Monday, May 24, 2010

One-to-one: Chapter 5

This series was originally posted on In Tandem, a blog for ministry wives

One-to-one: A Discipleship Handbook
Chapter 5 - Meeting Regularly to Study the Bible: When You Meet

There is a lot of useful practical material in this chapter, so I will just give you some of the headings and summarise a few points along the way.

1. The practicalities - where to meet (usually a quiet place, but if you have nowhere quiet - meet wherever you can), how long to meet for (women usually meet for longer than men), make sure the bible study time doesn’t keep getting eroded by chatting time.

2. Leading the bible study
  • set the right tone - relaxed and informal
  • respond to answers - wait for the person to think and respond, don’t jump in
  • encourage them to use their bible, looking it up to see the answer
  • be wise when dealing with ‘red herrings’ - issues that are off topic - sometimes they need to be answered straight away, sometimes they don’t
  • pray together - help draw ideas together at the end, sharing prayer points, helping encourage people to pray
You can also consider whether to ask your one-to-one partner to do some preparation before the next study. Often people can find some time in the week, and many will willingly do some extra reading in advance.

There are also couple of helpful pages by Rico Tice which cover his advice on meeting one-to-one with non-Christians.

3. Other issues to address - she suggests that over the course of a year or so, it’s good to also cover some key doctrines and certain lifestyle issues that may not come up in passages you are studying. This helps us to be grounded in our faith and to live it out more thoroughly. Some of these may be:
  • doctrine - assurance, predestination, Jesus’ return, the Holy Spirit, biblical manhood and womanhood, prayer, the church, etc.
  • lifestyle issues - evangelism, sex & relationships, family, money, career, prayer life, etc. She also covers some helpful pointers when covering ‘issues’ - how we need to be willing to let people fail, to support them, to speak to truth in love & to watch our motives.
4. Training - one-to-one ministry is a great way to train people in handling the bible themselves, personal evangelism, in one-to-one ministry & in training bible teachers.

Some things to think about:
  • If you meet with someone one-to-one - do you tend towards studying bible passages or doctrine/issues? Do you need to change the focus a little?
  • If you don’t meet with someone one-to-one - why not draft a bible study for a one-to-one meeting and ask a friend or mentor if you can lead it for the two of you? If you are scared of meeting with someone one-to-one this may be a helpful first step.

Next week: Chapter 6 - Making Conversations Count

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