Resources to help with One2Ones – Autumn 2023

Resources to help with One2Ones – Autumn 2023

The following are some options to use for One2Ones referred to in the article ‘Encourage one another’. The list is categorised by discipleship, pastoral, evangelism and books from the series “Daniel – faithful presence” and “Biblical”. Each book listed indicates target audience and whether includes discussion questions. Short books are highlighted and the number of pages are given.

There is also a list of potential questions you could use to ask each other when you meet, in addition to, or instead of using a book.

Discipleship:

Note to Self: The Discipline of Preaching to Yourself, Joe Thorn (Young Adults/Adults, 144 pages). This book provides a practical introduction to the discipline of preaching to oneself alongside fifty brief devotionals that will challenge readers to apply the law and the gospel to their own lives.

Do Not Be True to Yourself, Kevin De Young (Young Adults, 80 pages). These inspiring speeches and sermons, by Kevin DeYoung, offer counter-cultural advice to young adults, guiding them to put Christ first.

The Way Forward, Joe Barnard (Men, 168 pages) Joe offers a road-map for men who want to cut through the noise and distraction of the 21st century and take definite steps toward spiritual maturity. This book follows the simple format of problem, solution, and plan. Men who read it will walk away with both a clear diagnosis for why they feel stuck and a practical action plan for moving forward.

Hymn Workouts, Joe Barnard (includes study q’s) (Young Adults/Adults, 256 pages). Often the problem of stagnating faith is down to one simple fact – we all have a bias towards ease. Our spiritual routines involve passively reading our Bibles, not lingering long enough to comprehend or retain what was read, and a few distracted minutes spent in prayer. Includes Bible reading, hymn, Scripture references and meditation questions. 

Surviving the Trenches: Killing sin before it kills you, Joe Barnard (Young/Adult Men, 136 pages). Written to help men not only wake up to the existence of sin in their lives, but, in the power of the Holy Spirit, to tackle it head on. To combat the deep anxiety that the resources of the gospel are inadequate to deal with – not the guilt of sin – but the power of sin. This book is for men who are willing to fight and it will arm them for the task at hand and looks at 4 killer sins for modern men. 

A Good Return: Biblical Principles for Work, Wealth and Wisdom, John Lennox (Young Adults/Adults, 176 pages). A Good Return does not provide maxims to get you through the day. Instead, it is a book that encourages Christians to view their workspace, be it field, car, classroom or office, as an avenue of worship.  This book is thoughtful and biblical deliberation on our behaviour in, and towards, our work.  Lennox curates room for a wider discussion on Christian approaches toward salaries, time management, motivation and attitudes amidst a workspace environment.

Jesus through the eyes of women, Rebecca McLaughlin (Young Adults/Adults, Women, 180 pages). Jesus’s treatment of women was revolutionary. That’s why they flocked to him. Wherever he went, they sought him out. By entering the stories of the named and unnamed women in the Gospels, this book gives readers a unique lens to see Jesus as these women did and marvel at how he loved them in return.

God’s Leader, Andy Mason (Young Adults, Adults, 208 pages). We all lead. Whether ourselves or others. In different spiritual contexts (marriage, friendships, ministries…). Andy helps us digest several key Bible passages and holds out a glorious message of hope that will encourage us however we feel ‘ministry’ is going. It provides a helpful antidote to self-sufficiency. 

The Freedom of Self Forgetfulness, Tim Keller (Young Adults, Adults, 47 pages). Paul writes to the church in Corinth and deals with the issues of pleasing people, puffing up your ego and building your resume are seen as the methods to make it. The Apostle Paul calls us to find true rest in blessed self forgetfulness. In this short and punchy book, it shows us how we can be free from self condemnation, away from ‘self hating’, or a ‘self loving’, and instead, a ‘self forgetful’ person.

Unexceptional, Ordinary women doing extraordinary things through God, Sharon Dickens (Women, 196 pages). This is the story of women’s ministry as you ve never heard it before. It’s one story told through different voices as women with ministry experience from across the world collaborate to share their wisdom, insight and practical advice on how they minister in their communities. 

Ten Words to Live By, Jen Wilkin (Young Adults, Adults, 176 pages). Christianity isn’t about following rules, it’s about a relationship. The popularity of this phrase coincides with a growing disinterest and misunderstanding regarding the role of God’s life-giving, perfect law in the Christian life. Jen Wilkin presents a fresh biblical look at the Ten Commandments, showing how they come to bear on our lives today as we seek to love God and others, to live in joyful freedom. 

