17 October 2018

As I prepared for the Ministry Training Week I was reminded of the many places where we, as the body of Christ, are called to love each other by encouraging and building each other up in our faith.

We see this mutuality expressed in the instruction to spur one another on towards love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24). And how are we to do this? By “not giving up meeting together… but encouraging each other.” Can you think of a better way to encourage and love each other than by meeting together to read God’s word?

While we are blessed to be able to do that across our congregations on Sundays and in our Bible Studies, I wonder if we are making the most of our other opportunities to do this with our friends.

Reading the Bible together is useful for many reasons:

  • It can be used to introduce Non-Christians to the Gospel or focus on the specific questions of someone new to Christianity.
  • It can help us develop the skills of reading the Bible well on our own and applying it to our lives.
  • It gives us a chance to be accountable to someone in our struggles and talk through ways of dealing with our sin and developing Godly character. Of course this asks us to step out of our comfort zone and allow God’s word to work within us in a way that’s visible to others.

It’s a challenge that I’ve grown to value and enjoy more and more as I’ve done it. One thing I’ve learnt is that there’s not just one right way to read the Bible with someone else. But there are some things that I think are essential.

First of all pray! Pray that God would give you opportunities to meet with someone else. Then pray when you meet together that God would give you understanding, work in you both and help you put into action the things you learn.

Secondly, read the Bible! It seems obvious if you are doing One-to-One Bible Reading that you actually read the Bible together! But it can be easy to be distracted by catching up and spend your time chatting instead.

Certainly spend some time catching up, but make sure you have plenty of time left to read the passage and think about what it means.

Different people will feel comfortable talking through the passage in different ways. If you haven’t had much experience reading the Bible with others or on your own, a good place to start is with these three simple questions:

  1. What things stand out from the passage?
  2. What questions do I have about the passage?
  3. How should I live in light of this passage?

Why don’t you start praying this week about whom you could love and encourage through One-to-One Bible Reading?

Bryony Hamilton
(Ministry Trainee, 11am and 7pm)