Mixed emotions greeted me as flipped through women’s Bible studies available for churches. For one, they all looked very interesting and I wanted to do all of them! But I was also a little saddened, because for 13 years, I’ve dreamt of being one of those authors. I’ve patiently been waiting for “my time” to do what I truly felt God had called me to do. And back at 20 years of age, I was content to wait. I needed life experience and maturity after all. But now many of these authors are my age and I felt like I’ve been passed by. Add insult to injury, now it seems that these authors have all graduated from seminary. My undergraduate degree isn’t even from a Christian college.
Sigh. Maybe I was wrong about my calling.
I sat there, fighting my emotions as fellow church members chatted beside me. We were at church for a ministry called “Lunch Bunch.” Because our church is situated in a lower-income neighborhood, we felt led to offer lunches once a week for children who, in the summer, weren’t able to get free or reduced lunches at school.
As mother after mother walked in to get lunches for her children, my burden shifted…and became more intense. We invited each woman to church and were met with different reactions, none of them really open to the idea. Then the thought crossed my mind: What are these Bible studies I’m looking at doing to minister to these women?
Nothing. Nothing at least from where I sit. We can’t even get them to come to a church service, or bring their kids to children’s activities. Do I really think they’re going to come to a Beth Moore study?
These Bible studies are absolutely phenomenal…for people like me. For women of the church. For women who have a desire to know God and His word more intimately.
But there’s this whole unreached people group surrounding the doors of my church that we don’t know how to reach…I don’t know how to reach.
So I’m sitting here, seeing a chasm I can’t seem to cross. My heart beats to write about and teach the Bible. And there’s a whole community outside my church’s doors who desperately need Jesus Christ, and faith that comes from hearing, and hearing the Word of God.
But again, what can I do? Through tears, I shared my thoughts with my husband. I said, “Should I just go door to door around the church, talking to people?” To this he replied gently, “I don’t really think you have the personality for that.” I wasn’t the least bit offended because he is absolutely right. And not only do I lack the social finesse of talking to people I don’t know, but I also am clueless to this unreached world.
To be brutally honest, I’ve been in my middle-class, college-educated, American-dream-chasing, Sunday-morning-church-attending, comfortable lifestyle for a very long time. I can teach the Bible to people like me, those who are saved, who have at least a basic knowledge of the Bible. But I really don’t know how to start in teaching the Bible to someone who isn’t saved, who doesn’t have a basic knowledge of Scripture.
The chasm remains.
I wish I could tie this post up with a pretty bow and tell you how I came to an earth-shattering conclusion of what to do next, but I can’t. I can tell you I’m praying that God would show me how he wants to use me. I’m praying that if this burden is the beginning of something God wants to do through our church in our neighborhood, he would burden others in our church in the same way.
But for now, I simply write.