In-person or physically separated, the women in your church crave time together focused on Jesus. The “together” part, however, can sometimes eclipse the “Jesus” part. A strong women’s ministry will establish a plan to keep the main thing the main thing. What process has your ministry put into place to keep Christ central?
God’s Word First
The Scriptures are God’s love letters to his children. They convey his heart and mind, and they are the primary way God communicates with us. God expects us to understand his Word thoroughly and to apply it diligently. Through understanding the Bible, we learn to know and love God intimately. And when we do, we are transformed!
What happens behind the scenes to make possible such change in women’s lives? How will you create an experience that will propel them deep into God’s Word? Whether you minister in a large or small church, pursue the same goal—to partner with God to take them deep into the Bible as he transforms your women.
Effective women’s ministries must make the Bible their priority, but each will use different methods. How will you structure your study for maximum impact? What resources are available? Tailor your structure to the needs of your women. Investigate other women’s ministries for ideas, but don’t merely duplicate. What works for them may not work for you. Gather your team and pray. Then hammer out answers to the following questions.
Will You Study Books of the Bible or Books on the Bible?
First, you must decide what you will study. Will it be in-depth studies that guide your women through a book of the Bible like Genesis or the Gospel of Luke? Will you dig into studies with biblical themes like the covenants or the parables of Jesus? Or will you serve up studies on topics like forgiveness and friendship or the hot bestseller on how to live for Christ?
All are valuable—but which will transform your women with more power and impact? We recommend a steady diet of books of the Bible or biblical themes with sporadic snacks of topical studies. Why?
The Bible contains sixty-six separate documents written over a period of more than fourteen hundred years by more than forty human authors from varied cultures. Yet it is a single unit. Each book is interwoven with the others, fitting together to produce the only literary work in history without error. God, inspiring and empowering human authors, gave us a living book with the power to transform us supernaturally from the inside out. Study it to better understand the character of God, truths related to the world, and for the purpose of life change, not just head knowledge.
Topical studies of particular interest to women provide a nice change of pace. Consider using topical studies as a summer alternative when schedules change and attendance can be inconsistent. Online retailers and Christian bookstores stock many options by reputable Bible teachers. But topical studies usually focus on pertinent Bible verses, often plucked out of context. Without understanding the context, readers more likely misunderstand and misinterpret the full meaning of cited passages.
In their favor, these studies are easy to organize. Order a booklet for each participant, recruit a group leader, and enjoy digging into a topic together. However, your core curriculum should focus on books or themes in the Bible because they change lives. Studying the Bible itself, instead of books about the Bible, does require more effort on the part of the leaders. One of you must know the Bible in order to guide others. You must find a curriculum that fits your needs or recruit someone with the biblical and writing expertise to create your own studies. Some controversial passages can stir up theological disagreements that you will need to research and address.
The Bible is not always easy to understand. Reading ancient literature can sometimes seem like hunting buried treasure. You need to know the historical and cultural background as well as geography. Untangling detailed passages will frustrate lazy women. Avoid the temptation to choose topical or studies on popular books because they are simpler to understand. It is worth the extra effort to bring your women deep into the heart of God’s Word by tackling whole books of the Bible.
Adapted from Organic Ministry to Women (Kregel, 2019)