Bible study was obviously out, even though we use the book as a guide for a systematic study on the issues confronting women today; Bible study is just that, studying the Bible. (Jen Wilkin recently wrote a fantastic post about Bible study and Bible literacy).
Book club was also a misnomer. We wanted our time together, and the time spent reading between meetings, to be so much more than that.
I think we landed on book study because it was somewhere in the middle. (And it was late and we were tired.)
Then I read Eric Bancroft's post entitled "The Joy of Theology Reading Groups". Bancroft's words struck a chord in my heart, perfectly outlined my hopes for our group.
I wanted to see the people entrusted to my care know their God better and live lives reflecting joyful devotion to him. I wanted that for myself too. I also wanted to provide an environment where Christians would enjoy discussing truth and working out its implications together. In other words, the goal of a theology reading group is to get people reading, thinking, talking, and living in light of God's revelation.And so we borrowed Bancroft's label. We formed a theology reading group.
I was flabbergasted at the response. One of our elders and his wife offered their home to us. Our pastor demonstrated his support, which was itself a tremendous grace to me. We had our first meeting earlier this month. As I gazed around at the faces of women in all different stages of life, I was struck by the goodness of the Lord. To see these ladies and teenage girls gathered to learn more about theology - to pursue, as Bancroft wrote, lives reflecting joyful devotion to him - warmed my soul. I was overwhelmed at such grace the Lord bestowed upon me by granting one of the desires of my heart.
To lead this theology reading group is both a privilege and a responsibility. I take neither lightly. The words of Titus 2:7 ring in my ears: Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity.
I pray that the Lord will enable me to be a woman of integrity and dignity for my family, my theology reading group, and in this space - all for His glory.