by Tina Ding
Women seeking deeper relationships with Jesus Christ or simply wanting to connect with other Christian women come together at Women’s Bible Studies. Hungry to learn more about God’s Word or to worship outside of a regular church service; ready to learn, pray and experience fellowship in an atmosphere of support, women join other women to make connections and grow their faith in Jesus Christ.
Laura Roberts and her family sought not only a church service that would feed her family’s spirituality, but one offering numerous ways of connecting with Christian men, women and youth while learning more about God’s Word, instilling Jesus into their hearts. Her family discovered Evangel Assembly of God and knew they’d discovered a new home church. For the first time, her children loved coming to church each Sunday morning and looked forward to many of the children’s ministry offerings. As a couple, she and her husband joined and led small connection groups; growing their faith while learning and developing as a couple. The only missing component was a women’s bible study. Together with a friend, she approached the church to help develop women’s studies, and the group became a reality.
Today, women of all ages come together on either Tuesday evenings or Thursday mornings to study, pray and grow together as women of Christian faith. A Beth Moore study kicks off each autumn (September) with a second study (differing author) each winter (January). As a leader, Roberts said, “Evangel study is our (each woman’s) study. I simply set up tables and arrange for coffee. This study is for any woman who has a heart for the Lord – it’s about building each other up, making connections and knowing that we’re learning how to make it through this world as Christian women, not learning how to live like the world.”
A couple of women, a heart for the Lord and ten or so women interested in growing their Christian faith has developed into a steady group of women at this study. For information: www.goevangel.org or phone 255.0500.
At Charity Lutheran, both Carol Bjork and Shelley Traynor facilitate women’s bible study, similarly offering a safe place to pray and hope together – a place for women to learn, grow and maintain the utmost of respect for one another. As women, we are so vulnerable,” Traynor said. “Here we are breaking down people’s ‘storms’ – the various flooding in your life (water, grief or other issues). We work together to learn that nothing is broken that cannot be made beautiful again.”
Always open to the public, Traynor said there is a lot of discussion into where God is working. As women, the participants trust in Him to see what each needs to see. And when in doubt, pastors are available for a pastoral connection. Entitled, “Hope for your Heart. Finding Strength in Life’s Storms”, the fall study is open to the public. Concurrently, Bjork facilitates a second group. Bjork said she trends toward topics that are both interesting and are answers to her prayer. This fall, she selected Beth Moore’s “So Long Insecurity”. Here, women will work through a workbook and address personal issues – much of which is between her and God alone. For information: www.charitylutheran.org or 258.1228.
The Church of Corpus Christi twice offered “Lord, Teach Me to Pray” by Kay Arthur, a 30-week Catholic study developed to follow Ignatian prayer. Currently offered, part two will address praying in a Catholic manner. Additionally, Corpus Christi studies include either Ascension Press or Catholic themed studies using a traditional approach. For information: www.corpus-christi.org or 255.3104.
Spirit of Life Catholic Church also offers ongoing Catholic studies. Current programming includes: “Discover the Riches of the Mass” where Catholics learn about the Mass, the center of Catholic faith and “Matthew, the King and His Kingdom”. Both educational classes are available to parishioners. For information: www.myspiritoflife.com/education or 663.1660.
First Evangelical Free Church (FEFC) will hold a women’s bible study this fall, offered either Tuesday mornings or evenings: Beth Moore’s “David: Seeking a Heart Like His” where women will explore their own experience with temptations, loss, family problems, personal inconsistencies or doubts. For information: www.firstefree.com or 223.3330.
At Faith Lutheran, women participate in ‘circles’: Esther, Mary Martha, Ruth or Demaris. Currently, the Ruth Circle is following a study, entitled, “Bad Girls of the Bible”. For information: www.faithbismarck.com or 223.2236.
While many attend a weekly service to fuel their faith, as Christians, there is a need to exercise their faith by learning, studying, praying and communicating while connecting with others of Christian faith to fully root their faith. Women’s bible studies offer a safe place for women to connect with one another while deepening their faith, growing Christian-based relationships with other women and nourishing a healthy relationship with Jesus Christ, as they open their hearts to the Lord.