Will you read the Bible with me?
One of the ways that God is reaching people in our culture is through friendship evangelism. It’s slow growth but the Holy Spirit is at work – particularly when a Christian begins to read the Bible with a non-Christian friend. Here Val Wells explains how she used evangelistic resource The Word One to One as she read John’s Gospel with a non-Christian.
“My mother wants someone to come and read the Bible with her,” announced a professed agnostic to her Christian colleague. “I don’t suppose you know anyone who would do that…?”
My friend, who’s a Christian, replied that she might know of someone, and that’s how Nan and I met and started to read the Bible. We used The Word One to One to read John’s Gospel together and at first I was sceptical about this resource.
Would it work for a 90 year-old? Was it not written with younger people in mind? And wouldn’t it be too tiring for someone of that age? How much would this lady be able to grasp about the gospel?
Questions which at first seemed so important, soon faded into insignificance as God reminded me that His word is not limited to the under 70s, and probably The Word One to One wouldn’t be either.
So we started to meet once a week for an hour, spending around 30-40 minutes reading together. It has taken rather longer than most to complete the studies – well over a year. But that didn’t matter. What did matter was seeing God at work helping my new friend to a point when she would turn to me with a huge smile one afternoon and say: “Now I understand what it’s all about.”
I think John might have been smiling and praising the Lord too that the closing words in his Gospel account were being fulfilled: “But these things are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” Certainly all heaven was singing for joy that day.
Instead of the books being difficult to follow, the layout and text proved very helpful – the clearly defined points, the use of colour and most of all for my friend the large, clear print. We found little touches of humour that helped break the ice and create a relaxed atmosphere in which our friendship grew.
We still meet each week and continue what we started two years ago with One to One – learning and enjoying other bits of the Bible together as friends. Nan’s family are surprised at the change in her, although they might not be ready to acknowledge the real reason yet. We are praying that one day they will.
Anyone can share the good news and grow a friendship at the same time. You don’t need to know all the answers – they are right there in the book; it’s really about reading and learning together as friends rather than you doing the teaching.
Why not start praying for that friend who needs the light of the glorious gospel of Jesus to shine into their life so they too can “understand what it’s all about”. Perhaps you could start reading the Bible with them?
Find out more about The Word One to One at theword121.com