Humility: Cultivating humility in a gospel-centred way, Gavin Ortland (Includes study q’s) (Young Adults, Adults, 136 pages). Ortlund examines humility both on a personal level and in the context of the church, giving examples of ways to cultivate it. Drawing from Philippians 2 and historical texts such as C. S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity and Jonathan Edwards’s sermon “A Christian Spirit Is a Humble Spirit.”

Tim Keller: Spiritual and intellectual formation, Collin Hansen (Young Adults, Adults, 320 pages). Develop your own historical, theological, and cultural perspectives to help shape you. This is the story of the people, the books, the lectures, and ultimately the God who formed and shaped the life of Timothy Keller.

Before You Open Your Bible: Nine Heart Postures For Approaching God’s Word, Matt Smethurst (Young Adults, Adults, short, 96 pages). We know the Bible is important, but in reality many of us struggle to read it. Few of us are biblical experts and if we’re honest, the Bible can intimidate us, confuse us, and reading it doesn’t often thrill us. In a practical and engaging manner, Matt presents nine heart postures to unpack all that awaits us in God’s Word. 

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Pastoral: 

Caring for one another, Ed Welch (with study q’s) (Young Adults, Adults, short, 80 pages). The goal of this book is that meaningful relationships will become a natural part of daily life in your church. With short chapters and discussion questions, Ed guides you through eight lessons that show what it looks like when ordinary, needy people care for other ordinary, needy people in everyday life.

Saints, Sufferers and Sinners, Mike Emlet (with Study q’s) (Young Adults/Adults, 208 pages). The author outlines a model of one-another ministry based on how God sees and loves his people. He helps readers use Scripture to find ways for understanding and approaching one another, which serve as guideposts for wise care.  Emlet demonstrates what it looks like to approach fellow believers simultaneously as saints, sufferers, and sinners.

Love your church (8 great things about being a church member), Tony Merida (with discussion guide) (Young Adults, Adults, 176 pages). This engaging book explores what church is, why being part of it is exciting, and why it’s worthy of our love and commitment. He sets out 8 privileges and responsibilities: e.g. to belong, to welcome, to gather, to care, to serve. This book will re-energize you with God’s vision for the local church.

In his Image (10 Ways God Calls Us To Reflect His Character), Jen Wilkin (Young Adults, Adults, 176 pages). Through Christ, the perfect reflection of the image of God, we will discover how God’s own attributes impact how we live, leading to freedom and purpose as we follow his will and are conformed to his image.

Hope in an anxious world (6 truths when things feel overwhelming), Helen Thorne (Young Adults, Adult, short, 112 pages). Whether mildly, moderately or severely, feeling anxious is something most of us experience at some point in our lives. It drags us down and it leaves us unequipped for the day ahead. Whether you are used to reading about God or not even sure if he really exists (or if he cares about your anxiety in any meaningful way), this book has precious words of encouragement for you.

The Final Lap, John Wyatt (Adults, short, 80 pages). Life’s a marathon with many highs and lows along the way. As we approach retirement we transition into a new stage of our race, presenting us with a range of possibilities and pitfalls to navigate. With experience and warmth, John Wyatt invites Christians to think through how to approach the next stages of life well. He considers the move firstly from work to retirement, then independency to dependency, and finally from life to death as we approach the finishing line. 

Grace of gratitude, Paull Mallard (with study questions) (Adults, short, 64 pages). We know that we should be grateful, but it can feel so difficult. We try to be thankful for all things in our lives, but when things go wrong, bitterness and complaints creep in. This book shows how to turn our groaning and grumbling into gratitude and gladness, through the Israelites’ song of gratitude in Psalm 66.

7 myths about singleness, Sam Allberry (Young Adults, Adults, 176 pages). While singleness is often widely misunderstood by many and often viewed in negative terms, the Bible speaks about it very differently. This book sets forth a positive vision of singleness by responding to 7 common misconceptions. It helps you better understand, support, and empower the singles around you.

Character (How do I change), Sharon Dickens (Young Adults, short, 99 pages). So, you’re a Christian, but you don’t feel like you’re acting like one. The other Christians you know all seem to have it together but how do you get to that point? Even though none of us will be perfect in this life, we can grow to be more and more like Jesus. This book will tell you how.

True Friendship: (Walking through life with your Christian Friends), Vaughan Roberts (Includes Qs) (Young Adults, Adults, Short, 96 pages). In a culture it is striking that loneliness is rampant. Even in the church, a place where we might hope for an oasis of love and acceptance, we can find interactions awkward and superficial. Vaughan takes us back to the Bible, and challenges us to consider our need for true friendship and point to the hope we need to deal with our ‘self–love’ society.

