Two months ago, I left London to join the staff team at St Andrew’s as a “Pastoral worker”. It’s been interesting trying to explain what exactly it is I do here! On paper, I help to look after the 20s-30s women by supporting the Bible study leaders and general operation of the ‘Oxygen’ growth groups.
But, what does it mean to “look after” Christians?
Why am I doing this by focusing my energy on Bible studies?
I’m glad you asked. One of the best ways Christians can grow together in our faith is to humbly sit under God’s word and seek to obey it in our lives. This can come in many forms including: listening to a sermon on a Bible passage together, being a part of a weekly Bible study group, or reading the Bible one to one.
Not familiar with that last one?
As the name suggests, a one to one involves two people (at least one is a Christian) and a Bible. That’s it. It is different from a group Bible study as it can be tailored to suit a more specific pastoral purpose.
The best types of people to read one to one with include:
- A non-Christian interested in learning more about the person of Jesus through the gospels
- A new/younger Christian for purposes of discipleship
- A Christian at a similar stage of life to mutually encourage one another (Ephesians 4:14-16)
- A Christian you can train up to read one to one with others (Acts 18:18-28)
Due to the personal nature of one to ones, you should read with someone of the same gender. Also, it’s wise to choose a smaller book of the Bible (or a small part of a longer book) to ensure that you finish in a reasonable time. Whether it’s weekly, fortnightly or monthly, make sure you meet regularly to keep the momentum going.
If you don’t think you have the “tools” to properly read the Bible by yourself, Andrew Sach’s Dig Deeper (IVP, 2010) is a great resource to help equip you.
I usually like to meet over a cuppa in a coffee shop. Some of my go-to books to read for one to ones include: the epistles, Haggai, and Malachi. Whatever book you choose though, if you’ve opened the Bible with someone and spent good time in God’s word, then it’s been a good one to one. Happy reading!