Monday, January 14, 2013

Women's Online Bible Study Invitation

*** Update: If you plan to follow along in the book (this is optional), please be familiar with the Introduction and Chapter One for the first week of the study starting on January 23.***

So I decided to try something new by hosting a women's Bible study on my blog. I have hosted Bible studies before at church or in my home. I love them. They are wonderful for concentrated Bible-learning and sweet fellowship. I believe the relationships and the accountability within a (healthy) small group is so beneficial for spiritual growth.

I also noticed some challenges with leading a weekly Bible study. The fact is, people are busy. And we women can be very insecure (hang in here with me). With so many demands it can be a huge sacrifice for a woman to go to a meeting, surrounded by other women who seem to have it all together (but who really does?), and fess up to her weaknesses and struggles...starting with the biggest one concerning the small group: "I didn't have time to do my homework." There is also the woman who would love to participate but cannot because the meeting lands on a day or night she works, the kids have soccer practice, the only night her husband is home for dinner....

We've all been there. And my heart goes out to women in every situation. I trust that most have good intentions of seeking a deeper relationship with God. The fact is, making a small group Bible study fit the needs of every woman is impossible to do.

So I decided to think outside the box and give this online Bible study a try. I hope to structure it in a way that almost any woman can get something out of it. And what I mean by that is, get back to what Bible study is all about: personal growth in the Lord. The "group" aspect is highly beneficial, but should always be secondary to our individual pursuit of God's presence. I hope this study will offer both in ways that will help and not hinder.

Here's the plan:

Start Date:
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Bible study will post weekly every Wednesday morning for 10 weeks.
The Bible Study: 
So Long, Insecurity by Beth Moore
"Lately I've been realizing more and more than chronic insecurity is a cultural epidemic, but almost no one is talking about it. And it ticks me off. We're insecure about everything from our looks to our worth as women, from our relationships to our futures, and everything else in between.... Let's be honest here. Insecurity makes us miserable... the good news is that insecurity is understandable. The even better news is that insecurity is curable." - Beth Moore

The Resources:
 (These are optional)
So Long, Insecurity (the book)
So Long, Insecurity - Group Experience (workbook)
These links are to Amazon, but you might be able to find them cheaper/more quickly at other online or local stores.

How It Works:
I will be reading the book and doing a guided study through the workbook. From these resources, I will post a weekly summary of the content, as well as a few discussion questions. The weekly posts may also discuss topics you submit in your comments.

Please know you are not required to purchase anything to participate in this study! I just suggest that you decide how much you want to get out of it - then accordingly choose how much you want to put into it. Because of copyright, I will only summarize the content in the book and workbook to get you thinking (and talking) about the topics. For greater understanding, you may want to purchase the book.

Who Can Join:
Any woman is invited to participate in this study! I especially urge you to try it out if you are not able to participate in a small group at your home church. You do not have to belong to my church, or a specific denomination. There are no spiritual qualifications. If you have a desire to learn more about God and His will for you, then you are a good candidate for this study. :)

How to Participate:
I would love to hear from you if you choose to join me. Simply send me a quick message through my contact form to let me know who you are, what you'd like to get out of the study, or any questions you may have. If you would like to remain anonymous, that is fine too.

Also consider participating in the discussion questions each week by posting a comment below the blog post. Talking about what we learn reinforces truth, helps us hash out hindrances, allows us to encourage and inspire one another. When you submit a comment, you will have the opportunity to submit anonymously, or with a username, your real name, or even include your email for follow-up comments. It is up to you to determine your privacy level.

There is just One Discussion Rule: Be courteous, kind, and empathetic to others. Anywhere you go (even within the body of believers) you will find people with whom you do not agree. Accept that and please don't make it an issue. Please use your comments to express your personal thoughts without condemning others. And of course, use every opportunity to build one another up! Thank you! (I will be monitoring comments and will remove any that I determine to be malicious or irrelevant to the study.)

Feel free to comment on posts even if you are a week or two "behind". Just because we moved on to the next chapter of the book doesn't mean we fully conquered that area in our lives. It can still be valuable to discuss.

We will begin the study next Wednesday, so in the mean time, please let me know if you have questions! Also, invite your friends or family to join in. You may decide to subscribe to my blog or bookmark it so you don't miss a post.

I pray this journey will be a blessing to you! See you next week!