Have you ever wondered why young women are not attending your Bible studies? I have been frustrated in the past because I thought what we were offering was very relevant and exciting. And it was, for me and women in my stage of life! But when I began to study about the different generations and what reached them, it made so much more sense to me. We expect to offer all lecture type groups, or “circles” that still ready older women, and that younger women will flock to them! NOT! Or at least not many. Sometimes we just scratch our heads and say, they just aren’t interested in Bible study, or spiritual growth, or mentoring. That is FAR from the truth.
Women today want a more laid back feel when they get together with other women. That’s not to say the other groups are not still valid for some women. Keep them, but add others to it that will reach women you aren’t already successfully involving in fellowship and discipleship opportunities.
Many more “seasoned” leaders are concerned that younger women won’t be challenged to mature if they only “give them what they want” right now. Perhaps there is some truth in that concern. But the first thing we must do is build relationships with young women so we at least know who they are and what their lives are like. As we proceed, we will want to draw women into deeper and deeper walks with Christ and into His service as a result.
HERE IS WHAT YOUNG WOMEN WANT
Research has indicated that young adults love to fully experience studying the Word of God by reading it, studying it, talking about it, wrestling with it and applying it. Some of the findings were discovered in research conducted by LifeWay.
HERE IS WHAT CAN WORK FOR ALL WOMEN
Psalm 34:8 tells us to, “Taste and see that the Lord is good. How happy is the man who takes refuge in Him!” There are several things we can do to encourage young women to fully “taste” Scripture.
Turn a class room into a multi-sensory experience? Add a candle, some worship music, maybe homemade cookies or brownies. Provide couches and chairs, or pillows on the floor for a cozy homelike feeling. This makes the atmosphere safe and encourages women of all ages to share their burdens and build relationships.
Young women want to ask you questions, tell you what they think and share with you their struggles to follow God’s ways continually. Allow plenty of discussion time to debrief the scriptures and share personal stories. Build community into the group, not only between you and the class, but between class members as well. Help them see the group as a family who will pray for them, listen to them, help them and invest in their lives. Most older women are very willing to answer the questions of younger women if we provide the occasion.
Routine can become boring. Occasionally add a short video clip, bring an item for Illustration or ask someone to give a short personal testimony dealing with the scriptures you are studying. No one likes same old, same old, no matter the age. Don’t over-do, make it simple, but add something different occasionally to keep from being too predictable.
• Music is important
Connect music to the lesson at hand. When you hear a song that stirs your heart, bring your IPOD and speakers to share with the class. Talk about how important music is to our study and our worship. Not all women will like all styles, so be sensitive and offer a variety of types of music,
Weekly, challenge women to apply what they learn. Ask them to come back next week and tell you how they applied it and what God did as they followed Him obediently. When you have completed the study series, plan a project to do together, incorporating what you’ve learned into it. Perhaps you can work with your missions leaders for projects in your local community or a mission trip overseas to apply what God taught them in the study. No matter the age, all women need to apply scripture to their lives.
EXPECTATIONS FOR YOUNG ADULT WOMEN:
If you young women are too busy to study God’s Word, they need to be challenged. Perhaps you have them listen for God to speak a specific word to them during the week, record the scripture, then memorize it to share with the group. Pray continually for God to lead you to women ready to grow deeper. Invest there first, then let their excitement spread to other young women they connect with.
Check out these Bible studies for women.
Help young adult women feel the closeness of Christian sisters who are walking together in this journey. Help them hear God speak as you lead them into His Word. Touch their sense of smell as they enter the room and then take the aroma of Christ out into the world. Show them how to touch each other in love as well as their community in need. Show them how to “taste and see that He is good!” It will be an investment worth your time and will have eternal value.
Consider using your home to reach young adult women.
Offer an online study for young women. Connect through cyberspace to share thoughts and encouragement in spiritual growth. Here are some bible studies for young adult women.
If you are interested in reading more about reaching young women, check out Women Reaching Women, Revised & Expanded version. More articles about reaching young women may be found on the Women Reaching Women blog.
Do you have other thoughts, ideas, or even pictures to share??
We’d love to hear from you and see those photos! Send us a photo or your meeting places for young women’s Bible studies. Please share and I’ll post the good, bad and ugly!