Here in rural North Carolina this past Sunday I announced three things for our women at the end of the service and asked all interested to sign-up afterwards – tea & scones at my home; a class on “Learning how to handle guns” & our monthly Bible Study. As I gathered up my things and turned around, I was surprised to see that a whole group of ladies were behind me. Most wanted to attend the gun class, about 6 wanted to come for tea and all wanted the notes for Bible Study. What a pleasant surprise!
It has taken a long time to get this kind of a response. At first I had a “Ladies’ Night Out” – dinner at a local restaurant. I had three women show up. At the dinner I asked if they were interested in a three week Bible Study. They agreed it sounded good. As we were leaving one lady asked if she could speak to me. She told me she had never been to a study and wanted to know if it was held weekly or what. What a privilege to be able to introduce her to the Scripture. This lady had been in a church for 25 years and had never been in a Bible Study. Her growth since has been phenomenal.
Next I started a monthly study that I wrote called, Little Known Women of the Bible. We’ve had 6-10 women attending regularly. Initially we brought “healthy food” to eat and met at a different home each time. I might add the men have mocked our hummus, etc. saying that they would be having steak. Because of scheduling conflicts, we’ve moved to a fixed location and dropped the food. At these meetings, in addition to studying Little Known Women of the Bible, we’ve gotten to know each other and the idea of the gun class came up. (I think it was starting out studying Jael that did it.)
When new women come, I try and get together with them for coffee. I keep the meetings short, no more than 1 hour. Sometimes personal things are shared and other times it’s just light conversation. I’ve found that after this initial meeting they are more apt to come to a group function, like bible study, since they know me a little better.
Personal discipleship in Church Planting takes time and effort. 1Cor. 9:22 freely adapted says ….to those interested in learning about guns, I’ve provided a way; to those who want the refinement of tea and scones, I’m there for them; to all who want to grow in grace and knowledge, I’ll teach Bible study; I’ll do whatever to reach my women for Christ.