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.
A few pieces of the conversation we will have:
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.
Two years ago a friend and I decided to lead a #Bible study 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.
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:
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
Planning #programming 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 #Bible study 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:
What about you? How do you plan the studies you will offer? What are some of your favorite resources?
23 years ago I was asked to lead my first #Bible Study. 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!