One of the best methods for discipleship over the last decade has been the practice of One-to-One Bible reading. Popularized by David Helm, this idea has been around for ages. However, with the helpful focus of specific goals in mind for reading (evangelism, encouragement, and equipping for ministry) and specific questions to ask of the text (COMA or Swedish methods), this practice becomes especially effective.
It draws on the power of our relationships and the promise of God’s Word to bring life and faith (Ps 119:25; Rom 10:17). It is simple in its approach, but repays much fruit for the kingdom. It’s also reproducible in across any culture in the world. This makes it an ideal discipleship method!
Our church has a resource page for all things One-to-One. But I want to highlight three specific tools for making the most of this discipleship method.
- Reading Mark with a Friend. Put together by St. Helens Bishopsgate, this is a great little guide for people who want to use the Gospel of Mark as an evangelistic tool. It gives some helpful background information which will answer some questions for newbies who may be stuck with cultural or biblical issues from Jesus’ era. It’s also simple in that the reading and questions are all focused on Jesus himself–who is he? why did he come? how should I respond to him?
- One-to-One Bible Reading Plans. This is something I put together recently. This document provides plans to read through books of the Bible to evangelize non-believers, establish believers in the faith, and equip maturing believers for ministry. There are also topical reading plans to address specific needs (e.g., assurance, prayerlessness, suffering, anxiety, besetting sins, marriage problems, and more). This was inspired by the reading plans originally devised by David Helm in his book, One-to-One Bible Reading. This bring us to the three tool….
- The Online Course. If you’re new to one-to-one Bible reading, this may be the best place to start. The book is great. But if you want the author, David Helm, to walk you through the practice in an interactive way, the online course is for you. It’s free and available at any time along with downloads of notes and activities. It’s the kind of thing you could easily adapt as a half-day training event for your local church or present across four weeks in your small group or Sunday school class.
I hope you will find these tools as helpful as I have as you make disciples in your local context. Regardless of what method we use, let us be zealous for Jesus’ glory as we seek to make disciples for his kingdom.