3 Ministry Book Recommendations and I answer "What's the one thing that has been most helpful to you in your devotional life?"
This past weekend I attended a Word-Filled Women Workshop hosted by The Gospel Coalition at another Acts29 church in Denver. It was excellent. A handful of teachers came from TGC came to demystify inductive Bible study for us, encouraging us to take the time to read and expound the scriptures for ourselves and to teach other women to do the same.
I know the workshops are limited and you're not likely to see one in a city near you. So here are three related books I encourage all women in ministry to get on their bookshelves right away:
Word-Filled Women's Ministry: Loving and Serving the Church, edited by Gloria Furman and Kathleen Nielson, will give you both a great foundation for women’s ministry, as well as help you brainstorm ideas for how you might do or trouble-shoot women’s ministry in your local context. If anyone new to women’s ministry were to ask me for a handbook, this is what I would give them.
Women of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts and Our Minds, by Jen Wilkin, is my other, oft-repeated, recommendation. Much of what we learned at the workshop is similar to what is taught in this book. It’s a small book and easy read, but chock-full of robust wisdom. The ladies in my local church are finding it a quick read and we’re going to practice doing inductive Bible study together this Friday. I’m excited!
Taking God At His Word: Why the Bible Is Knowable, Necessary, and Enough, and What That Means for You and Me, by Kevin DeYoung, is an accessible introduction to the Word of God for both Christians and non-Christians. It will bolster your understanding of what the Bible says and why it is sufficient for us.
The workshop concluded with a panel discussion, to which attendees could present questions that come from their local context. I was honored to be on the panel and provide my two cents on a few different topics. I was given three specific questions to answer and I thought I would share them here, with you (This is how I often blog—if I had to think about it in real life, then why not write it down and share it here? Hopefully it will be helpful to someone and God can use it twice!). I’ll share the answers to all three questions over the next three days.
Question #1: What’s one thing that’s been the most helpful with your personal devotional life and interaction with the Word?
Answer: Other women. I am a team player, for sure. I find that if left to myself I make excuses and don’t get work done. Therefore, I always have a prayer and accountability partner, a scripture memory partner, and a group Bible study. Maintaining those team relationships spurs me on to stay focused on the Word of God. I'd love to say that I am completely self-motivated, but it's not how I'm wired. Because I know that, my discipline comes in finding teammates to run the course with me. This is not to say that I don't complete my own, personal Bible study and prayer time -- I do. But much of my spiritual striving takes place in the context of a community of other women.
A second answer to this question might be scripture memory itself. There is nothing like memorizing the word of God to transform one’s mind and heart (but I must have a partner!).
You can learn more about my various partners from these previous posts:
Come back for Q & A #2 tomorrow!