I wish we had less about marshmallows and jello in church and more Bible study,” said a smart young suburban housewife. Her comment reflects a feeling many women have: in providing programs for them, their churches underestimate their intelligence. This is especially likely to happen in suburbia, where the educational level is often high.
As an effective means of reaching women for Christ, I recommend the serious Bible-study class. It has the appeal of the “soft sell” rather than the “hard sell.” It can reach those who would never set foot in an evangelistic meeting or other preaching service.
The idea of attending a weekday Bible study can be presented to women who are not church-goers as a form of adult education. Middle- and upper-middle-class housewives in the suburbs attend all kinds of classes. They study flower-arranging, fur-remodeling, Great Books, or Chinese cooking. Or they go back for a post-graduate course at the university. Women who have no intention of getting themselves into a Bible class can be persuaded by their neighbors that everybody should know what’s in the Bible—after all, it’s listed as one of the Great Books!
A minister can hardly add teaching a women’s Bible class to his many other duties; but he can inspire a capable woman to teach it. To reach college-educated, alert, well-read women, a teacher must be willing to make Bible-teaching a matter of lifetime dedication. Not that it is a great self-sacrifice to be one of these teachers; for the right person, teaching may be a welcome escape from other church duties.
I have taught Bible classes for over twenty years. At times I have wondered whether I was justified in spending so much time studying in preparation for teaching. When I talked to my pastor-husband ...1
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