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How to Read the Bible One to One

WHY?

One of the most valuable ministries a person can be involved in is also the simplest: just reading the Bible with another Christian or an unbeliever. This type of ministry can have a deep impact on people, precisely because the Word of God is living and active.

One of the great advantages of 'one to one' Bible study is that it is so convenient. Anyone can do it anywhere where they can read a book with someone.

HOW DO YOU DO IT? 

Well, start by finding one other person who you know is keen to look at the Bible. Make sure they are the same sex as you - that will make it easiest to help them grow in godliness. Ask them if they would like to meet with you on a regular basis to read the Bible for half an hour or an hour. When they agree - go for it!

Where you are both at in your Christian walk might determine what book of the Bible you read. If one or both of you are young, new or not yet Christians, reading through a gospel is probably the best place to start. Then just read through each segment of the Bible together, pausing to chat about what you have just read in that segment

BUT WHAT DO YOU CHAT ABOUT?

It is best if you are starting out to keep it really simple.

Maybe try to look at 3 questions:

1. What does it teach us about Jesus?

(Or, if you are not looking at a gospel, What is the main point of the passage?)

2. How does it relate to what we have already looked at?

3. How should we respond?

Note things you don’t understand, but don’t get bogged down with these things. Focus on what you can clearly see from the passage. As you do this week by week, you’ll find that the word of God is indeed living and active, and does change people’s lives.

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How to Pray with Someone

One of the things that Christians find hardest to do is also something which Christians agree is the most important thing to do, and that is to pray. A simple way to pray more is to plan to do it and to plan to do it with somebody else. This has the added advantage of course of being very encouraging not just for you but for someone else too! 

BUT HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT MEETING WITH SOMEONE TO PRAY? Here are some tips: 

Meet with someone of the same sex who is easy to meet with.
Think of Christian people who are in the same situation as you and pray with them. People in your youth group or at your school, people on your floor at work who have the same lunch break, Christians who jog when you jog! - think outside the box! 

Meet at a time that is easy for both of you.
The more convenient the time for you to pray, the more likely you’ll do it! 

Admit that it might feel weird at first.
If you have never done this before, praying with another person may feel weird. But praying is too important to be distracted by feeling weird! 

If you've never prayed out loud before, start by writing out your prayer in simple sentences.
A simple prayer like that works just the same way as an email to a friend, because it communicates to another person - just that here you are talking to God! To start with, you may like to just meet up and write a few sentences and then read through them as your prayer. 

Pray for things and people you have in common. For example, if your prayer partners are in your youth group at church, pray with them for the other people in your group and also for the youth group as a whole. 

Pray for those in authority
The Bible also encourages us to pray for those in authority over us (1 Timothy 2: 1 - 4) so that we might be able to live godly lives, and that those who are over us may we wise. 

Pray like people pray in the Bible.
If you look in the letters of Paul to the Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and Thessalonians, and find each time he mentions the word 'pray', it will give you lots of ideas of who and what to pray for. You can find other prayers in the Bible, by looking up the word 'pray' in a concordance, and this will also help inform you how to pray. 

Make sure you pray.
Finally, when you meet with your friend to pray, make sure you do pray. It's better to fill each other in as you pray, than to spend your whole time filling each other in on what you want to pray about, so that you never get around to praying!

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How to go to Church

(11 practical tips for how ever regular at church can be part of developing a healthy church. Just by showing up!)

1. Be There – Church is about gathering. One foundational expression of our common faith is gathering together.


2. Be There Early – this is one simple way to encourage others. New people tend to be at Church early; the ones organising things on the day are often busy to welcome new-comers. Plus, being there early shows that Church is a priority and that you are keen to come together as God’s people to worship Him. (A further benefit is that you get your choice of seats).


3. Be Ready to Serve – Nowhere in the Bible is a hospital the picture of a Church. There are many exhortations to serve; God has gifted each one so let’s use our gifts to glorify Him in the local congregation.


4. Serve by being ready to listen & grow – one way to do this is to take notes. A sermon outline is provided. Taking notes also helps in maintaining focus on the sermon rather than thinking about the events of your life. Also, bring your own Bible; while the Church provides Bibles in the pews, it is much better to get familiar with your own Bible.


5. Be a model of how to act in Church: a. Points 1-4 are a good start. b. Maintain godly behaviour. c. Follow Jesus. d. Show love for your Christian brothers (John 13:34-35). e. Model repentance. We all do things wrong from time to time; it’s what we do after we recognise this that’s important. We should take on this saying “I don’t have it altogether BUT I follow the One who has got it altogether.” In a survey of first time attendees to Church who are unconverted, the thing they looked at in the service was not the message from the front or the quality of the music but other people in the service. Were they genuine? Did it look as if the regular members wanted to be there?


6. Be welcome, warm & friendly. If someone new is looking for the toilets, offer to walk with them to show them the way rather than pointing out the location. Encompass new-comers into your conversations over morning tea.


7. Be prepared to listen. 1 Pet. 3:15 says to be prepared to give an answer for the hope we have. Being prepared to answer presupposes a question. Take the time to listen to the other person and what they want answered.


8. Be discerning in your interactions and conversations with others ensuring that the truth of God is maintained. For example, asking someone you’ve met for the first time if they’re a Christian, is going to be too confronting. Ask appropriate questions to engage them in conversation.


9. Be hospitable & generous. This doesn’t necessarily mean inviting others into your home. What about inviting them out for lunch? Coffee? Be willing to pay for them should you take them out to coffee.


10. Be Prayerful. This really should be point number 1, but still, it needs to be said.


11. Seek continual improvement. Having a prayerful attitude should characterise all we do. Being a welcoming and open Church is something that we should always work on.  In this we should seek continued improvement.  This side of heaven, we will not always get things right but our desire should be to follow our Lord and Saviour and glorify Him in all we do. May God bless us as a body of His people as we seek to honour Him in all we do.

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