Why women aren't reading the Bible and what we can do about it. #biblestudy

Most of us probably realize the majority of the women we serve struggle to read the Bible on a regular basis.

And if we’re being real, we’d admit that many of us struggle to read the Bible on a regular basis too.

Let’s take a look at the reasons why your women aren’t reading the Bible and what we can do about it.

Just over a year ago, God prompted us to shake up our regular Bible study offerings. We put down our Bible study books and picked up God’s Word.

The first day of our READ Bible study we asked our women to anonymously and honestly assess their Bible study habits. Here’s a copy of the card each one filled out.

We knew our women weren’t regularly reading their Bibles, but it was worse than I had expected.

Our women were brutally honest. Many of them have grown up in the church, but very few were reading their Bible outside of church on Sunday. And while the majority of our women were over 40, most rated their Biblical knowledge on a preschool level. And the roadblocks – every single one received multiple checks…

My heart hurt after reading through all of their cards. Many of these women have been in “Bible study” for YEARS. It drove home the importance of the journey we were about to take.

Lord willing, we were going to increase our women’s Biblical knowledge, we were going to build their confidence in how to read God’s Word, and we would help them to understand why and how reading God’s Word is necessary.

6 Reasons Your Women Aren’t Reading the Bible

1. They think they need a degree. Some of your women assume only those who have gone to seminary have the skills to read the Bible. Surely at least a class or two on Greek and Hebrew is necessary. Not true!

2. They are overwhelmed. It’s a big, long book with 66 smaller books tucked inside. Where does one even start? Some of your women have started at the beginning only to get stuck in Leviticus. We can break things down into manageable segments.

3. No one has shown them how. Where do I start? What Bible version should I use? How much should I read? How often? What information is important? Let’s walk through the answers with them together.

4. There’s no time in their schedule. To really study the Bible many women assume they need to set aside at least an hour every day. For most of your women an hour of study time is just not realistic. Just 10-15 minutes a day will yield fruit!

5. They think the Bible is boring. While not all of the Bible reads like a best-selling novel, even those “drier” sections of scripture serve a purpose or God wouldn’t have put them there. There is so much of the Bible that does read like a reality show script! Murder, deceit, miracles, mystery, battles, and romance – the Bible has it all and more!

6. It’s doesn’t seem applicable. Written so long ago, many women assume the words no longer apply today. They do not know that God’s word “is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” according to Hebrews 4:12. Every single issue we struggle with is addressed in some way in the Bible.

According to the American Bible Society’s State of the Bible in 2015, “three out of five adults say they wish they read the Bible more often (61%).” (page 17)

There is a desire to read the Bible more.

We can help women work through the obstacles that prevent them from spending more time reading God’s Word.

The READ Bible Study we offered removed those barriers.

  • We walked our women through an easy-to-follow method of digging into God’s Word (recording, exploring, applying, and doing).
  • We included a structured time of discussion each week.
  • Our women shared with each other the Truth and insights they had uncovered studying God’s Word with the Holy Spirit as their guide.

Earlier this year, I packed up the READ Bible Study into an individual study. You can find it here.

After months of working to pull together all of the materials we used with our group (including those Bible Study Habit cards above), everything we used and more is available for you to use with your group. You can use this method to study ANY book of the Bible. Our women read 1st and 2nd Timothy in the fall and Ephesians and Titus during the winter/spring.

The READ Bible Study for Groups is a 4-ebook kit for you can use with your Bible study group, Small Group, Sunday school class, or as part of training for your mentors.

The kit includes:

  1. The READ Bible Study Workbook for Groups
  2. How to Host the READ Bible Study in Your Church or Community
  3. The READ Bible Study Facilitator Guide
  4. Digging Deeper: Lessons, Activities, and Resources
To purchase or find out more about the READ Bible Study for Groups click here.

We were blown away by the positive response!

  • “It got me back into God’s Word daily.”
  • “Learning how to dig deeper in the Word.”
  • “It made me get more involved in the Bible study.”

As your team make plans for your next Bible study offerings, I hope you’ll consider the READ Bible Study for Groups.

Even if your women’s ministry team is not responsible for overseeing the women’s Bible study offerings at your church, we all share in the responsibility of making sure our women know and engage with God’s Word.

What’s your next step?

  • Perhaps God is prompting your team to meet with the Discipleship Pastor to discuss ways in which you can work together to build Biblical literacy and engagement among the women in your church.
  • God may be asking your team to step up and take responsibility for the women’s Bible studies in your church.
  • Or perhaps God wants to start with you. Check out the READ Bible Study Method for individual use.

The Bible has the power to transform your life and the lives of the women in your church – if only we’ll read it!

You may also want to read:
Teaching Women to Read the Bible
Why I’m Tired of Bible Study Books
Tips and Tools for Bible Study and Small Group Facilitators

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