David Helm has written a great book called One-to-One in which he makes the case for a very simple but effective strategy in ministry: Bible Reading.

One blurb puts it this way:

31TjMvCMK-L._Can you think of people in your life that you would like to see progress spiritually–perhaps

a non-Christian colleague, or a Christian friend at church, or a family member? Here’s a way to help them understand more of God in a way that is simple and personal, and that

doesn’t rely on getting them to a church program or event. All this is possible through one-to-one Bible reading.


And if that wasn’t simple enough, Bradley Aucoin has written a two-page summary of Helm’s book which you can find here: Reading the Bible One On One.

You will be profoundly encouraged at the simplicity of the ideas and, if you should try it, the results of this simple approach to ministry.


Discipleship Resource

From the Gospel Coalition Blog comes a series of videos that are Q&A from some of our most helpful teachers on life’s most important questions. Here’s a sample:

For more, check out the blog and the short videos on many helpful topics:

Tim Keller has explained the purpose of catechisms this way:

New-City-Catechism-300x114Catechisms were written with at least three purposes. The first was to set forth a comprehensive exposition of the gospel—not only in order to explain clearly what the gospel is, but also to lay out the building blocks on which the gospel is based, such as the biblical doctrine of God, of human nature, of sin, and so forth. The second purpose was to do this exposition in such a way that the heresies, errors, and false beliefs of the time and culture were addressed and counteracted. The third and more pastoral purpose was to form a distinct people, a counter-culture that reflected the likeness of Christ not only in individual character but also in the church’s communal life.

The Gospel Coalition supported their efforts and asked permission to make this catechism available in other formats for people outside of Redeemer. We worked to film short high-definition videos providing teaching from leading pastors and theologians around each question. Our goal was to make this as widely accessible as possible. It was very important for us to make this resource available for free in every case. As a result, we have developed an interactive iPad app, a dedicated websiteRSS feed, and automated e-mail option to allow for instant international distribution. Following this blog will give you access to all 52 questions and answers, one published per week along with video commentary.

The purpose of this catechism is simple–to help both children and adults learn about and enjoy fellowship with God. It is not designed to replace Bible study but to help people learn essential Bible doctrines. The practice of question-answer recitation brings readers into an dialogical process of learning. Working through a catechism works best in community–whether parents catechizing their children, churches catechizing their new members, or small groups participating in this process together. So we encourage you to join the community learning New City Catechism over the next year.

The catechism is divided into three parts to make it easier to learn in sections: part 1—God, creation and fall, law (20 questions); part 2—Christ, redemption, grace (15 questions); and part 3—Spirit, restoration, growing in grace (17 questions).

We hope you enjoy New City Catechism as you study the wonder and work of God.

Bible Reading for New Believers

My friend Garrett Kell has posted a helpful blog here that I thought would be useful to repost: 

By  God’s grace, last night I was able to share the Gospel with a new friend who turned from trusting in himself and the god of Islam to follow Jesus as His Lord and Savior.

To help him begin to grow in his new faith, I put together a 30 day bible reading plan for him. It’s set up to get him a big picture of the Bible’s story. I’m sure there are better ones out there, but here’s what we’re working through.

I’ve also encouraged him with the following guidelines:

1. Ask God to help you understand what you are reading. Pray something like “open my eyes and my heart to understand your word.” God delights in showing Himself o His children as they draw near to Him in faith.

2. The most important thing is not that you make it through each of these readings each day, but that you process what you read.Move at your own pace, this is just some direction for you to follow.

3. Write down questions that you have as you read and we will talk about them together.

Please pray for this young believer and feel free to use this guideline for yourself or anyone else who might benefit.

