Spring is in full swing here in the South. I love the white and purple blooms on the trees and the smell of spring is definitely welcome. I love that my boys can go outside and play without having to bundle up and wear jackets.
As the seasons change, so do our seasons as women. In some seasons, we may be fulfilling our ministry mostly behind the scenes at church or primarily in our homes. In other seasons, we might have wonderful opportunities to share the Word with ladies who are in our community, our local church, or on a bigger scale at women’s conferences.
Whatever the season of our lives, the Bible is clear that we need to know the Word, live the Word, and be ready to talk about Word at all times.
One of my pastor friends who is a teaching professor at Southern Seminary wrote a blog post for men who are preachers — helping them to think outside the box as they prepare for their sermons each week. The minute I read it, I knew that these same applications could be given to women who have the opportunity to teach the Word to other women. I asked him if I could use his main points, but change the audience. Thankfully, he is gracious and is allowing me to use some of his thoughts. You really need to go read his original post and then read this one as it is geared more specifically for us as women who teach the Word.
Hear the Word
We often find ourselves reading the Word, but unfortunately, even in this tech-savvy culture we live in, we may not often listen to the Word. My husband and I spent the first year of our marriage listening to the book of James in the car as we traveled (this was pre-kids and kids’ songs). This practice was very helpful in memorizing the Word. Think creatively as you learn to listen to the Word: find favorite preachers and listen to a sermon they have preached on the same text you are preparing to teach. Listen to it in the car. Download it on your phone and listen to it while you are working out. Find Scripture songs that put to music the same text you are studying. Memorize it and repeat it aloud as you get ready in the morning, at the beginning of your study time, or as you are hanging out with your children at night.
Doodle the Word
If you are familiar with Instagram, you might know of a recent trend of doodling the word, or illustrating your faith. I like to study particular verses like that. I am not someone who draws well. But, the good thing is, I love to letter, and draw arrows, and underline, and write in the margins of my Bible, or moleskin. Doodling the Word has given me time to meditate on the particular passage and has used a side of my brain that isn’t always activated when I read Scripture. I write out the passages, I am thinking about every word I write, and the Spirit is faithful to open up my eyes to the Truth that He has for me, for my audience, and for my audience. If you don’t have a journaling Bible (or one with wide margins), no worries — just grab a notebook or paper. Don’t worry about the writing instrument: you can use a pencil, a crayon, a pen, or a fountain pen with special ink. That is not the important focus. The practice is more the focus as you sit and think about the Scripture that God wants to teach you — and to have you teach others.
Converse the Word
Most of us women like to talk. We might range in words per day or we might be introverts or extroverts, but talking about the Word will definitely help your preparation. In February, I had the opportunity to help write a curriculum lesson. I hadn’t written a lesson since before our older son was born. But, the most encouraging words my husband said as we were talking about it was go read the Word. We will continue to talk about it but he was encouraging me to not only talk about the Word, but diligently read the Word too. I have several friends who love to teach the Word and I love getting together with them (whether email or over coffee) to hear what passages they are teaching, Our conversations (or emails) often spark a new idea in me, ground me further in the truth that I’m about to teach, or encourage me to keep preparing and loving the Word.
My mister and I recently binge-watched The Worst Cooks in America. To be honest, my husband couldn’t stand it because they were so bad. But, how that illustration of teaching cooks also applies to us as teachers of the Word. The struggling chefs listened to recipes being taught by two master chefs, wrote down instructions, ideas, new recipe combinations, and they talked with their chef-teacher and other participants about what they were doing. All three of these practices greatly improved their ability to cook edible food. And these three practices, when applied to our teaching of the Word, will greatly improve our communication of Truth.
Thanks David Prince for allowing me to use your main three ideas, and they definitely sparked new ideas for me.