Christians are called to be and make disciples, which is to say, be followers and proclaimers of Christ. Discipleship is one of the broadest topics we can take on as it pertains to all of one’s life before God, and with others. Once we become Christians it is the working out in our lives of the basic question, “How shall I now live?” In spite of the massive breadth of the topic, the source for Christian discipleship is decidedly narrow: Jesus and his Word. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me (Jn 14:6)” and “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. (Jn 8:31,32)” To bear the fruit of the vine, we abide in the vine, and a key component of abiding in the vine is abiding in the Scriptures.
One of my favourite books to help churches grow in discipleship is The Trellis and the Vine, which presents a beautiful picture of what bible reading could look like in our lives:
“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, 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.”Marshall and Payne, The Trellis and the Vine, (Kingsford, St. Matthias Press, 2009), p57
I believe this kind of ‘one-to-one’, or perhaps better put: ‘one-with-one’, bible reading would powerfully promote deeper discipleship with the Lord, and deeper relationship with each other. One of the best books I know of to describe and encourage us toward such an approach is David Helm’s One-to-one Bible Reading: A Simple Guide for Every Christian. Helm takes the most basic act of Christian discipleship, reading the bible, and places it in the regular context of reading with someone (Christian or non-Christian). Helm is both biblically focussed and practical, and he clearly lays out the what, why, and how of one-to-one reading. He provides two helpful frameworks (beginner and more seasoned) for better understanding of the bible, and many helpful strategies and questions toward better bible reading impact in the lives of its readers. He also, helpfully, gives reading outlines and schedules for a number of books to give us a great head start on fruitful one-to-one bible reading.
I highly commend this as a discipleship tool for you, your family, and loved ones!