Autumn comes, and your church starts making announcements regarding the upcoming Small Groups and Bible Studies. Sign up sheets are at the information desk, emails come from the church with more information about the studies. You find yourself looking through the menu of possible studies…
Beth Moore’s Daniel Study
Lisa Harper’s study on Malachi.
Dave Ramesy’s Financial Peace class.
Love & Respect for Married Couples.
The MOPS group is doing the “Frazzled Female” study.
A women’s expository study on the book of Acts.
and the list goes on and on.
They are all good studies, and you wish you could make room for them all, but you can only choose one!
For one second, did it ever occur to you that you shouldn’t study the bible, or what the bible has to say on certain topics?
Did you question if you could afford the book?
Did it ever cross your mind as to whether or not it would be worth it?
I mean, really, what would you do with it?
You may think those are ridiculous thoughts, but I would like to tell you that those questions are the exact ones I heard when sitting in a workshop about women in seminary.
In the New Testament, we had women sitting at the very feet of Jesus to learn from him.
In 2015, we have women questioning… trying to justify… getting formal biblical training.
There were women in the workshop who were trying to grapple with the commitment it would require to get formal biblical education. Do I have enough time for it? Can my family spare the time it would take for me to study?
There were women who were trying to justify the cost of seminary, when we live in a time where information is just a few clicks away. They were wondering if the family could afford, and if they were being good stewards with their money, by investing in seminary.
The number one question asked: “What would I do with it?”
So, let me get out my soap box for a moment. And, let’s talk.
You are teachers of God’s word, every time you give scriptural advice to a friend, teach a Sunday School class or lead bible study.
You are messengers of God, when you show up at the homeless shelter, fly into another country to install water filters, or lean into a coworker who is struggling.
You are image bearers of God, charged with being godly women, honorable wives, and shapers of your children.
If all of our thoughts, words and actions should be God centered, revealing God to the world around us…
… how better is it then, that we get to know God’s word in a deeper way?
We should NEVER have to justify digging deeper into the scriptures.
It shouldn’t need to be justified, it should be a PRIORITY.
Can we afford NOT to?
And the good news is this… if God’s calling you to formal biblical training, God is making that more and more possible every day.
You can download a bible app for your phone or device, for FREE. We have access to commentaries from trusted sources, at our finger tips, a google search away!
We have books that we can borrow from libraries, download into our kindles, and buy off of amazon on every subject from Early Church history to Apologetics for Women In Ministry.
These are all the right steps to take to digging in deeper.
And if God is calling you to formal education, there are affordable options out there.
There are certification programs and degree programs online, which are less expensive than brick and mortal schools. Christian Leaders Institute offers a certification on a donation based model. You give what you can afford.
Christian Leaders Institute, as well as some other online colleges and seminaries offer degree seeking programs. The cost for these degree programs are a less than traditional schools, and offer you the ability to work at your own pace. You can take one class at a time, or a full course load. There are payment plans and scholarships available for seminary education.
For some, there will be the option of attending seminary on a campus.
The point is that there are options out there, for those who are being called.
I can not believe that God would ever admonish any of his children for investing money, time and energy into formal biblical knowledge. Too much of the scriptures instructs us to not just listen to The Word, or read The Word, but to CONSUME it.
If you feel God is calling you, pray that He will reveal to you how to go about it.
Even if it begins with you, a couple of friends, and an open bible.