I love God’s Word. I find it fascinating and adventurous, life changing and transformational. I have spent over a decade asking the Lord to use me to show other women how fun reading the Bible can be. In my work, I often discover that time spent alone with God in the Word is a real challenge for most people. For years I assumed it was busyness that kept them from diving in to the Word, but lately I have come to realize it is something bigger than busyness. For most women, it comes down to not understanding what they are reading. Eventually, guilt, discouragement, or fear set in.
Recently, on the heels of several conversations with women who wanted to read their Bibles but didn’t know where to start, I heard one of our pastors state that a majority of regular churchgoers do not read their Bibles regularly. This stirred something inside of me. I had this idea. A crazy idea. What if I used social media to teach a handful of women how to read their Bible? Almost as soon as I had the thought, fear set in. I have a very fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants personality and do not have a particularly structured way of studying. I do not use a method of underlining with one color and circling with another color. I do not formally sit down and ask myself certain questions before I begin to read. So I began to worry: “Who am I to teach this?”
The only thing I did know was that the Lord was prompting something within me, so I decided to obey. Later that day I created a post on Facebook asking if anyone would want to join in on a Facebook Live study of the Book of Matthew twice a week. We would discuss one chapter at a time for 15 minutes on Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 5:45 a.m. I would use the study to teach interested women how I study the Bible and what resources are out there. We would stop when we saw a name and discuss who that person was or where the town was on a map. I was hoping for 12 women to say yes, but to my overwhelming surprise I immediately had over 200 women ask to join.
Before the group started, I asked everyone to purchase a good study Bible, a commentary, and a map of Israel. Women began sending me private messages, asking what a study Bible was. So many women were scared of commentaries. They had grown up in churches that discussed these tools, but they had never touched one themselves. But something about my asking them to purchase one helped move them out of their comfort zone. Our local Lifeway store grew so busy helping women pick out these new books that several employees began to question what this was for. This was the first win—getting unfamiliar tools into the hands of women. How exciting!
The first assignment was to study the background of Matthew and chapter one (the genealogy). The challenge I faced was to draw something out of these two lessons that these modern-day women could relate to. I wanted to show them that we could relate to 2,000-year-old male writers who lived halfway across the world. Easy enough. My goal was to teach them that they could learn to apply truth from something as simple as the introduction to a book or as boring as a genealogy (just being real!). Then maybe they would start looking for the same relatable lessons throughout the rest of the study.
What God did in that first broadcast was something special. He took a mother of two in her pajamas on her cell phone and birthed a Bible study community.
Coming next week: three crucial elements in a women’s Bible study group.
Carrie Hunt lives in Orange, Texas, with her husband, Newly, and two girls, Eden (5) and Salem (3). Serving as Small Group coordinator at her church, Bridge Point Fellowship, she focuses on equipping leaders with the practical skills of discipleship and encouraging parents to teach their children how to be followers of Christ in the home. Carrie’s Facebook Live Bible study for women, “Becoming a Bible Nerd,” can be found at facebook.com, and you can follow Carrie on Twitter at @carriebakerhunt.