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Browsing Tag: Leadership

5 Things We’ll Talk About At Our Next Board Meeting

Believe it or not, this is the time of year I start thinking about planning our calendar for next year in women’s ministries. Our board meets every other month, and I want to begin praying and thinking about it together, and give them time to think and pray further individually, before we come back together in November and finalize it.

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A few pieces of the conversation we will have:

  • We’ll Pray. Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. We will ask God to show us what to address this year, how to use this unique opportunity to minister in His name.
  • We’ll discuss our church’s overall mission – Reproducing Faithful Followers of Christ. How are we making disciples? Each idea gets filtered through this. Does your church have a mission or vision statement? Keep it in the conversation.
  • We’ll keep our church’s core values in view  – Gospel, Truth, Prayer, Maturity, Relationships, Ministry, Outreach, Stewardship. How is this ministry called to address those in the upcoming year?  Where can we enter in and teach and encourage women in light of these core values? One thing I am going to suggest is a workshop teaching women how to study the Bible on their own, introducing them to a variety of resources. (Truth).   If your church doesn’t have core values, the above list is a pretty good one to use as you plan.  You don’t need (nor should you try) to hit every one each year.  Just pray about it, asking God what area has been neglected or should be addressed.
  • We’ll under-plan. There are so many great ways to serve both the church and the community that we don’t need to plan things just to have things to do.  Women are busy, and what we do must be meaningful.  We want to consider what will be happening in the whole church, then deciding what to offer for women’s ministries. We usually under-plan, in that we plan less, and leave white space on the calendar for things that may come up next year.
  • We’ll evaluate our fall event.  For the past several years we have had an event in the Fall that features a woman from our church telling a story of what God has done in a specific situation in her life, and what she has learned about God from that.  I think it is encouraging to see God at work among us.  The vulnerability the speaker shows also promotes an authentic openness for us all.  Each year, however, we evaluate if this should continue another year or not.  There can be no sacred cows.

There will be so many good ideas, and processing them through prayer and these points will help us to stay on mission with our church.  As we discuss, general themes often emerge, and we find that God brings us to some specific ways we can encourage and mature women.

The Swedish Bible Study Method

Two years ago a friend and I decided to lead a  and we decided we didn’t want to use any curriculum. Just us and our Bibles.  We chose 1 Peter and wanted something to help guide our discussion and add some consistency to our meetings.  We landed on the Swedish Bible Method, a series of Bible study questions I had learned about years. My co-leaders husband was already using it in his Bible study, and was really enjoying it and learning a lot.

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The Swedish Method is a simple way to focus on Scripture either alone or in a group.  The questions are appropriate for anyone at any stage in their faith.

At each meeting, we spent a few minutes catching up with each other.  Then, after prayer, one of us would read the passage we would be discussing aloud.  After that, we spent about 5-7 minutes in. complete. silence. We used this time to each personally reflect on the questions at hand, and record our answers.  I expected this to be an uncomfortable time, but it ended up being sooo relaxing and life giving.  After a hectic day it was sometimes the sweetest part of the evening, those 5 minutes.

We then began discussing our thoughts on the questions.  There are three main questions, each with a symbol.  Here they are from Matthias Media:

Swedish Method

These questions led to some really interesting conversations.  For more information, and for a template of the questions, head on over to The Swedish Method/Matthias Media

 

A Framework for Choosing Bible Studies for Your Church

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Planning for women in your church can be daunting.  So many people, so many options.  I have found it really helpful to start with a framework and then, after prayer, plug in appropriate studies.

The church I serve at can usually support several studies just for women, on top of our mentoring ministry and the parachurch that meets in our town.  In looking at what those studies we will offer should be, I try to include several types, which create my framework:

 

  • A foundational study.  This one teaches basic truths.  It can be joined anytime during the semester, and has little or no homework.  It is a great study for someone new to our church, or new to the faith.  I always want one study that is easy to jump into mid-stream for those who start attending church in the middle of a semester, and this is it.
  • A deep Bible study.  This is a more challenging class, with homework.  Often it is video based, a la Beth Moore. This class provides daily homework, which many women love. This one isn’t easy to jump into mid-semester. I prefer if this one actually walks through a book of the Bible.
  • A topical class.  This class is focused on a pertinent topic. I choose these based on what I am hearing a lot about from women in our class.  If a teacher mentions to me that several women in her class are struggling with depression, the next semester we may offer a class that focuses on that.  Other issues we have addressed are dealing with anxiety, suffering, self-discipline, discernment – you get the picture.  These are chosen based on what people are telling me they are seeing in our women, or what women are asking to have addressed.

 

What about you? How do you plan the studies you will offer? What are some of your favorite resources?

7 Lessons from Leading Women’s Bible Studies

23 years ago I was asked to lead my first .  Gulp.  I quickly agreed, and then went home and tried not to throw up!  I co-led with the pastor of the church and was at least 10 years younger than everyone else.  I knew I was out of my league but wanted to soak up and learn everything I could that year. And oh, I learned so much!

I came across this article by Elizabeth Spencer this week and can tell you I have experienced each point in it.  If you are looking to lead a Bible study this Fall, or  any type of group, give this a read!

7 Lessons from Leading Women’s Bible Study | The Unabashed Woman