Beginning next Wednesday night, I will be leading a ladies' Bible study with a friend, Cathy Jones. It's probably been a decade or so since I've led a study and even 5 years or so since I've attended a study. When we moved back to Arizona from California, we had a lot of changes going on, life was just busy and most of the studies at our church were during the day. In addition, my job didn't leave me with much energy to venture out for extra activities, so I'm just now feeling comfortable enough with my schedule to add something else. The good news was when Cathy mentioned that she'd like to do an evening study on this side of town too, and would help me lead it if I wanted to start something.
Anyway, I'm excited about getting back into a regular group again. Anyone who has been in one of my groups can tell you that I'm not a "teacher". I do not have the gift of teaching and will never claim to. Because of that, I rely heavily on others who do have that gift. Some of you have heard of Beth Moore and are familiar with her like an old friend. I must say that being out of the "Bible Study scene" for a while, I've never done one of her studies. I've heard many good things about them and in previewing this video series, I'm happy to take the plunge and go thru the topic of "Loving Well" with Beth and the ladies in our group. It's one of her shorter series (4 sessions) which works well for our format of every other week in our busy fall schedule. We'll watch a video of Beth teaching each time we meet, everyone will do their homework journal in between, then Cathy and I will be facilitating the discussion when we return the next time. No major teaching, just learning from each other and God, sharing life stories, encouraging, questioning, wrestling with new truths, applying principles, exploring, etc. Perfect format for me at this time in my life.
Plus, I've been learning so much about trusting God and others with who I really am and creating environments of grace, since moving back here, that I'm looking forward to including those truths in our discussions as well. I can't imagine a discussion about loving without including them. If you want to hear more about these, download some sermons from Open Door Fellowship or pick up some books from Leadership Catalyst. They are life changing!
As of right now it looks like we're going to have around 13 ladies with a wonderful range of ages and stages of life. We have everything from ASU students to grandmothers, women I've never met to those I've known for 35 years. It should be a rich & precious time together. I think the hardest part will be keeping our meeting time to 2 hours. With so many ladies, it will be a challenge to keep them all reigned in during the sharing time...we'll be praying for wisdom in how to do that well.
I'll keep you posted on how things are going and try to get some shots of the group as things move along. I'm really excited!
This is a little off track, but I just read it and think that it's a perfect picture of what I mean about an environment of grace. See John Lynch's TrueFaced Blog post here.