What is one thing or cause that you are passionate about? (More specifically, something you feel that the Lord has burdened your heart with)
Like many of the others who answered this week’s question, I could probably come up with a whole list of things for which I am burdened. Narrowing myself down to just one takes a bit of work, but here goes…
I believe that we who teach women in the church must emphasize the importance of women learning to study the Scriptures for themselves.
I know that there is a place for pre-packaged Bible studies that can be bought through your local Christian bookstore. I have actually taught a number of these myself. When a church does not have a strong teacher for women, or when a group of new believers begin to study the Bible together, having a model to follow can be beneficial. Many of these studies are written on topics that women find interesting, and like-minded women can gather around a study for a limited period of time for fellowship, encouragement, and learning. These studies can be helpful, when used properly.
However, nothing can substitute for daily opening the Word of God and reading it for ourselves.
…they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. (Acts 17:11, ESV)
In this passage, Paul commends the Bereans for being willing to study for themselves and to test what Paul and Silas were saying against the revealed Word of God.
I believe that we are doing a disservice to the women in our churches if we do not teach them how to interpret and apply the Bible for themselves. While we may get a measure of this from a Bible study workbook, most of the hard work is still being done for us by the author.
Just as the Bereans, we live in a world where not all “Bible teachers” are interested in an accurate interpretation of the Word. Preachers and teachers are available to us 24/7, thanks to the television, radio, and the Internet. We must teach our women to examine the Scriptures for themselves so that they can know whether or not what they are hearing and reading is actually what the Bible says.
By teaching them to “feed” themselves with the Word of God, we are protecting them from the subtle influence of the world around them, a world that is not interested in their spiritual growth. New Age spirituality, watered-down Christianity, and the world of cults are common in our media, through celebrities, and on talk shows. Women must learn to identify these influences and to warn others against them.
To my friends at LifeWay and Moody … I am not out to eliminate your jobs! There is a time and place for the studies that you work so hard to publish. Many of them are very good and helpful, and provide useful resources for women’s ministries.
I would just remind us to be Bereans, studying the Word for ourselves first, and then using these wonderful Bible studies to fill in the gaps.