Bible reading and prayer are two of the most important Christian practices to aid the believer in their spiritual growth. Of the two, Bible reading seems to be more central as it should inform our prayers and it gives us what we need for life and godliness. Central to the practice of Bible reading is discipleship.

In One to One Bible Reading: A Simple Guide for Every Christian David Helm seeks to provide an easy plan for making Bible reading a central and foundational tool for discipleship growth. David explains:

Reading One to One is a variation on that most central Christian activity – reading the Bible – but done in the context of reading with someone. It is something a Christian does with another person, on a regular basis, for a mutually agreed upon length of time, with the intention of reading through  and discussing a book or part of a book of the Bible (p. 11).

David believes that this practice of reading the Bible one-to-one is for everyone whether you are a non-Christian or seasoned believer (p. 17-19) and getting started is as easy as asking someone to join you (p. 21-25).

Throughout the book David clearly lays out the what, why and how of reading the Bible one-to-one. David gives many helpful hints and strategies for how to make your one-to-one Bible readings have their maximum effect in the lives of the participants.

David presents two models for one-to-one Bible reading. The first is the Swedish method. This method is more for beginners. Among its seven stages of discussion time, it is centered on three steps to gleaning truth from your Bible reading: (1) A light bulb – anything that stands out from the passage, (2) A questions mark – things that are hard to understand and (3) An arrow – things that apply to the readers life personally. The second model is called COMA. COMA stands for Context, Application, Meaning and Application. This method can be used by beginners but is geared towards more seasoned believers and Bible readers.

In the final chapters of the book Helm spends time laying out some set reading schedules for one-to-one readings for a number of books. For example, Helm sections reading through Colossians as follows:

  1. Colossians 1:1-14
  2. Colossians 1:15-23
  3. Colossians 1:24-2:5
  4. Colossians 2:6-15
  5. Colossians 2:16-23
  6. Colossians 3:1-4
  7. Colossians 3:5-17
  8. Colossians 3:18-4:1
  9. Colossians 4:2-18

In chapter 10 Helm provides a helpful overview of how to read different genres of the Bible. Following the COMA reading method, Helm goes through each genre of the Bible showing the kinds of questions to ask of each genre.

In book concludes with an eight week outline of Mark for readers to get a start on one-to-one Bible reading. The appendix points readers to other helpful resources for successful one-to-one Bible reading programs.

One to One Bible Reading is a great tool to help you hit the ground running during what will hopefully be your first of many one-to-one Bible readings. This is a short easy read that simplifies one-to-one Bible reading so first timers don’t run in despair after the first chapter.

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