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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Have you ever wished you could reach out to your neighbors, and share the love of God with them? I have. Seems my contact with most of my neighbors is reduced to a wave and an occassional chat about weeds in the grass.

My friend Wendy Blight, shared a great idea with me that I'd like to share with you. And that's to start a neighborhood Bible study. You never know who is sitting in her home today wishing someone friendly would call or knock on her door. What if it was you, with an invitation to come over for coffee and some positive discussion about life and hope?

Wendy inspires everyone she knows, with her gentleness and her love of God. She's a gifted speaker and an author of the book, "Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner: The Transforming Power of God's Story." I know if Wendy invited me to join her for a study, I'd be there as fast as I could put my shoes on. I hope you enjoy Wendy's tips today. If you do, please let her know.

Tips on Starting a Neighborhood Bible Study

"All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you." Matthew 28:18a-20a.

These were some of Jesus' final words spoken to His disciples, and this message still applies for us today.

So often we think these commissioning words mean we have to sacrifice all our earthly goods and travel to the far ends of the earth. In reality, however, Christ calls us to share the Gospel wherever He leads us, and for women like you and me, it is usually in our own backyards.

God has given each of us a corner of the world. In this appointed time and place He calls us to radiate God in our lives with how live...our actions, our speech, our entire way of life. And He directs us to spur one another on ... to reach out into the lives of the women around us and simply show them Jesus. How do we do that without risking rejection or the possibility of being judged a religious fanatic?

Six years ago, I found myself in that place. I wanted to reach out to the women in my neighborhood, but I was scared and overwhelmed. I had no idea where to begin. With the help of a precious friend who had the same passion, we stepped out in faith and started a neighborhood Bible study. We began with...

Gathering for prayer - praying for the Lord to draw the women He wanted to bring

Creating a mission statement - bringing focus to our study

Creating a plan of action - target audience/location/schedule, and,

Extending an invitation.

God did the rest. He drew twelve women to our study. From there we came up with...

Creating a covenant - encouraging accountability and commitment

Creating small group guidelines - simple rules on how to successfully run a small group, and,

Deciding on a curriculum - choosing an inspirational book or book of the Bible to study.

That was six years ago. We began our seventh year last Friday with 80 women!!!!

That sweet friends is God honoring His promise that "blessings follow obedience!"

If any of you desire to reach out and start a Bible study in your neighborhood, please don't hesitate to contact me via my blog, www.wendyblight.com, and leave a comment. I am more than happy to share in more detail the steps in this post and the tools we have put together. I am currently working on putting a kit together to help women like you and me accomplish this great call Jesus has placed on our lives.

My thanks to Wendy for sharing this encouraging message.

In His Love,


1 comment:

My Journey to Hope said...

It's so amazing what God can do through people willing to try! I've been praying for opportunities to speak to my neighbor, a Muslim woman. It's so encouraging to hear others who have been obedient and found success through their efforts. 80 women! Wow. Thanks for sharing!

:) Michelle