Here's a little more about it...
Bible Study is foundational to everything else of course. So again... we meet the 1st and 3rd weeks of the month for Bible Study. You can use this small group format with any Bible study you choose... except, I imagine, with highly structured weekly studies like Precepts or BSF. Our group is doing a verse by verse study of the book of Ephesians and we're loving it. It's giving us the opportunity to dig deep, move at our own speed,
and allows time to pray for each other.
But it's not so much what Bible study format or book you use
as long as you're learning the Word of God...
learning more about who He is and who you are in Him because...
Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.
Fellowship and Fun
I have to admit that I felt like I had to super justify "Fellowship and Fun" when I gave my workshop. How can we can call having fun together spiritual? And is it really that important? The reality is that Love shared, not only warms the heart, but when it's God's love we're sharing, it nourishes the soul
and has the potential to change a life!
The truth is there are a lot of women in the world and in our churches whose lives are filled with fear and anxiety, heartache and loneliness... women who are living in seriously challenging circumstances who have very little to smile about. That has certainly been me at times in my life and maybe that even describes you or someone you know today. Depression and anxiety are at an all time high... even amongst our sisters in Christ.
Listen to what God says about this...
Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression,
but a good word makes it glad.
Women need good words... God's good Word through Bible Study for sure... but also the encouraging words of other women... words that build us up not tear us down... words of acceptance, affection, and affirmation... cheerful words that give us a break from the heaviness of the world we live in. In the old days women shared their lives with one another when they gathered for quilting bees or to can their food for winter. We don't have those kind of opportunities...
so we need to create new ones!
By having a "Fellowship and Fun" time together,
we provide an opportunity for women to...
LIVE, LOVE & LAUGH together
beyond the four walls of Bible Study and God knows that...
"A merry heart does good like a medicine"
The scientific community has discovered what God has known all along...
laughing out loud is good for our physical, mental, emotional,
and spiritual well-being!! We need to laugh more!
I thought about what James says in Chapter 2... verses 14-26... where he's talking about faith and deeds. He says in v.15-17... "Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead." I thought what if we replaced "clothes and food" with loneliness? You see a sister in Christ who is lonely with no friends and is having a hard time connecting in the church and do nothing about... what good is it?
The "Fellowship and Fun" time is a way to put feet to our faith
by giving an opportunity for women to experience
the friendship of Christ through fellowship.
Okay... sorry I was so wordy! I think I justified "Fellowship and Fun" quite enough... what do you think? Tomorrow I shall give you my list of "Fellowship and Fun" suggestions which is by no means exhaustive... and I'll share with you what we've done so far this year... and I'll look forward to adding your suggestions to mine!!
Heavenly Father... Thank You that You don't call us to do anything that You won't enable us to do. If you are stirring the heart of woman who is reading this to reach out in or for fellowship, but she's wondering how she could ever make it happen... would You assure her that as she seeks You, You will show her how and that You will prepare her way. And Jesus,there may be a woman reading this right now who is lonely and in need of fellowship and some "merry heart" time with Sisters in Christ... would You comfort and encourage her right now as only You can... remind her, that first and foremost, that You are her very best friend of all... but I also pray that You would begin to open doors and lead her to have the kind of girlfriends/Sisters in Christ you desire for her... and if it means her having to step out of her comfort zone Lord... give her the heart to do it... in Your love and for Your glory! Amen