Tonight Is For Lady Bible Teachers
A group of lady Bible teachers are heading to Portland today. They are brave women who are ready to work, for Exposition Training Weekend begins tonight. The words to describe our journey to come to this event are failing me. “Anticipation” and “long-awaited” feel inadequate.
When we first began the Verity Fellowship, we wanted events to benefit women laboring in the kingdom. We knew that training was our piece of the puzzle to offer. The goal was to offer training to women in a variety of ministries. However, even as we fulfilled that goal, as we prayed long and giddily brainstormed, our hearts dreamed about what it looked like to support and further train women in a specific ministry - teaching the Bible. Even more specifically, expositing the Bible in front of a group.
Exposition is when we derive our message from one Bible passage, laboring to expound the main point of the text as the main point our listeners need to hear. It explains, illustrates, and applies the biblical truth and points us to hope in Jesus. We knew this kind of teaching bore fruit, and we wanted to encourage the women doing it.
The Vision and the Need
Over the last 10 years, certain sentences ran the track in my brain and flowed out of my mouth like favorite lyrics. If you were around me, you’d hear me reassuring you of these truths.
“Women can teach the Bible.”
“We can use our brains well.”
“Interpretation is not over your head.”
“We don’t just get up and ‘share’ a few thoughts related to some Bible verses.”
“Women can and should exposit the Bible.”
“We must study well. We must pray much. We must point to Jesus. We must bring the passage to bear on the lives of those listening.”
“The Spirit empowers us to do this, and it honors Jesus.”
And then, usually after a good conversation about ministry, you would have heard my next level of ponderings regarding women teaching the Bible.
“Sometimes when we think we’re Bible teaching, we wander into doing something else.”
“Women who teach the Bible need help; we need each other.”
“The standards for women teaching the Bible should not be any lower than for men teaching the Bible. We need to be held accountable to use the Scriptures well.”
“Who will give us feedback? Not the ‘Oh, good job,’ or ‘That was interesting’ kind of feedback. Who is going to tell us the truth?”
“How will we grow?”
“How will we grow?” That has been a drumbeat of a question when it comes to women teaching the Bible. We have women gifted to teach and using that gift in various outlets. Praise God for those opportunities. Now, how do we grow? We must steward this ministry well.
Let’s Grow Together
It's been three years since Verity Fellowship began, and we started asking these questions in earnest. This weekend we will ask how we grow with intention, and then we will answer each other. Over the next couple days, we are going to talk about what it means to exposit a Bible passage. We will be diving into homiletical outlines and structure. We will dig into exegeting our audience and thinking through gospel-centered application. The Gospel of Mark is our book for the weekend, and we will be all about narratives and seeing Jesus.
Over the next couple of days, each woman who comes is going to teach us the Bible. That’s right. Each courageous sister will stand up with her assigned passage and let us have it, bringing the main idea of the text to bear on our lives and lighting up our hearts with the truth. Jesus is going to be lifted high as woman after woman proclaims the good news he brings and his call for us to respond. With a room full of Bible teachers, what else would we do?
So, at some point this weekend all of us will look into the eyes of our trusted new friends and ask “How can I grow?” It won’t be a rhetorical question, but a hope-filled one. We will answer it. Together we’ll give each other feedback, pushing the work forward. And women who teach the Bible will be encouraged and grow. And the Spirit will produce much fruit through the gifts of these women as they return to their own ministry contexts.
That's our prayer, and we trust that the Lord will answer.
“How Will Bible Teachers Grow?”
Have you ever asked that question? "How can I grow?” I encourage you to consider joining a group of honest and excited women at ETW next year. We’ll try to answer that question for you. And you can help us by doing the same.