible to read for different situations, tips for reading different biblical genres and some week-by-week guides for certain books that you could use right off the bat. Included in the back is a 8-week guide for reading Mark as well as COMA (a reading/discussion framework) worksheets for different literary genres in the Bible. Published resources to explore are also provided in the back. This book, though very basic, really helps dispel the notion that you need to be a Bible teacher or have lots of experience to initiate reading the Bible with someone. Instead, the author gives confidence to all believers by emphasizing that the Bible, like any written work, was written to be understood and that we use the same tools to understand the Bible as when we read other types of literature (even though we might not realize it). A big difference, though, between reading the newspaper and reading God's Word is that God's Word is powerful to change us and we can be sure that God works in our hearts and others' as we read and study it. It doesn't have to be a fancy, extensive or formal format - we can be "caught up in a web of regular Bible reading" that is "profoundly simple and within reach of all." (quoted from the Vine and the Trellis). This book will make a very handy reference tool and is easy enough to read anytime you start to feel a little unsure or discouraged about pursuing Bible reading with people that need it as much as you do!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Elise Brake

    One-to-One Bible Reading is a great resource for those looking for a practical guide to reading the Bible with anyone. David clearly outlines in the early chapters of the book why one to one Bible reading is an important, yet often neglected ministry. He reflects on how too often, churches seek to foster spiritual growth through programs and events, rather than encouraging "gospel growth [in] the everyday fabric of personal relationship, rather than relying on church run programs". He argues tha One-to-One Bible Reading is a great resource for those looking for a practical guide to reading the Bible with anyone. David clearly outlines in the early chapters of the book why one to one Bible reading is an important, yet often neglected ministry. He reflects on how too often, churches seek to foster spiritual growth through programs and events, rather than encouraging "gospel growth [in] the everyday fabric of personal relationship, rather than relying on church run programs". He argues that it is through personal, regular reading of the Bible, in relationship with others, that people are saved, grow in sanctification, are trained for Gospel ministry. David also emphasises the important relational aspect of one to one in a culture that craves genuine relationships. This encouraged me to persevere with the one to one relationships I have, as well as to consider who else I might be able to meet with. The rest of the book outlines how to structure one to one, with helpful examples of different Bible reading methods (Swedish and COMA), as well as suggestions for which books to read with people at different levels of faith/maturity. Overall I didn't find this book covered anything I hadn't already learnt elsewhere, but I still think it's an excellent resource and I'm keen to give it to friends who I'm sure will benefit from reading it.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Audrey

    While I love the premise behind this book, I felt it was a little simple. It took me a really long time to get through it because it's really like a 1 + 2 = 3 book, i.e. I'm thinking 'yeah, duh' as I'm reading it. But I finished it, and I will say that if you don't already have a background in and firm conviction of the absolute NEED for Christians to study the Bible and to reach non-Christians by helping them learn the Bible, then you need to read this book! I already have this conviction and h While I love the premise behind this book, I felt it was a little simple. It took me a really long time to get through it because it's really like a 1 + 2 = 3 book, i.e. I'm thinking 'yeah, duh' as I'm reading it. But I finished it, and I will say that if you don't already have a background in and firm conviction of the absolute NEED for Christians to study the Bible and to reach non-Christians by helping them learn the Bible, then you need to read this book! I already have this conviction and have led Bible studies since my college days, but not everyone is in that boat. It was an easy read, and I do like that he gives two different systems that you can use to read the Word one-on-one with others, a simpler system and a more in-depth system, based on where the readers are at in their walk with God. There are also lots of sample questions and suggested scripture readings for one-on-one, which is awesome. So, it's good, and I might just order some of their other resources, and I do hope to start using this model in discipling others. It was just kinda boring to read.

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