Showing posts in 'One-to-One Ministry Series'

One-to-one: the manual

Carl Laferton | Feb 12, 2011

“Looking back at the key turning points in your journey of faith, odds are there will be certain individuals who have deeply influenced you at these points; individuals who cared and gave you their time, who taught you from the Scriptures and prayed for you.”

And wouldn’t it be great to be the kind of individual who others are able to look at in this way? But, as Sophie de Witt points out in One-to-One, “the biggest question with one-to-one work is usually ‘How’?”

And that’s why she’s written this book. It’s a kind of manual for why and how to one-to-one with someone. It’s really practical: but it’s never less than biblical. It’s clear, it’s challenging, and it’s encouraging.

And (like every book should be!) it’s not long, and it’s not hard to read. It has some great ideas in it for where to go in the Bible as you start and what questions to ask.

My only quibble is that I’m not sure I agree with Sophie that every “senior partner” of a one-to-one relationship should be aiming to write their own studies: if you’re short on time and experience, get some decent notes, use someone else’s hard work and wisdom, and get going without worrying that the studies aren’t yours.

But that’s a small speck of complaint; the rest of the book is gold-dust. I’m so glad I read it a couple of years ago, while I was doing one-to-ones; I wish I’d read it years ago, when I began doing one-to-ones.

So it’s a must-read, really, if you would like to get started but aren’t sure how; if you’ve been doing one-to-ones for a while; or if you’re a pastor wanting to encourage and train others in one-to-one ministry.

And it’s a must-read because, as we hope we’ve persuaded you this week, a widespread one-to-one ministry is a bit of a must-have for a growing church. As Sophie points out: “The evangelical church around the world today might be growing, but … what is often lacking is a commitment to following the Lord Jesus that thoroughly affects every area of a person’s life.

“Could this be because individuals are not being trained to study and apply the Scriptures for themselves and in turn to help others grow in their discipleship?”

If you want to get going or keep going with one-to-oneing, buying Sophie’s book is a great place to start, which you can do here. And it’s just been reduced from £7 to £5: but stocks are limited…

For a short introduction to what one-to-oneing is, just click here.

One-to-one: Teenage ministry with Carl Laferton

Carl Laferton | Feb 12, 2011

Carl Laferton pastored sunday@seven, an evening congregation for teenagers and young adults in west Hull.

For a short introduction to what one-to-oneing is, just click here.

One-to-one: with teenagers

Carl Laferton | Feb 12, 2011

There are some great resources to use with for reading the Bible one-to-one with teenagers.

Start is a 29 study booklet, aimed at non-Christians and new Christians. Costing only £3 (so that's about 10.3p a study!), one of its best features is that it doesn’t simply do gospel basics, or Christian living basics: it does both.

One of the best reasons for one-to-oneing with a teenager is that it models to, and equips, them to read the Bible for themselves. One way of doing this is to use some printed regular Bible study notes; you do a study (or two) together when you meet up; then you each do three or four during the rest of the week on your own; and then share what encouraged and challenged you the next week before moving on to the next study in the book.

That way, when you finish one-to-oneing with them, they (and maybe you!) will hopefully carry on using those notes to read the Bible on their own. So why not grab some Engage notes, written for older teens: just £4 for 90 studies, bargain!

A couple of things worth remembering: always get parental permission! And make sure there’s a games console involved for most teenage lads (I have no idea what the female equivalent is!)

For a short introduction to what one-to-oneing is, just click here.

One-to-one: "My faith was strengthened massively"

Carl Laferton | Feb 11, 2011

Matt is 20 and is a student in Leeds. He became a Christian on a summer camp when he was 13. He loves Christ, Chelsea, not doing much and his girlfriend (not all in that order!)

How old were you when you were one-to-oneed?
I was 14, and I was one-to-oned for about a year.

How did it work?
I would meet up with my youth worker every Monday evening for around an hour and a half. We would begin every week with a game of Pro Evo on the Playstation, which I found helpful, and not just because I improved at Playstation! It allowed us to build a relationship beyond the time looking at the Bible, meaning I was more inclined to trust him and allow myself to be open.
We would then look at the Bible passage together for about 45 minutes. And we'd end every week by discussing an Encouragement and a Challenge from the week just past and from the passage, and pray based on that.

Which Bible books did you look at?
We looked at Hebrews and James in the year I one-to-oneed. Both were incredibly useful in the face of trouble and uncertainty that I was facing as a young Christian, and allowed me to view my troubles in a new way and face them with the grace of God.

What was the best thing about doing one-to-ones as a teenager?
One-to-oneing gave me a far better idea of the message of the books we looked at than would ever have been possible in a larger talk or through individual study. And the Encouragement and Challenge at the end of the sessions is something that I still use five years later.

