For the past several months God has been increasing my discomfort with the Bible “studies” we’ve been doing at our church.
I’ve come face to face with the fact that I’m tired of Bible study books…
Like many of you, our women’s ministry holds weekly Bible study meetings one morning most weeks.
For the past several years we’ve used Bible study books as our curriculum. I’ve shared about several of the book studies we’ve used.
I was okay with it for a little while. There are a lot of life-changing great Bible study books out there.
But after spending almost the last 3 years (and 2 summers) working through book after book (albeit at 2 different churches) and listening to other authors share what THEY think a verse or section of scripture means, I’m kind of (okay a lot) tired of listening to other famous people’s opinions about the Bible.
Before you begin to think I’m a know-it-all, I’m not. Really. I don’t a have seminary degree. I can’t even recall if I took a class on the Bible in college.
I’ve tried to read the Bible all the way through, but have yet to do so. I’m armed with some good Bible study resources and the Holy Spirit, but please don’t ask me to explain a passage of scripture to you without some serious prep time.
I find I’m wanting more meat – aka actual scripture verses – than a lot of book studies contain. While personal anecdotes from an author can at times be helpful, I’m kind of burnt out on them… anybody else?
Ya’all –the Bible is filled with stories put there by God Himself to illustrate Truths in His Word.
Does this strike anyone else as kind of odd?
What is holding us back from picking up the Bible and studying it?
I get that many of us, myself included, don’t feel smart enough.
We want someone to coach us along. To hold our hand as we dig into God’s Word.
Girls! We’ve got the Holy Spirit! There is no better coach anywhere!
When we spend more time in Bible study books reading rather than opening the Bible, there is a problem!
Maybe it’s the four years I spent in BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) that’s creating some of this discontent. For those 4 years it was me, my Bible, and a list of questions. First we read and discovered things on our own, and only after that did we get a verse-by-verse lesson from our teacher and teaching notes from BSF International (much like what you’d find in any good commentary).
I’m wondering if other women in our church and community feel the same way.
Are they tired of being spoon-fed?
Are they longing for some meat?
Has God given them a hunger for His Word?
It’s time we stop unintentionally fueling the belief that our women are not capable of studying the Word without a well-known author at the helm.
I can’t help but to wonder what Jesus thinks of all of us. Does He sit there sighing, shaking His head, and musing, “Girls, I gave you the Holy Spirit and the Bible. You’ve got all you need.”
Does He get angry that we’re allowing a few wolves in sheep’s clothing to misconstrue His Word?
I’m not saying we should throw the baby out with the bathwater.
I’ve been praying about what to do.
I’ve sought wise counsel. I’ve been reading His Word, seeking confirmation.
This fall, if our Bible Study Review Team agrees, I’ll be facilitating a group that will be reading through one book of the Bible. (I don’t know which one yet.) On a side note: We almost always offer two “studies” so those wanting a “Bible study book” will still have that option.
We’re going to rely on the Holy Spirit and our Bibles.
My initial plan is that each week we’ll read through a chapter. We’ll look at the context and share what we’ve learned about God.
Ya’all I am nervous as all get-out about this!
I’ve never done anything like it. Ever.
I feel completely unqualified. But that’s okay. I’m stepping out in faith and seeking to be obedient.
I’m praying other women in our group will desire the same and that someone (anyone?) will show up. I’m keeping my doubts and fears at bay, most days.
I’m not saying I’ll never pick up another Bible study book again. I know I will. I’ve grown and gained from most I’ve done.
I just know in this season, God wants me in His Word with the Holy Spirit as my helpmate.
Maybe you can relate.
I’d be humbled and honored if you’d pray for me and the women in our church and community as we deviate from what has become the norm in recent years.
I’d love to hear if God’s calling you to do something different this fall! Let’s be obedient together!
You may also want to read:
Teaching Women to READ the Bible
The READ Bible Study Workbook
How to Set Up and Facilitate a Bible Study Review Team
5 Myths Bible Study Leaders Believe
My Favorite Bible Study Resources
6 Questions Your Women Will Have About the First Day of Bible Study