Evangelical churches are known for two things: wanting to share the good news of Christ’s salvation … and feeling guilty about not doing that as faithfully and fruitfully as we feel we ought. The Church is called to “make disciples (Mt 28:19)” which means we are called to not only be disciples, but to be disciple makers; to know and follow Christ, but also to make him known and encourage others to follow. As we continue to look at the role of the bible in our lives, it is easy to see it as one of the primary tools the Lord uses to disciple his people. As Paul said to his protégé Timothy: “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (2 Tim 3:16)” Do you have any projects around the house that you just can get around to finishing? Doesn’t it sound encouraging to hear that, with the Lord’s work in our lives, we will one day be “complete”? No missing trim or unfinished bits … complete in him!

But what about our outreach? It is easy to see the bible’s importance in our own discipleship. However, as our culture continues down a “post-Christian” path, it is easy to be discouraged and wonder what possible connection can I make between the Scriptures and a non-Christian. One helpful resource I have found is called: One-to-One Bible Reading: A simple guide for every Christian, written by David Helm. There is almost no end to the evangelism programs, strategies, frameworks etc., developed for the church over recent decades. Many of them presume we cannot minister directly to people from the bible, and I think that is an unfortunate deficit. During my time in England for theological training I was struck by how many of my college friends were doing something called one-to-one bible reading; and they were doing it with non or new Christians. I think we may be surprised to find how many people may quite like to understand why we believe what we believe in a natural setting like our home or a favourite coffee shop. Helm suggests at least four benefits from this sort of friend-to-friend bible reading:

  1. Salvation. The bible is sufficient, when read and understood, to lead someone to a saving knowledge of Christ.
  2. Sanctification. As noted above, the bible is a primary means for the Lord’s discipleship of us. Even as we minister to non-believers, the Lord ministers to us. Moreover, as we lead someone to Christ, we may continue to read with them to see the Lord’s sanctifying work in others as well.
  3. Training. This is another consequential benefit for the believer; honing their biblical understanding and communication skills, such that they may grow in other responsibilities as well.
  4. Relationship. So many in our society long for authentic relationships. As we read the bible with others, we inevitably face the deepest, most important issues in life. We cannot help but grow in deeper, more satisfying, relationship with others if we are reflecting together on the excellency, grace, and truth of Christ.

Helm’s book is simply presented, with much practical guidance on how one actually goes about reading the bible as a means of outreach. I highly commend it.

Much love,

Pastor Gary

Prepare your heart for Sunday by reading the passage and listening to the songs we’ll sing.