Articles

Grow: Studying and Applying God's Word to Life

September 7, 2016
Grow:  Studying and Applying God's Word to Life

Often I have wondered about the difference the Bible can make in daily living. I mean… can we really tell the difference between a woman who is reading and applying the Bible to life and a woman who is not? I believe that the answer to this question is a profound, “yes!” Psalm 119 has a lot to say about the importance of the Bible. From this Psalm, we learn that reading and applying God’s Word leads to a:
•    Shame free life (v. 6)
•    Pure life (v. 9)
•    Sin free life (v. 11)
•    Comfort during suffering (v. 50)
•    Knowledge and good judgment (v. 66)

I know you long for the women in your church to experience the benefits of applying the Bible to daily living. Imagine your women living a shame free life. Think about your women knowing the right decisions to make. Certainly, God’s Word can and will change the direction of anyone’s life. The impact of this change is radical… families, churches, communities, the nation, and the world are impacted by women who have been challenged and changed by the Word of God.  The Bible is God’s living, breathing, and active Word. The women in your church need to connect with God’s Word on a daily basis. Spiritual growth in a Christian’s life cannot occur without a consistent intake of the Bible. Connecting women to God’s Word should be a top priority for women’s ministry leaders. As a result, it is important to develop and implement a strategic plan. Here are a few key strategies:

•   Offer studies that address varying needs in a woman’s life. Often women find themselves in different seasons of life. Maybe it is a “mom” season, a “single” season, or a “widow” season. Be strategic when you offer studies. Do your best to meet women right in the middle of their daily living. You can use a survey in order to find out what “seasons” are represented in your church.

•   Offer studies on all spiritual levels… milk to meat. As much as possible, offer studies that meet women at their current spiritual level and then helps them to grow in their faith walk. For the new believer, they need to be equipped in the basic doctrines of the faith. For the mature believer, they need to be challenged to dig deeper in the Bible and know that God always offers opportunities for them to grow.

• Vary the studies and authors to meet the changing needs of women. Avoid offering the same type of study, written by the same author, year after year. Women benefit from different approaches to studying the Bible. This variety will help the women to grow as they are challenged by different teachers with different perspectives. (Be sure and check the theological accuracy of the studies.)

•    Work within the overall Bible study strategy of your church. Ask your pastor or minister of education about their plan for the upcoming semester. Work together on bible study strategies. There will be times when you can offer a study that compliments a sermon series or a discipleship focus.

•    Offer studies of varying lengths and at different times. Women are busy and they like to have options. Some women like to attend a four to six week study. Other women like to attend an eight to twelve week study. Some women can meet in the day while others have to meet at night. Use a survey and ask the women to share the best time to meet as well as the desired length of the study.

• Offer quality childcare. Women need to feel excited about the childcare that is offered during bible study. If possible, find a way to teach the children during this time. What a win/win for everyone!

• Enlist gifted teachers or facilitators: God has given different types of gifts to different types of people. One gift is the gift of teaching. Identify the teachers in your church. These are the people who love God’s Word and can accurately communicate it to others. A facilitator does not have to have the gift of teaching. This person needs to be organized, friendly, and an effective communicator. Some studies need a teacher while other studies need a facilitator. It is important to know the difference so you can enlist the right type of leader. This positions the group to be successful.

• Promote well: In order for women to come to Bible study, they need to know what studies are being offered. Use all modes of communication and invite all the women in your church and community.

• Ask for feedback: Learn from your mistakes and be willing to try new things. Ask the women in the group what worked and what did not work. Do not be afraid of messing up or making a mistake. Embrace it as part of the process.

“All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”  1 Timothy 3:16, New International Version

For help in equipping and engaging women in your church and community, contact Andrea Lennon at alennon@absc.org.