I think that I want to start a Bible Study in my neighborhood, out of my house, but I am not sure if I am stepping out of the will of God, or if maybe God wants me to do something like this.
Here's the background. I love the Bible and have been in Bible studies pretty much all of the time while I have been a Christian, since 1984. I love to pray, although who prays enough? I like people. I am getting my house remodeled and would like to open it up for "ministry."
Years ago I went to my church (I was a new attendee at the time) and asked about doing a Bible Study out of my home and had developed an outline of what I wanted to teach. It was called something like Working Women something or other (and all women are "working." It pulled from Proverbs 31 and Genesis and the whole study correlated with a book that I was writing at the time about Women from God's perspective.
The church declined my idea. Later I realized that the idea kind of sprang, at least in part, from a desire to promote my own agenda and myself and my future book. There was too much of my flesh and personal investment in the whole thing and not enough of God's initiative. The book is half written, btw. Someday I am hoping that the Lord will allow me to finish it. The church suggested that I get started in some of the women's studies that they already had at the church.
Well, I got started in Bible Study Fellowship International and have been doing that for almost seven years. Meanwhile the church does have occasional women's Bible Studies but they do not seem very deep in terms of Bible Study, or consistent in terms of an on-going weekly thing. Also, I have come to realize that I think that the Lord has not had me become that involved in my local church, because not that my husband is attending, he doesn't feel like a cast-aside, or less knowledgeable, or that the church is really identified as MY place and not ours. (My husband began attending about three years ago and had previously been a nonbeliever.)
I am getting tired of my current Bible Study for a number of reasons. First, it is too impersonal, it is not that near-by/local, it has a legalistic bent that bugs me sometimes and at other times is not consistent with what I actually believe theologically (yes, KC, I do have some theological beliefs, though it may not seem that way because y'all are, okay, I admit it, above me) and I am completing their seven year program soon. Also, I was never asked to participate in any type of leadership capacity and I think that is a "sign" from God.
I wanted to go back to Precept Bible Studies with Kay Arthur, but they are no longer having them at the place that I used to go to those studies, and there is NO location within about 25 miles from where I live that have Precept Courses. In other to be an actual Precept leader, I would need to go to Tennessee (how fun) and attend one of their training courses (how fun). Then I could teach the Precepts Bible Study courses out of my home, or where ever I wanted (how fun).
Then I thought that it would be dumb to do all of that training (well, there isn't that much), if there was nobody who would come. Also, would it be going against my local church to start an independent Bible Study out of my home, not connected to the church? It is funny, but the last three Bible Studies I have participated in, and all the Studies since 1991 have been ones apart from the church.
So then I thought, well, I could do a Kay Arthur book study before becoming a Precept Leader, which is allowed. I could put up a sign in my local neighborhood of about 100 homes about starting a neighborhood women's Bible Study, and to call me if interested. If no one calls, then I can see it as a "sign." If someone calls, and wants to go ahead, then we go ahead. Then we just have a local neighborhood Bible Study with whatever women come, and then while that is going on, I can do the training to become the Precepts Leader and then maybe things may take off a bit. I think I would like to have the group ultimately be about 7-12 women, but not real big. I suppose eventually we could fit more in the home, but would want to keep it personal. Also, if there is only one other woman that would be fine with me also.
I forgot about my original idea of years ago having a women's Bible Study that talked about women from the Bible. Maybe the Lord could actually bring that to pass after a number or years. See how I get ahead of God? Wouldn't it be irritating to me be? Imagine being married to someone like me....My dear husband. This morning I talkied - yes talkied his ear off for about thirty minutes. That was a typo, but let's keep it there. It seems to fit - talkied.
That is the final "sign." I need to ask my husband if he would like/let me have a Bible Study in my home for women. I would kind of want he and the children out of the house during that time. Years ago when I asked him, he said that it would be okay, but was hesitant. This time I don't want him to be hesitant, or that would be a bad "sign."
So friends, I welcome your godly counsel, but let me pray first. "Dear My Friend Jesus, is it your will that I proceed with these things that I wrote above? If it is, let all these "signs" be like open doors, and also show me Your answer in other ways. If it is not Your desire, let the whole idea end with a frown upon my husband's face. If You don't want a Bible Study in the neighborhood out of my home, don't have any people come. Lord, I know that I get so caught up in running ahead of You and I just get running a hundred miles an hour and stumble and fall on my face. Help me walk by Your side step by step. Lord, if this Bible Study does happen, let it not be something that I did behind the church's back, so to speak. But maybe they're not even involved. Yet I go to their church and some church people live near me, and I don't want to be inappropriate in any way. But I think going to them is unnecessary, because having a Bible Study in my neighborhood, or through Precepts Ministries, is not inappropriate and they don't need to get involed, because it is not their calling, it may be my calling. Lord, guide these wise counselors who enter their advise on this blog. Open my husband's heart and mind to the idea and use our home. In Jesus' name, AMEN!"