I almost didn't sign up. I was super excited when I first heard the Exposition Training Weekend announced. This is what I love about Verity – they make such good and valuable training available to women like me who could never in a million years, for many reasons, go to college or seminary. This was my chance to get good, helpful, loving feedback from other women who love the Scripture and desire to teach it well!
I contacted Taylor like I was supposed to. I got the go ahead from my husband, and my fellow team members at my church, and filled out the online registration form. And then when I hovered the mouse over the submit button, my heart dropped into my stomach and I hesitated...
What was I doing? Am I insane? I already struggle with insecurity and my confidence when I teach! Why would I want to sign up to have this group of women listen to me and tell me what I am doing wrong? How is that going to actually help me?
By now, you are probably thinking, "Why is she telling us this? Shouldn't she be trying to tell us to come to ETW?" That is exactly why I am telling you these things.
I have talked to other women who hesitated for the same reasons. But here is what I learned, and why I finally clicked "submit".
1. The women who are on the Verity team LOVE women!
I knew this before, but I now know this from experience. I recently joined Verity's team, and these women LOVE you! They are not seeking to set you up to fail, to discourage you in your ministry, or to make you lose confidence. No, it’s is the exact opposite! They want to set you up to succeed, to be encouraged in your ministry, and to gain confidence when you teach. They love God's Word and only seek to help you grow in handling it rightly. They know we all struggle and they want to help.
2. We all have room to grow.
I have been teaching at a Bible study for 8 or 9 years now. I have grown every time I have taught, but exponentially so over the last two years that I have been pursuing ways to improve. This means I need to take the risk, put myself out there, and to get feedback from other, more experienced teachers so that I can recognize my weaknesses and grow.
3. My identity is not wrapped up in my ability to teach well.
The biggest thing that changed my mind was a reminder from a friend. She reminded me that my identity is not grounded in my ability, but in Christ. I do not earn favor or forgiveness from God because of how well I teach. I teach because through my repentance and faith in Christ, I have been given grace and mercy.
4. God's Word is too important to communicate it poorly.
No matter the fears we may have, our fear of mishandling and miscommunicating God's word should be greater. God has condescended to communicate with us, and has given us his Holy Spirit to open up our hearts and minds to what it says. Because of this, we have the great privilege to be able to share the gospel – the good news of Christ's death and resurrection – within our ministries and with the world around us!
It is for these reasons, and more, that I am so excited (and yes, still a bit nervous) for ETW to start this week. I will get to spend two days steeped in the Word of God, in fellowship with other women, and being trained to minister the Word well. If you are a woman who desires to grow in your skills and teach the Bible well, I hope you are joining me at ETW this year. I look forward to meeting you. If you aren't going to make it this year, I hope you won’t hesitate to click “submit” next year!