I have taught women’s Bible study for the past decade and I love it! I love walking with women through a topic or a book of the Bible and learning more about who God is and who we are in relationship to Him. I love the faces of new women who have never done a study before and are nervous that they will somehow fail the class. I love the excitement that comes with digging into God’s Word and finding that it never changes and it always works.
I have heard the voices of the naysayers discussing the demise of the women’s Bible study movement. “It’s no longer cool to do a Bible study.” “Women are turning from Bible study.” I even read one guy who strongly feels Bible study is sinful. (I would like to see him explain that to the women I know whose lives have been changed through participation in a Bible study.)
Personally, God used several studies to impact my life in powerful ways. Kay Arthur taught me how to study the Bible inductively, and I have spent hours with Beth Moore walking with the patriarchs, David, and so many more. In fact, God used these women and others to encourage me to write Bible studies.
So how can Bible studies be negative?
The studies themselves cannot be negative unless they stray from the truths of the Word of God. From the perspective of anyone learning how to study God’s Word or men and women gathering together to encourage one another — Bible study is great.
Where a few have struggled is in the idolization of speakers and authors. Groupies have emerged in the Christian culture and this is far from biblical. Mature followers of Christ understand that all men and women are fallible, even those God is using to develop tools to study His Word. Authors and speakers who cultivate an atmosphere of stardom are definitely a negative side to the study of God’s Word. My experience with those who only attend Bible studies because they think it is the cool thing to do is that they don’t do the homework, they don’t invest in the life-changing meditation on God’s Word, and they rarely make application to their own lives.
Tweet: Fans are fickle but followers are faithful.
The desire to promote an agenda is also a negative side of Bible study. Truthfully, this is not Bible study at all. When a person wants to share their thoughts with the world then we cannot consider that a true Bible study regardless of how many verses they attach to it. A true Bible study is an examination of God’s thoughts and His ways — not mans. God sets the agenda for any topic or study from His Word.
My greatest concern regarding the women who attend my weekly study or for those who watch the videos, is that the only time they are in the Word is when they are plugged into a study. For me, Bible study should promote the personal and individual study of God’s Word. A woman who is growing and experiencing the life-changing truths of God’s Word finds that it is truly her daily bread. Relationship with Jesus Christ is what drives her to the discipline of study and nothing else.
My goal is to fade from view so that Jesus, who is the real Teacher of the study, can be seen and heard clearly. When this happens, Bible study is amazing.