____Day 1 – The Creation and Fall of Humanity – Genesis 1:1–3:19

____Day 2 – God Calls A People His Own – Genesis 12, 28:10–15; 32:22–28

____Day 3 – The 10 Commandments – Exodus 14:1-20:17

____Day 4 – Obedience Flows From Love – Deuteronomy 6:1-7:26, 11:13–21

____Day 5 – Cycles of Disobedience in God’s People – Judges 1:1-2: 19

____Day 6 – The People Demand a King – 1 Samuel 7-9

____Day 7 – The Fall of Saul and Rise of David – 1 Samuel 15-17

____Day 8 – How the Righteous Respond to Hard Times – Job 1-2, 38-42

____Day 9 – Psalms that Enrich Your Soul – Psalm 1, 23, 139

____Day 10 – Psalms for the Suffering and Sinful – Psalm 6, 38, 51

____Day 11 – Wisdom for Everyday Life – Proverbs 3, 16, then 5, 7 (men) and 31 (ladies)

____Day 12 – Israel’s Sin Against Their God – Ezekiel 18:1-32, 20:5–26

____Day 13 – Jesus the Promised King – Jeremiah 23:1–6; Isaiah 9:6–7, 53; Zechariah 9

____Day 14 – Jesus Became Man – John 1:1–18; Luke 2

____Day 15 – Signs and Miracles of Authority – Matt 8-9; Luke 13:10–17

____Day 16 – Jesus Fulfills the Law – Matthew 5-7

____Day 17 – Jesus Teaches About New Life – John 3-4

____Day 18 – Jesus Willingly Taken – John 18-19

____Day 19 – Jesus’ Death and Resurrection – Matthew 26-28, Luke 23-24

____Day 20 – Jesus our Savior and the Final Sacrifice – Hebrews 3-4, 8-10

____Day 21 – The Sinfulness of Man Exposed – Romans 1-3

____Day 22 – God’s Grace in Christ Jesus – Romans 3-5

____Day 23 – We Battle Sin by the Spirit – Romans 6-8, Galatians 5:16-26

____Day 24 – Living a Life of Worship – Romans 12-13

____Day 25 –  New Life in Christ – Ephesians 1-6

____Day 26 – Living Out A Life of Faith – James 1-5

____Day 27 –Trusting Jesus While Facing Persecution – 1 Peter 1-5

____Day 28 – Walk in the Light of God’s Truth – 1 John 1–2

____Day 29 – Love One Another – 1 John 3-5

____Day 30 – Promise of Eternity – Revelation 19-22


Reading Plans for 2013

There are many reading plans out there if you’re looking to read through the Bible in 2013. Some in our church are using this particular plan for 2013. The email feature is very helpful to give daily reminders. The plan provides a variety of genres each day, which helps greatly. Shoot for one reading on the way to work, one in the lunch hour, and two in the evening. If you stop in the middle of February and pick it back up in April, great! The point is to read. 

Galatians For You


First in a new series of expository guides to the Bible, Timothy Keller’s Galatians For You walks you through the book of Galatians, showing how the gospel message changes the whole of our lives.

Combining a close attention to the detail of the text with Timothy Keller’s trademark gift for clear explanation and compelling insights, this resource will both engage your mind and stir your heart.

Get a free Galatians Bible study by Timothy Keller with every copy of Galatians for You. Simply add Galatians for You to your cart and you will be offered a free copy of Galatians: Gospel Matters at checkout. Offer valid until March 31st, 2013.

“Galatians is all about the gospel – the gospel all of us need throughout all of our lives. It’s dynamite, and I pray that its powerful message explodes in your heart as you read this book.”
Timothy Keller

Galatians for You is a uniquely flexible resource. It can simply be read as a book; used as a daily devotional, complete with reflection questions; or utilized by anyone who has a teaching ministry, to help small-group leaders understand and apply the text, and to give preachers helpful ways of connecting timeless Bible truths to today’s world.

Galatians for You is designed to work alongside Gospel Matters, Timothy Keller’s Bible study resource for small groups and individuals.

Timothy Keller is a best-selling author and pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan.

January Communication

On page 123 of The Trellis and the Vine (which one or two of you have yet to read) the authors say: 

Recruiting and training a smaller group of co-workers is the first step towards recruiting and training all Christians as vine-workers. You can’t personally minister to and train 130 people. But you can start with ten, and those ten can work beside you–not only to minister personally to others, but to train others as well, who in turn will minister to others. The “co-workers,” in other words, are not a different category–they are just a bunch of gifted potential “vine-workers” who work beside you to get things moving. It’s ministry multiplication through personal training, and it is one of the great needs of the contemporary church. 

So as we enter into 2013, Bradley and I both (along with the other Elders) consider you all to be a very valuable part of what God has blessed us with at this local church. Up to 100 names are associated with Paul in the New Testament, of which around 36 could be considered close partners and fellow laborers. God has blessed us with the same. You all areFAITHFUL (to Christ, to one another, to our church family) AVAILABLE (making time for people; assisting as the Lord provides opportunities) and TEACHABLE (wanting to learn and grow to lead yourself and others well). 
The BIG PICTURE application may be: (a) Set up some time with me and/or Bradley in the coming weeks to talk about the new year/ new semester and how you’re doing personally, as well as where the Lord is working through your life this coming year. (b) Be praying about how God has called you to share your life with another brother to strengthen him, perhaps working together to pray for some relationships that you would hope to see grow. Maybe this is the time you start that one on one Bible Study with a co-worker, or simply invest some time in another young couple or two in our church. The possibilities are many. (c) Initiate and trust God will accomplish more than you can imagine. 
We’re not launching any big programs to start the year. This is our program as we share the gospel together and spread that beyond our church, we trust that God will cause the growth. (1 Cor. 3:5-9). 
January 20th is the day of the AFC and NFC Championship Games. I wondered if you guys might be up for us getting together to not only watch some football, but also let me share some ways we can work together this coming year (particularly this spring semester). Would you look at the calendar and think about if that night would work for you (location TBD). What say you? (Approximately 6 PM). (This would be INSTEAD of doing something on Wed. January 16th which I had previously penciled in).