One way to put the Great Commission into practice in your women's ministry is to start a women's home Bible study. A home setting can bring added warmth and openness to a small study group.
The key elements of a successful home Bible study — prayer, teaching, fellowship, and the breaking of bread — are given in Acts 2:42-47. Here are some practical tips to get you started on a home Bible study that models the church in that Scripture passage:
As God places a burden on your heart for reaching women, pray about the possibility of a home Bible study.
- Ask God to draw you to people who have the same desire, a vision to reach women for Christ and disciple them.
- Pray for those God desires to be a part of this study although you might not know their names yet, He does (John 10:14).
- Pray about all of the details concerning logistics (Philippians 4:6).
- Pray that God would bring unity to the group and that they would love each other deeply (Philippians 2:1-2, 1 Peter 1:22).
- Pray that each woman who attends would encounter Jesus in a personal way (John 20:18).
Consider asking a group of prayer warriors to pray specifically for this ministry and watch God bring together homes, leaders, and everything you need for starting home Bible studies (Ephesians 3:14-21, Philippians 4:19).
Work through teaching details.
- Who will be taught? Determine who you're trying to reach with a home study — neighbors, non-believers, friends, co-workers, moms and daughters, grandmothers, homebound women? In your women's ministry, there are gifted persons that have a heart for particular ministries. As you pray, God will direct you to potential leaders (Romans 12:4-8).
- What will be taught? Visit a local Christian bookstore to evaluate which Bible studies will best meet the needs of your target groups. Pray, consult other leaders, and choose the one that will best minister to potential participants (Acts 2:42, 1 Timothy 3:16, 4:2).
- When and where will it be taught? Home Bible studies provide flexibility because they don't have to be planned around a church calendar. Publicize the study to your target group, giving them the day, time, and location of the study. Decide on the best ways to spread the word to others (2 Thessalonians 3:1).
Nail down details of fellowship and the breaking of bread for your group.
- Determine to have fun! Women need each other, so fellowship and the breaking of bread are important. Plan to have refreshments weekly or several times throughout the study to provide an opportunity for women to fellowship casually (Acts 2:46-47).
- Determine what's next. At the end of the study, decide if the group should continue. If so, begin another study. Don't ever become exclusive — beware of becoming a long-term closed group, and be intentional in fostering new relationships (Hebrews 10:24-25).
Home Bible studies provide a wonderful opportunity to expand your women's ministry. If your church hasn't tried one, pray about it. If the Lord leads, give it a shot, and watch God do "above and beyond all that we ask or think" (Ephesians 3:20).
Find a Bible study for your women's group.