A couple of months ago I visited a real, live, brick and mortar Christian bookstore to pick up a copy of a book we were considering for our ladies’ Bible study at my church. I love the internet (where all the best deals on books can be found) but, for me, nothing compares to seeing the actual pages, particularly when making a decision on something as important as Bible study. I look at the book at the store; I’ll more often than not purchase it online!
While looking for the title I had in mind, I decided to survey the Bible study section, browsing for, you know, studies that are mainly about, well, the Bible. They were there; I found them in the far back corner, about four shelves’ worth, behind the (multi-rowed) section of (video) studies on topics such as communication (important), marriage (very important), and, among other things, not being frantic (also important).
I’m sure all of those studies are good and for the most part Biblically based. Important, as I said. I’m not writing today in criticism of any particular study nor author.
Let me also say this: neither am I criticizing video based Bible studies. I’ve facilitated many video studies. Many. From back when they were VHS, and only a few available at that. I’ve benefited greatly from each and every video study I’ve done and haven’t regretted a single one. Not one, so don’t hear me hating on DVD studies nor the authors and teachers of such. As a matter of fact, I’m certain I haven’t facilitated my last video based study.
However, while we’re talking about it, the thing about video studies is…well, they’re just…so…prevalent! Now if one wants to lead a Bible study, one merely needs a TV, a DVD player, and voila! instant Bible study featuring a dynamic, gifted communicator who’s been blessed with the benefits of stylists and wardrobe consultants and hair and makeup professionals not to mention sound editors who take care of all stammers and verbal miscues and such…
Do I sound cynical? I’m not. Really, I’m not. I will admit, my visit to the bookstore that day left me a little unsettled as I realized anew my complete and utter lack of qualification when it comes to teaching. I have no training–not even speech class in high school! In the depths of my insecurity, I wondered (and not for the first time)…in light of the plethora of gifted communicators readily available with the purchase of a DVD, what is there for women like me, women called by God to teach the Word, yet ordinary women with only ordinary skills, women with passion and willingness and little else?
I don’t want my name on some DVD. Not at all. That’s not my point. It just seems to me that the seeming peddling of personalities and platform can make women like me wonder if our calling has any relevance. Why should I stumble and stammer through a lesson that I am horribly ill “qualified” to teach when I can insert a disc and get the real deal instead? Why even try?
So, did I have a point? Other than yet another confession of my perpetual insecurities? Oh, yes. The point I wanted to have was this: STUDY THE WORD. As I wandered and wondered at the bookstore, I kept thinking of something I heard John Piper say: Wimpy theology makes for wimpy women.
How do we be strong women of God? Have a strong understanding of God (theology). How do we develop strong theology? Through the study of His Word! Let’s not settle for wimpy theology. Let’s determine to know God by knowing the deep things of His Word. Communication skills and a proper understanding of God’s plan for marriage are important, no doubt about it, but let’s also be women devoted to studying the Bible. Theology is not only for pastors and seminarians–it’s for you and me too! Strong theology will transform us into strong women of God whose humble, ordinary lives will bring glory and honor to our All sufficient, extraordinary God!
And, oh yeah, if He’s calling you to teach His Word–or whatever else that you feel insufficient in and woefully incompetent to do, not to mention completely without a wardrobe stylist–go ahead and say yes. His all surpassing power is best revealed in weakness, His treasure in the ordinary jar of clay! Yes and amen!