How did it help you in your faith and ability to read the Bible for yourself?
I learned that the Bible fits together as a whole book and that other parts are invaluable in informing you what is going in a specific passage. This has meant my own personal study also improved as I realised that more often than not answers can be found in the Bible: I began to look to other parts of God’s word for answers as opposed to Wikipedia!
My faith was strengthened massively by one-to-oneing. It meant I started reading the Bible on a regular basis and learnt more and more about God’s love and grace. This continually blew me away and I felt myself strengthened every week.
And the friendship I formed with my one-to-one partner continues and still builds me up in faith every time we talk and meet up.

How has being one-to-oned affected your own ministry?
One-to-oneing left me wanting to have a similar thing with someone else. So recently I joined my church’s youth team to forge these kind of relationships with young people, and to try and bring them to God in the way I was when I was given the opportunity to look at his word in depth.

For a short introduction to what one-to-oneing is, just click here.

One-to-one: with a not-yet-Christian

Carl Laferton | Feb 11, 2011

If a friend, family member or colleague is interested in our faith, our instinct is usually to do one of four things:
• give them a book to read
• invite them to a guest service or event at church
• take them (or send them) to a course like Christianity Explored
• get overexcited and bombard them with so much information that they change the subject (maybe that’s just me).

But here’s an idea: you could ask them if they’d like to meet up with you fairly regularly (preferably weekly), have a bit of a chat, and look at God’s word with you to see for themselves what it’s all about.

That way, they’re investigating Christianity with someone they already know and trust. They’re doing it at a time convenient to them. They can ask any questions they like, and say what they think. They can go at their own pace.

If you’re a pastor, you could encourage each member of your church to think and pray about asking someone they know to do this in a one-to-one setting.

If you’re a church member, you could get on with doing it without waiting for your pastor to encourage you!

And here are a couple of great resources which can help. Christianity Explained works through Mark’s Gospel in six studies, and it’s highly recommended by experienced church leaders like Mark Dever, Senior Pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington DC. The book includes lots of helpful advice on how to lead Bible studies with a non-Christian friend.

For someone who’s a new Christian, or isn’t quite sure whether they are or not, Just for Starters is an excellent seven-study booklet which works through the essentials of Christianity. It’s only £1.50, and this week it’s got another 20% off!

So now, next time someone asks you about Christianity, why not pause, pray, and then ask them if they’d like to one-to-one with you?

For a short introduction to what one-to-oneing is, just click here.

One-to-one: "I found myself getting hooked"

Carl Laferton | Feb 11, 2011

Jamie Brockhurst comes from London and met Fiona at university. She wanted to explore Christianity, so they started reading the Bible one-to-one together.

Why did you start meeting up to read the Bible with someone?
I knew that Christianity was something I wanted to explore, but I didn’t feel I had the tools to explore it on my own. So it was an incredible opportunity to look at Christianity with a good friend who knew what they were talking about, and who I knew wouldn’t try to force her religion on me. We’re using resources which focus on non-Christians learning about the Bible, and as that describes my situations, it seemed perfect.

How did you feel before you started doing it?
To be honest, before these one-to-ones I was a bit nervous about exploring Christianity. I feared I wouldn’t be able to explore it without people trying to force me to convert to Christianity. I was also a bit scared that people might be dedicating their life to something that I might decide was just made up. And I didn’t want to start to believe something that’s not true either. I appreciate that’s a strange view, and I don’t feel like that anymore!

What's been good about doing it? What's been different to what you had expected?
It’s been fantastic that the questions and passages we work off in the sessions let us go onto further questions. It’s not a lecture, it is more an opportunity for me to ask Fiona questions as we go along, and question the religion. This is important to me because if I am going to become a Christian then I want to know that I have looked and questioned it from every angle, rather than to just be told: “This is how it is, so accept it.”
Because Fiona is so willing to answer my questions I think that is why we have made so much progress, and I find myself looking forward to the sessions and taking a lot away with me.

What would you say you've learned, and how would you say you've changed, from doing the one-to-ones?
I have learned a lot! And I can now say that my beliefs in God and Christ have been strengthened. I am not ready to call myself a Christian just yet, but inside me I know that I want to feel passionate about God and I want to explore until I get there.

What would you say to someone who's interested in finding out what the Bible says, but isn't sure they want to meet up to look at it with just one other person?
I’d say give it a go. When I first started in the back of my mind I thought: “I might as well try it out… if I don’t like it then I can always stop.” This way you know you have nothing to lose. I found myself getting hooked though, and now I enjoy the sessions!
I’d also say ask questions if you don’t understand something—that way, you'll be able to clear up any confusion about the truth about the Bible.

Jamie and Fiona have been trialling the next book in the one2one series by Andrew Cornes. Working through Luke's Gospel, they're particularly designed for helping people to explore Christianity as part of a one-to-one relationship. They'll be coming out in the autumn, but in the meantime there are plenty of other resources like this that you could use if you know someone like Jamie.

