From Bible studies to simulcasts, our consumption of God’s Word is increasingly characterized by what’s presented to us at the dinner table. We are addicted to video-driven Bible studies!
Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with video studies. Some of the most popular Bible teachers on video today are kingdom servants who faithfully illuminate the Scriptures for women around the globe.
But the longer I serve in women’s ministries, the more I notice this trend: women’s Bible studies are not producing disciples who can feed on the Bible for themselves – and then show others how to prepare a meal from God’s Word.
If your church is addicted to video-driven studies, here are four ways to supplement the spiritual health of your women’s ministry.
1) Cut out video studies cold turkey?! No way!
If you stop offering video Bible studies cold turkey, I guarantee you’ll have a mutiny on your hands. Many women benefit from these types of studies, but we should encourage women not to limit their spiritual diet to prepared foods.
So, start by offering some variety! In your Bible study line-up include an inductive alternative so women can taste test different Bible study formats.
2) Craft a discipleship strategy
Too often, churches allow marketing trends to guide their Bible study offerings instead of an intentional discipleship strategy for women. To develop a strategy, team up with your pastoral staff to discern how your women’s ministry ties into your church’s mission. Then, select Bible studies that facilitate your mission.
If there are no studies that can adequately equip the women in your church’s discipleship strategy, then consider writing your own. What if no one shows up to your study? Start with one woman and grow from there! Everything big has grown from something small.
3) Cultivate a desire for God’s Word
Video studies can help us cultivate a craving for God’s Word, but just as often, they grow our appetites for personalities. If they are the only type of study we’re offering, they can easily turn disciples into lazy feeders of God’s Word – women who don’t know how to read, study, and apply God’s Word on their own.
The type and variety of Bible studies you select is key for developing biblical literacy, but cultivating a desire for God’s Word means exposing women to the transformative effects of God’s Word across all areas of life. You can do this by organizing Scripture memory and Bible reading challenges, and by sharing special testimonies during worship services or women’s programs of women impacted by God’s Word.
4) Choose where to cut costs
Most women’s ministries have limited budgets. So, when planning your next Bible study lineup, pray about putting your money where your mouth is.
Instead of investing in an expensive video series, present a team of women leaders with alternative ways to use your funds. Outline specific costs for Bible studies versus a homegrown study and then cast a vision for local ministry using the remaining budget. Some ideas include hosting a clothes swap to benefit a women’s shelter, conduct a volunteer drive for a crisis pregnancy center, or mobilize team to engage area international students in their own homes. In this way, Bible studies can be tailored to the ministry context of your women’s ministry.
How does your church help your women cultivate an appetite for God’s Word? Share your ideas in the comments!
Melissa’s motto as a Christian journalist and creative writer is to “tell of God’s marvelous works” (Ps. 9:1). And with almost 15 years experience in print and editorial services, God has embedded Melissa with passions gleaned from stories and experiences from the field. But helping women fall in love with the sweetness of God’s Word truly makes her heart sing. Two years ago, she launched HiveResources.com to help women sweeten their walk with Christ through Bible study, missions resources, and more. She recently published a 10-week Bible study, Daughters of the King, to help women find their place in the biblical story. Melissa has a M.Div. in Women’s Studies from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and a B.A. in Journalism from Texas A&M University. She and her husband, Jonathan, are currently part of a church plant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They have five-year-old twin boys, Zacharias and Jonah, who are unwittingly and joyfully shaping them into the image of Christ.
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