Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Discipleship Simplified From Down Under

The wonderful publishers from Down Under, Matthias Media, has provided an excellent resource that aims at equipping believers in having one-to-one bible reading times with their friends who are non-believers, young believers, or, like them, growing believers. 

The name of the short book is One to One Bible Reading and it's by David Helm, the pastor at Holy Trinity Church in Chicago. Part of Helm’s premise is inspired by a paragraph from The Trellis and the Vine, another resource from Matthias Media:
Imagine if all Christians, as a normal part of their discipleship, were caught up in a web of regular Bible reading—not 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, “What 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.”

By design the one-to-one concept is meant to remove all the programmatic pressure that today’s 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.

Helm writes:
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 disbelief—disbelief in the potency of God’s 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.

I love this approach!  And, if you've been around Grace Church for a while, you know this approach  resonates what we've been pushing since our beginning. The concept of One-to-One centers Christian fellowship around scripture. By design this fellowship leans heavily on the Holy Spirit’s work in the lives of two people developing a mutual friendship around the Word of God.

Go figure…a discipleship method that depends on the Spirit and Scripture! And here's the best part, any and every Christian can do it!

This concept is not novel. This concept is not trendy. This concept is not vintage. It is simply rooted in historic biblical Christianity. Order it today or pick up a copy this Sunday at Grace Church!

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