For a short introduction to what one-to-oneing is, just click here.

One-to-one: "It's beyond exciting when you can see God working"

Carl Laferton | Feb 11, 2011

Fiona Johnson is a student at Nottingham University. She became a committed Christian nearly three years ago; she one-to-oned with an older Christian last year, and has just started to read the Bible with Jamie, a friend of hers who isn't a Christian. Other than knowing Christ, she likes family, friends and cooking.

How did one-to-oneing with an older Christian help you in your faith?
It encouraged me to ask questions and look for answers. I realized that the whole Bible all revolved around Jesus. Bible stories I'd known my whole life suddenly had relevance and the connections led me to understand who Jesus was/is, and what that means for my life.

How did it help you to read and understand the Bible?
The Bible went from being something that was for church and didn't really need to be read, to something that has become part of my everyday life. It made the Bible much more accessible and relevant to me.

How did you get into doing a one-to-one with someone who is interested in Christianity?
We met in Freshers' week at university and just started chatting about Christianity, within a few weeks my friend had a bible and it just went from there.

How did you find doing it with no prior experience?
It seemed pretty natural. I used some Bible study notes, and prayed and went through the studies beforehand. Knowing that God was behind me meant that I didn't have to worry about what she would ask or if I was confused by something. I could just ask someone else who knows a bit more than me, and come back to her.

What's good about one-to-oneing like this?
It's beyond exciting when you can see directly how God is working in somebody else's life.

How has doing it encouraged and helped your own faith?
Some of the questions that came up throughout the studies were challenging, as they made me think about the basics of Christianity and remember that they’re so much more important than the more complicated issues which periodically cloud my view of who Jesus is. Being able to stand up for God reminds me how much I believe who He is and what is really important to me.

For a short introduction to what one-to-oneing is, just click here.

One-to-one: Tips from Ben Shaw

Carl Laferton | Feb 10, 2011

Ben Shaw is an evangelist working for the Co-Mission Initiative in London.

For a short introduction to what one-to-oneing is, just click here.

One-to-one: helping <i>you</i> to do it

Carl Laferton | Feb 10, 2011

“It’s all very well saying ‘start doing a one-to-one’. I can see it’s a good idea. I can think of a younger Christian I could ask. But what’s stopping me is…

“I just don’t know how to do it.”

If you’re thinking that—or if you’re a pastor and people in your church are thinking that—one great way to get going is to use some resources designed with one-to-one Bible reading in mind. That way, you don’t need to choose a passage and write a study from scratch.

Andrew Cornes (who you can hear talking about one-to-ones here) has written some great studies called one2one. They’re only £3 for 24 studies (working out at 12.5p per session!)

Or, why not use a Good Book Guide? They’re just as good being used in pairs as they are in groups—and this week, they’re 20% off at £2.40.

So if you can see the benefits of one-to-oneing, both for you and someone else… if you’d like to have a go at doing it… but you don’t know where or how to begin… just grab some resources and things suddenly seem a lot easier!

For a short introduction to what one-to-oneing is, just click here.

One-to-one: "There's no reason why it can't be you"

Carl Laferton | Feb 10, 2011

Dave Berkeley is 29 and lives in south-west London. He’s part of The Good Book Company’s sales team. Other than Christ, he loves rugby, reading, and using sporting analogies in general conversation.

When did you first do one-to-ones?
I read the Bible during my first year at university with one of the apprentices at church. Those meetings kept me going week after week in a challenging first year at uni: if it hadn’t been for those times I wouldn’t have stayed.
I can still remember those times of reading through Colossians, and the encouragement it gave me to keep going day by day with the Lord.

How did “being one-to-oned” like that affect your own ministry?
That experience made me keen to be there for others in the same way. So, I have recently been meeting up with a teenager from church.
It’s proved a bit of a challenge! We’ve struggled a bit to find a time when we can meet up: but it’s been a joy to see him understand new truths, and I’m praying that he would apply them fully in his heart. I know he’s appreciated the time (and doughnuts!).

What would you say to someone who’s been invited to one-to-one with an older Christian, as you were at uni?
I’d highly recommend it! I found reading the Bible with someone really has been one of the highlights of my life. Whatever stage you are at in your walk with Jesus, I’d encourage you to look for someone to read the Bible with regularly, an older Christian who has plenty of knowledge and wisdom.

And what about getting stuck in with being that “older Christian” in a one-to-one?
Again, do it! You don’t have to be a brilliant handler of the Bible (I’m not!), and you’ll learn as much as the person you’re leading through a Bible passage: that’s the real blessing of meeting up like this.
I’d say, don’t worry if you don’t know all the answers. The really important thing is to be there, to listen and encourage a Christian who’s younger in their faith than you. There’ll be a younger Christian around who needs to be encouraged and nurtured, and there’s probably no reason why it can’t be you who does that.

For a short introduction to what one-to-oneing is, just click here.

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