Last weekend, our church officially rolled out an initiative called Pray & Read. You can find out more about it in the announcement portion of our service video from last Sunday on Facebook.
Essentially, we are encouraging everyone to commit to read the Bible one-to-one with someone you know who isn’t saved. To begin, we’re asking you to pray for your friend. We have a thirty-day prayer guide booklet at church which will help you intercede for your friend or loved one, asking God to ready their heart for when you ask them to read with you.
Then we’re asking you to read the Bible with them. Specifically, we are asking you to read Mark’s Gospel with them. It’s a short, direct introduction to Jesus designed to bring about faith in those who read it. In the Resource Portal on our website (or app), we have a brief guide that will help you walk someone through Mark a chapter at a time. It’s as simple as reading the text out loud, then asking three questions:
- Who is Jesus?
- Why did he come?
- What does this mean for us?
When they say Yes to reading with you, we will continue to pray. Week-by-week, we will pray for our friends as we read the Gospel with them. And, Lord willing, as your reading partner encounters Jesus again and again in the text, God will open blind eyes and grant saving faith (Rom 10:17; 2 Cor 4:4–6). What a privilege to share in God’s work of saving his people and bringing them to himself!
But how do you actually ask someone to read with you?
Perhaps the scariest part of reading the Bible with someone one-to-one is asking them to read with you! What do you say? How do you bring it up? There are several ways to turn a conversation to the idea of truth, hope, and comfort being found in God’s Word. Yet each of these ways will be specific to the conversation you are having with someone.
At the same time, there are some common scenarios that probably have played out in many conversations you’ve had with unbelievers. So, here are seven ways to turn those conversations into opportunities to pray and read with them. That is, seven suggestions for asking someone to read the Bible one-to-one with you.
- When someone asks about your weekend, you might say, “I had a good weekend talking about the Bible with people at church. Have you ever read the Bible? Would you like to read with me?”
- When someone talks about serious life problems, you might say, “You know I have found the Bible to be very encouraging to me when I’m struggling. Would you like to read it with me?”
- When someone says all religion is the same, you might say, “Actually, that’s not true. Every religion except Christianity is about the good work a person does. Christianity is about the good work that Jesus did for us. Would you like to read about him with me?”
- When someone you know well is just chatting with you, you might say, “You know, our church is encouraging all of us to read the Bible with someone else. Would you like to read with me?”
- When someone has had previous conversations about spiritual things with you, you might say, “We’ve talked about spiritual things in the past. Would you like to read the Bible with me and see who Jesus was and what he taught?”
- When someone talks about something they read about Jesus, you might say, “You brought up what others have said about Jesus many times. Have you ever read about him or about what he taught for yourself? Would you like to read the Bible together and see who he is first-hand?”
- When someone gives their ideas about Jesus, you might say, “Have you ever actually read the Bible and seen who Jesus really is or what he taught?”
Note: A version of this article was cross-posted at the Providence Bible Fellowship blog.