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Evangelism: 

Have no fear: Being salt and light even when it’s costly, John Lennox (Young Adults, Adults, short, 76 pages). Christians are under increasing pressure to be silent. We’re led to believe that, at best, our beliefs are outdated, and at worst they are dangerous. But our Christian faith was never meant to be private.  John Lennox shows us that any one of us can become an effective gospel witness. Using examples from the Bible and from his own life, John explains practically how we can winsomely share Jesus with our friends, despite our fears.

Before you share your faith: Five Ways to Be Evangelism Ready, Matt Smethurst (Young Adults, Adults, 180 pages). When it comes to evangelism, we often struggle. Maybe it’s the inertia, or perhaps it’s the age-old presence of fear. Sometimes, a low-level guilt over countless missed opportunities tempts us to despair of trying at all.  This resource will deepen your desire and enhance your readiness to share the best news anyone could ever hear.

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Current studies we are following: Daniel & ‘Biblical’

Against the flow (Book of Daniel), John Lennox (Young Adults, Adults, 456 pages). Daniel and his friends maintained a high-profile witness in a pluralistic society antagonistic to their faith. It is a powerful message today. Society tolerates the practice of Christianity in private and in church services, but it increasingly deprecates public witness.  What was it that gave that ancient foursome, Daniel and his three friends, the strength and conviction to be prepared, often at great risk, to swim against the flow?

Unbreakable, Andrew Wilson (Young Adults, Adults, short, 80 pages). This book explains that our trust in the Bible can stem from our trust in Jesus Christ. We are to believe what the Bible says because that’s what Jesus did. Andrew, in his clear and often amusing way, shows us clearly that the Son of God loved and trusted the Word of God and if anyone sets out that the Bible is trustworthy, authoritative, good, helpful and powerful then it’s Jesus himself.

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Asking questions

As an alternative to reading part of the whole of a book, you could simply ask each other questions about life and ministry.  Pick 1-2 questions each time to walk through and pray about together. You can do this in addition to reading/sharing from a book /resource together. 

  1. What has been more important to you than God in the last week?
  2. Has your life displayed a love for Jesus and a joy because of Jesus this week?
  3. What in the bible this week has taught you, rebuked you, corrected you or trained you irighteousness?
  4. Have you given yourself to deep, heartfelt prayer- adoring God, confessing sin, interceding for others?
  5. Is there any sin that you’ve become aware of but love too much to repent of?
  6. How have you responded when others have pointed out sin in your life?
  7. When you’ve seen someone sin, have I humbly challenged them or have you proudly gossiped about them?
  8. Have you been deliberate in caring for and discipling your family this week?
  9. Is your public life and devotion for Jesus a mirror of your private life and devotion to Jesus?
  10. Have you been bold in sharing Jesus with others or have you shied away from it?
  11. Have you been deliberate about building relationships with those who don’t know Jesus?
  12. Have you been good and faithful with what God has given you in terms of time, money and gifts?
  13. Is there anyone you need to forgive or seek forgiveness from?
  14. Are you allowing bitterness to build up towards anyone?
  15. Have you been with someone this week that could be misunderstood or deemed inappropriate?
  16. Have there been times when you have lost self control because of alcohol, drugs, anger or lust?
  17. Has your use of social media- time spent on it and what you have posted on it- honoured Jesus this week?

 (Thanks to Paul, Community Pastor, for these helpful questions). 

2 other alternatives:

Here is a link to a helpful article on the benefits and blessings of asking questions of each other.  The author writes “God intended for us to share our lives in the context of community. The natural result is spiritual growth. Today, accountability is the missing discipleship component in most Christian’s lives. No one is watching out for their soul. They are not open, honest, and vulnerable with anyone.” 

Similarly, you could use the following acrostic to help you share LIFE and MINISTRY using the CROSS acronym:

LIFE: 

  • C. Catch up on each other’s heart and soul and the circle of family life, friends, interests and hobbies.  Help each other say how you are shepherding your own soul. What’s good? What’s hard? What’s ‘bad’?

MINISTRY: 

  • R. Review how you are ‘going and making disciples’. Each time you meet, consider each other’s
    • Own discipleship.  How are you growing and going as a disciple of Jesus? What is helping/hindering? What support/encouragement? Distractions/discouragements?  Anything to do with your present ministry situation that you want to discuss or ask help or just talk about, giving the other person permission to speak into. What to share and ask for prayer concerning?
    • Discipling of others. How are you involved in helping others in their discipling/growth? What encouragements? Barriers? What to share and ask for prayer concerning?
  • O. Help each other with setting Objectives (goals) to move forward in life and ministry
  • S. Help each other with setting Strategies (actions/tasks) to meet Objectives.
  • S. Supplication.  Encourage each other in connecting Scriptures to life and ministry and praying for each other.