Sophie Peace served at St Helen’s Bishopsgate in London, especially in the ministry of one-to-one with female students within the church.
Jesus commanded his disciples to go and make disciples of all nations. You and I have in one way or another benefited from the ministry of someone else in our journey of knowing God. Sophie in her book unpacks, in a simplified way the practical and spiritual benefits of one-to-one ministry, and the how of this particular ministry with Gospel maturity at heart. Our thoughts on one to one ought to be cultivated by reading the scriptures that often call believers to a life of one anothering. (Col 3:16, Heb 3:13, 1 Thes 5:11.)
My love for people led me to look for this book with an aim to get it clear on how I can be involved in their lives in a way that is biblical and fruitful. Through this book, Sophie has outlined clearly what one-to-one is, and she helps the readers to get the how-to work through with another individual to help them know Christ better and obey him more fully through the approach of studying the scripture, prayer, and sharing one’s life and leaving the results to the Almighty God.
The Big question with one-to-one is always the “how” because one-to-one ministry is often very personal and to a certain extent, private. One beautiful thing about this book is that it aims at demystifying the idea of a private task that many people would be having when it comes to one-to-one discipleship. It includes practical advice on meeting up with fellow Christians or (non-Christians) to encourage them in their faith or to point them to who they need to put their faith in Christ.
In her book, she has outlined an easy-to-follow structure starting with a very Biblical basis of one-to-one ministry and building that up with core ingredients of such as Prayer, Bible Study, and friendships. She provides very practical ways to prepare before, during, and after the meeting, which should happen regularly. Sophie labors to show us that one-to-one is not a moment to read the Bible together only, but it is a place where individuals get to know each other better, finding out what has been happening in each other lives, covering other issues over time such as theological, lifestyles so as to ensure the core Christian values are understood and are being lived out appropriately.
Sophie has used the New Testament examples of Jesus, Paul, Timothy, and Titus and looks at what this may look like in practice today. She has included different interviews for persons who have benefitted from the ministry of one-to-one to serve as an encouragement to the reader that other people have tried and managed it. One main highlight of the book is reading a portion by Rico Tice on meeting one-to-one with a non-Christian because I had thought one to one is for believers only. Rico says the main thing we need is the courage to get the Bible open because it will feel strange and unusual to the target person.
There will be moments to rebuke or correct one another and Sophie reminds the reader that the place we run to for help is to God in His word the Bible and to aim at helping each other as followers of Jesus but with remembrance, we are all forgiven sinners and living in a sinful world.
I recommend this book to every Christian who might be interested in walking with another individual but is wondering how to go about it. The book is practical and with study resources, three sample guides from Colossians where someone can start their meet-ups, a guide through Mark’s Gospel that is very helpful in aiming at non-believers, and many other sites for growth that God may be glorified as we edify one another.
Review by Everlyne Wambui