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You & You, Me and the Bible

You & You, Me and the Bible

In the middle of last year, I opened my big mouth and suggested that our church needed a better program to follow up people who had attended our evangelistic courses and had either become Christians or were keen to keep exploring whether the Bible’s claims about Jesus were true. Wise leadership asked if I would like to put my money where my mouth was (although they expressed it in a much kinder way) and lead that group. So I found myself with a new ministry! But where to start? What material to use? Fortunately I also lead a ministry that’s all about providing resources for churches that engage, evangelize, establish and equip people to grow as disciples who make disciples! There was a lot to choose from …

I looked at Just for Starters, which is designed for new Christians, and thought I could adapt it for this new group. I also looked at Christian Living for Starters and had the same reaction. Potentially we could have worked through another course—like Simply Christianity or Christianity Explored—but that seemed too repetitive as in general those resources repeated the material already covered in the original evangelistic course these people had done.

Then I looked at You, Me and the Bible. I hadn’t really had a close look at it before and thought it was more of a one-to-one resource. It is, and it is an excellent one. But, reading it closely, it became obvious that it would work just as well in a small group, and particularly a small group looking to establish and/or evangelize people. Six studies that outline what the gospel is and the difference it makes: perfect for what I needed.

And in what really is a coincidence, You, Me and the Bible is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year with a beautiful new cover and a more compact size. The content is basically the same though. In effect, You, Me and the Bible is the Two Ways to Live Bible study.* Each week it looks at two passages of Scripture aligned with a box of Two Ways to Live. You, Me and the Bible asks two types of questions: comprehension questions that are relatively easy to answer straight from the text (I found this gave the group confidence to put forward answers) and deeper analytical questions. Having built confidence with the first questions, the group was willing to have a crack at these too.

Each study ends with the diagram from that week’s Two Ways to Live box and asks the participants to state what the picture means in their own words. I was staggered by how well participants could answer that question after having done the work from the rest of the study. It was exciting and very rewarding to see growth in the group members, and at the end of the six-week study, the feedback from each participant was glowing.

You, Me and the Bible comes with video content that summarizes each session. We didn’t use the video content as a group, but I encouraged everyone to watch the videos during the week as revision of the study that week. It wasn’t official homework, but it was obvious that some people did watch the videos and that the videos helped them remember the previous week’s study.

So let me encourage you to explore this resource and think about how you could use it in your church context. I’d be keen to hear (and share, if you are willing) your experience using this and other Matthias Media resources, so we can continue to help each other be more effective in our ministries.

* There is actually a different Bible study based on Two Ways to Live, but You, Me and the Bible is more in-depth.

Gavin Shume

Gavin has worked in Christian bookselling and ministry since 1998. Before joining Matthias Media he was the National Marketing & Buying Manager of Koorong Books, the COO of Open Doors Australia & New Zealand and ran his own consultancy company helping gospel-centred Christian ministries be more effective in their mission. He is married to Claire and they have three daughters and three grandsons.