Some days it feels like the term “Women’s Bible Study” has become synonymous with the term “push play.”
Don’t get me wrong, I love a video study. I have done many, many of them by many, many different people.
But most of my biggest, life-changing, A-HA! moments have come from lessons typed out on the computer and photo copied at the church copying machine.
I didn’t have to have a workbook. I grew in my faith even when I didn’t do homework.
I have friends who have self published workbooks, and I cheered wildly for their amazing accomplishment. But for many years, week after week, I opened my Bible–prayed for His guidance–and shared with women who wanted to hear what excited me about what I read.
We fell in love with Elijah and Elisha. We learned that managing life is a stewardship issue. We discovered being a peace keeper and a peace maker are not at all the same thing. We dug deeply into what Biblical Worldview looks like. We laughed…a lot. I had to apologize more than once for things I got wrong.
But I nurtured the pleasure of teaching God’s word because others gave me the joyous opportunity to do so.
If we only push play and demand 5 days of homework for every study, where will we find the next generation of Bible Study teachers?
When someone I knew finished the work required to write and publish her portion of a collaborative self-published workbook, she thought she’d need two years to recover before she would teach again. That kind of pressure is poison.
I taught Bible Study pregnant, with a preschooler and an adolescent. I held my special needs infant on my hip as I shared God’s word with other engaged women. (We all watched as she threw up on the brand new carpet in the sanctuary. Sorry, Pastor Ron.) I opened the Bible when life was in order. I did it again when life was in shambles.
And I was given the immense pleasure of sharing with beautiful women the things that thrilled me, guided me, and convicted me in the passages of Scripture.
Is that available in the women’s ministries of today?
Obviously I don’t have all the answers, and it is not a one-size-fits-all, but it is a trend.
If you are in leadership in a women’s ministry somewhere, can you name a younger gal (under the age of 40) who has the gift of teaching? If so, what does that mean? Is there a place for her to grow her gifts?
It’s not all the struggle of the organizational structure. I know many women who want to speak at large events. But would they put forth that same effort for a weekly Bible study where perhaps few would show up? I don’t know.
But I do know Beth Moore taught Sunday School for 27 years.
When I very first took the steps into a minor leadership position in women’s ministry I asked, “What do you need…to be ready, willing and able?”
The pastor’s brilliant wife said boldly, “No. You need to be willing. God takes care of the ready and the able.”
Okay then. Let’s go.
Are you willing? Do you need to step out and learn to crack open God’s word and share? Do you need to give someone the space to do that?
I am not saying no videos ever, but I am saying that if it is always videos forever we will miss out on the beauty of the next generation of local church Bible Study teachers, and it won’t be Beth Moore’s fault.