It was the highlight of my week. Meeting with ladies getting into God’s Word and having time to connect with each other deeply. We kicked off the Bible study with each person having twenty to thirty minutes to share their life story. They shared the highlights and hard times, the temptations and hurts as well as how God used them and people He used to impact their lives. Hearing story after story of the hard things these ladies had gone through, yet seeing how the Lord had used it in their life and the redemption He brought from it was overwhelming. Such pain, yet their weakness showcased God’s character. Through this small group Bible study where we got into God’s Word together, I also felt known and loved. I felt like I belonged and was cared for.
I’ve led and been part of many Bible studies and this study was one of the only ones with this type of being known deeply. It seemed in other studies we would get into God’s Word together and maybe have a time to share prayer requests but the group never really got to know each other.
Besides this unique Bible study getting to know each other deeper and getting into God’s Word together, we would also have a short time of training on how to live out the Great Commission in our everyday lives. We would try to act on what we learned and share the next week how the Lord used it. Sadly this element in other Bible studies was also missing.
I am a firm believer in the value of Bible studies. When there is an environment of grace and truth among a group of people and time of connecting with the Lord, He uses it to bring growth. Small group Bible studies also provide an excellent opportunity for ministry training (from how to share your testimony and the Gospel, to what discipleship is to how to live the Christian life) to happen. An environment where questions can be asked and ideas processed.
So as I was asking the Lord how we as a ministry can bring more of the ministry training element to more people the Lord gave me an idea of having a ministry tool that would be easy to add to Bible studies. This Great Commission training element would just add 15 minutes to the Bible study time. Then I continued to process the idea and the Lord kept bringing more ideas to mind, to have a “connect with each other” element and a “prayer” element. So after discussing with other full time ministry workers and doing research and a lot of prayer I started putting together The Connect Cards. When they were complete I had a couple groups test them and the feedback was positive.
Just a few months later I was at a conference where one of the speakers was the Publisher of CRU Press. I had been able to connect with him previously so I was easily able to get together for a short meeting. I pitched the cards to him and he was super excited and said yes on the spot. Praise God!
My hope is that the Lord would use The Connect Cards to help small groups and Bible studies to connect deeper with Him, with each other and with the Great Commission. Here’s a video showing you what they are like and explaining more how to use them.
Laura is married and has five kids, two of whom are adopted. Laura and her husband have been missionaries to college students for 14 years serving with Master Plan Ministries where she serves as the Women’s Development Coordinator. She has discipled over 200 women and girls, led over 40 Bible studies and speaks to college and women’s groups. Laura is the Founder of the internationally popular blog MissionalWomen.com and has authored 5 books, including an award winning 12 week Bible Study on First Samuel, Beholding Him, Becoming Missional, Reach; How to Use Your Social Media Influence for the Glory of God, and A Devotional Journey through Judges, a devotional to accompany the free online Bible study at TheBookofJudges.com. You can find her on facebook, twitter, pinterest, youtube, and instagram