The joy of sharing the word one to one

(Photo: Word One to One)

"Why has no one shown me this before?!" How often I hear this comment as I share the Gospel for the first time. In its dismay, I suggest we should realise afresh how clearly and how powerfully God's Word continues to speak today.

My journey into Bible sharing started in 2006. Introducing a fellow senior insurance executive friend to world-renowned apologist John Lennox, I thought my job would be to sit back and host while watching Professor Lennox deliver a master class in evangelistic apologetics. However, what followed, over two dinners and some seven hours, was like a terrible final at Wimbledon – a verbal tennis match where one fired questions across the net and the other aced the ball back, always with biblical answers. My non-Christian friend intellectually adored the stimulation but frankly, he wasn't able to fully comprehend the answers because he was simply biblically ignorant!

I could see no point in a third meeting unless we asked the good professor to show us where he was getting this stuff from. Lennox showed up not with his Bible, but with the first eighteen sentences of John's Gospel chapter 1, printed onto a sheet of A4 paper. By sentence four, my friend's mind was blown. Here were God's answers to life's biggest questions and my friend had never been shown such promises; he was quite literally stunned into silence sentence by sentence. It hadn't been the words of John the world-renowned professor that had spoken so powerfully, it had been John the writer of the Gospel.

Now, I had never been a Bible teacher, thinking my place was as a behind-the-scenes Gospel patron but immediately I knew I desperately wanted to offer my friends the word of God. They so needed to see the Word and in a format that wouldn't be alien or embarrassing to them, rather looking at each sentence and transparently seeing the questions/answers that it raised.

The very next day I collared my minister, one of this generation's best Bible teachers, and begged him to teach me John's Gospel. Being used to presentations with marked-up comments in the margins, I wanted clarity that could be passed on to others. Hence was born a simple format – a few Bible sentences on a left-hand page and on the right – key questions raised and addressed. It's a formula that in time became The Word One to One – a tool used around the world today in booklets, app or online by any Christian, above about the age of twelve, to introduce people to Jesus Christ's Word.

For years I had been known as a Christian businessman with whom you might have an intellectually interesting faith-based conversation, but those discussions nearly always blew off in the intellectually interesting wind! Why? Because I didn't know how to share the Word. So when we next met, the conversation would start all over again!

I had apologetic answers, but they tended to lead to confrontation. I had a powerful testimony but that simply led my friends to say, "Good for you Richard – you have Christianity, I have job satisfaction, sex, drugs, fitness or even mindfulness – let's leave the conversation as equally respectful of each other's positions shall we?!"

However, it transformed everything to be directly walking through God's Word on a "level playing field", so that we were both looking at what the Bible said. People were transparently not listening to me, rather they were fixated on what the Word said. I started to offer my peer group the opportunity to look at a part of the Bible that had so excited me, and the take-up was simply staggering!

All I was saying was: hadn't they always thought that one day they would look at the book that has sold more copies than any other? Didn't they expect that there might be "good stuff" in it? "Well, there is one book that starts with an eighteen-sentence overview that has really excited me and some great notes that make it even easier to read. Look, please can I buy you a coffee?". All I will say at the end is "Did you enjoy that? If yes – then would you like to see what comes next?" No signing up to more than anything but the next meeting.

The lasting result? An extraordinary take up for a long-lasting journey through the Word of God. God, in some way, had prepared them to want to seek answers.

A recent nationwide survey called Talking Jesus discovered that 1 in 3 people who had a conversation with a Christian friend wanted to know more about Jesus. If that was your friend or colleague, where would you take them?

If they are willing to come to church with you, brilliant! If they can make it to your next Alpha or Christianity Explored course with you, great! But what if they are not yet willing to cross that space into 'your world'?

Here are a few simple lessons from around the world:

You don't need a mind-blowing testimony.
You don't need to have all the answers or be able to dance your way around the Bible.
You don't need to have the gift of the gab, or be young, or in work!

All you need is a caring, prayerful, love for your friend, empowered by the Holy Spirit's presence with you and the Word of God in a format you can easily share.

Since starting The Word One to One, others have seen the power of God's Word at work. Lucy* has been reading John with her Muslim friends and says that it's the scariest and simultaneously, the most wonderful thing she's ever done. Oliver* says that "sharing God's Word has liberated me in evangelism more than anything else."

You too can be liberated to discover how active God is being today through the sharing of His Word, bringing His answer for mankind - Jesus.

What better place to take them than the biblical overview that the start of John's Gospel represents, introducing the Word, who became flesh to make God known to us today!

Countless people have bowed the knee to Jesus as they have encountered Him, as Saviour, through His Word. And countless Christians have had their faith transformed by learning to simply lean on the powerful, Spirit-filled, Word of God, and asking a simple question of Him – "Where are you at work in the lives of my circle of contacts that I might have a part to play in your Great Commission – to make you known to the ends of the earth?"

We invite you to check out and see if we can help you share God's Word with the people in your life.

*Name have been changed to maintain confidentiality.

Richard Borgonon is founder and co-author of The Word One to One, Richard has been in the Lloyd's insurance market since 1974 as an executive holding various market leadership positions and continues to run his own consultancy company. Today, Richard spends much of his time sharing the Bible with senior executives as well as speaking internationally on evangelism in today's world and in numerous evangelistic opportunities. Richard has also been on Christian television teaching John's Gospel by using The Word One to One, which has now been shown in 52 countries.