Last month a young lady from church approached me about starting a book club. The purpose was to get together with other young women from church to read something spiritual, to fellowship, and to learn more about what God wants for our lives. I have been interested in staring a book club for a long time, so I agreed to be a part of it. Then she said, I feel like you should be the one to lead it. Umm…
The more I learn about God and His word, the more I like to be behind the scenes. I’ll write the books and studies, but the desire to share with people face to face has faded over the years.Some of my goals with my word of the year points toward discipleship and mentorship–sharing the word of God with other women, teaching them to be students and devoted followers of Jesus. Leading this book club would be a great way to start doing this.
After a great first meeting, the ladies and I all went to the Christian bookstore nearby to browse for bibles and books we could read this year. They expressed a desire to dig into the word, to better understand it. From that point on, I’ve been thinking of ways to help them do that.
I had a conversation last night with the young lady who asked me to help her start the book club. We talked about the changes we want to make now that we’ve had a couple meetings, and we were able to formulate a plan to meld reading books with studying the word, fellowship, encouraging one another and pushing one another to be better.
I love studying the word of God. I’m sure a big part of the reason I love it is because I love studying words period. But a bigger part of it is the fact these are the words of life. The bible is the manual I use to live this life and be in expectation for the life to come. I enjoy digging deep and finding out who God is and what He requires of me. But some don’t share my enthusiasm.
Even though literacy rates are good in America, biblical literacy is on a decline. Many people don’t share my love of reading the word for themselves. Many books and resources geared toward women are more focused on “women’s issues” than on helping women understand the full counsel of the word of God. But even more pressing is the fact most PEOPLE aren’t invested in biblical literacy. Some people who go to church every Sunday don’t know how to study the bible, keep a verse in context, find out the original words used and what the real meaning of the passage is, or otherwise feed themselves the word of God.
I see resources becoming available to women to encourage them to really dig in to the word, but many have disordered eating around the word of God. They stuff themselves with the word and vomit it out, never digesting the nutrients therein, or they starve themselves, only eating the word on Sundays. They are on liquid diets, refusing the meat of the word. This hearts my heart. I want to see women full on the word, building up spiritual muscles and nourishing their spirit man.
What am I going to do about this? I’m going to share the word with the women who meet with me each week. I’m going to teach them how to eat the word. Each week, we will have one hour focused solely on scripture. I will teach them new study techniques and we will study passages of scripture related to our book. I’m going to share with them how I became a student of the word of God and show them it’s not impossible for them to know what preachers and Sunday school teachers know. I’m going to share with them ways in which they can guard themselves against falling prey to false teachers and how to tell when a verse is being used out of context to make a point the verse wasn’t written to make.
I feel the weight of this on me and to tell you the truth, I’m scared of it. I don’t want to teach them wrong or lead them astray. But it’s my responsibility as a disciple of Christ to go and teach. When those who are taught are baptized, the scriptures call us to continue teaching them. There is an expectation that people move from the milk of the word to meat. None of this is to be taken lightly, but we have to obey the Lord’s express command in this area.
I’m asking my fellow Christians to pray with me and for me as I attempt to lead other young ladies in how to study the word of God and apply it to their lives in a meaningful way. I pray this group is formed and knit together exactly how God planned it and no scheme of the devil is allowed in to divide it. I pray these women are brought closer to God and each other through sharing openly and honestly in this forum, studying together and praying for each other. Since every bit of this is the will of God according to His word, I know it will be done if we are faithful to it. I pray we can all die to self and get self out of the way so Jesus can be seen and shared.