A couple of my favorite Bible verses are “13Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy[a]that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” (Matthew 7:13-14 ESV) and one of my favorite books is The Pilgrim’s Progress. This evening I will begin an amazing adventure that is the answer to a prayer I didn’t even officially pray!
Our church offers a 2-year leadership training for the men in our church called Timothy Leadership Training or TLT based off these verses. Two years and my husband was tapped to do it and it was life-changing for us and our marriage.
Now they’re starting one for women. I am so excited about this opportunity and humbled that I was selected. The best part is that we’re doing mostly the same books the men did, weighty books on topics like spiritual discipline and church doctrine.
I was telling someone about the Ladies’ Leadership Training (LLT), and the person made a comment about there being good books for women in leadership. I was kind of irritated and insulted. I get so frustrated that somehow I’m supposed to fit into this nice “church lady” mold. I’m supposed to love playing with babies, sing in the choir, and get “the feels” in Bible study to the point that I need a tissue for something other than seasonal allergies. I don’t want to study something geared for women like some Victorian who can’t handle “the men’s version”. I want to study the authoritative books used in seminaries. And for those of you who went to Steve Laube’s session at Realm Makers 2016, a couple of the titles we’ll be studying are on his recommended reading list. Spiritual disciplines is one of them.
As for being like most women, I don’t like kids until they can read chapter books, I’m painfully tone deaf, and I want to study deep stuff. Dig into God’s word, preferably one that requires using Vine’s Bible dictionary and Strong’s concordance. I want to learn, be challenged, struggle, and ultimately change. The reason Matthew 7:13-14 appeals to me is that I see my daily walk as a quest. One with dragons and sorcerers and dark cloaked in light. Enemies to defeat. Innocents to rescue. And to come through the battle stronger than when I entered.
I love theology and Bible study. My mentor and I are wrapping up The Cost of Discipleship right now. A couple of years ago, I read Eric Metaxas’s Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy. It’s one of the best biographies I’ve ever read. If I have to face persecution, I want to go down fighting!
What are some of your favorite Bible study books?