A note from Chris Adams: Our guest writer is Kara Kemp, who served as women’s ministry training intern at LifeWay Christian Resources, assisting me and Mary Margaret Collingsworth in our work this summer. We wish she was still with us. She is such a precious woman of God who has left her mark on us all.
By Kara Kemp
Don’t pack up your swimsuit and sunscreen just yet, but do start planning for the Bible study that your women’s ministry will be starting this Fall. Going the extra mile in your Bible study planning can make all the difference in creating an atmosphere of genuine fellowship and authentic growth. I recently had the opportunity to chat with one of my favorite women’s ministry leaders, Annette Kemp, who also happens to be my mother. Here are some ideas that we came up with to give your Bible study that extra umph!
1. Start now.
Fall is a busy time in the life of the church, so it is best to get as much of a head start as you can. If you haven’t chosen a specific study yet, then that’s the first step. Check out the newest Bible studies from Beth Moore, Priscilla Shirer, Lisa Harper and many more.
2. Don’t go it alone.
You may have built in help within your women’s ministry team, but also reach out to other women within the church. There are always those that want to serve, but just need an opportunity. Enlist women to help with food sign-ups, decorations, publicity, and greeting.
3. Get creative!
You don’t have to go over the top, but being intentional with your hospitality can often be key in a Bible study member’s overall experience.
- Children of the Day: paper dolls made out of scrapbooking paper with suns on it
- Sacred Secrets: antique keys and treasure chests
- Gideon: wooden shields and swords
- Nehemiah: building blocks
- Ever After: wedding decorations
- Kelly Minter actually includes recipes in her Bible studies. It might be fun to assign a table or small group with the task of making and bringing one of her recipes each week.
- Encourage each table or small group to take a turn bringing food. I enjoy picking a theme when it’s my group’s turn. (Examples include: Mexican, island fare, chili and all the fixings)
- I personally believe getting creative with your coffee bar is always a plus.
4. Consider doing a mission project.
In her James study, Beth Moore encourages groups to do mission projects together as a Bible study group to focus on being “doers of the word” (James 1:22). This concept can be carried over to any study. True transformation is evidenced in both the mind and actions.
5. Stay connected.
Start thinking about how you will create relationships within your group.
- Create a Facebook page and update it often. Post updates and encourage discussion. You may even want to create your own hashtag. (Example: #FBCGideon14)
- Suggest (and keep suggesting) that each person in the Bible study find someone new to go to lunch or coffee with. Set the example by spending time with individual women outside of the group as you can.
- Provide a few short opportunities throughout the duration of the Bible study for women to connect outside of the material, whether this is through a funny “get to know you” question, an icebreaker, or a fun game.
Even though it is fun to get creative and try new things, don’t lose sight of the main thing. All the decor and white chocolate mocha coffee creamer in the world can’t make up for the hope that comes to us through Jesus Christ. Start praying today that He would begin to work in the lives and hearts of those attending the Bible study and that only things that would be glorifying to His name would be a part of your planning.
Kara Kemp served as a women’s ministry training intern at LifeWay in Nashville, Tenn., this summer. She is assisted Chris Adams and Mary Margaret Collingsworth prepare for events such as YOU Lead and the Women’s Leadership Forum. Kara has completed her Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies at Dallas Baptist University, and now teaches Bible and coaches volleyball at the high school level. She enjoys coffee, running, and traveling to new places.