- Women’s Small Group
- Summer Small Groups
- Spiritual Gifts Class
After spending a few months living in Ukraine we began to notice that people, especially the younger generation, were hungry for Bible teaching that was life applicable and not steeped in ‘control.’
So after much prayer and careful consideration, in February 2008 we held our first Bible Study in our home. The topic was Spiritual Gifts, which is not really taught or explored here. In most churches the Pastor is in control and tells people where to serve and how to serve. This causes many problems, from people serving where they are not gifted, to people being manipulated into doing what they don’t want to do, to exhaustion of workers as they work in their own strength. To read more see the Spiritual Gifts Class Section below.
Currently we have only one small group Bible study going on, a women’s group on Monday nights, but we often have people over for a meal or tea and spend time talking about the Bible and specific topics of interest. Relational Evangelism is the best received and the most effective, we believe, in this culture.
WOMEN’S SMALL GROUP:
After returning from our Sept/Oct 2008 USA visit, Laura was approached by a number of women and young ladies about a Women’s Bible Study, so in November a Monday night women’s small group was started. So far topics have included ‘How does God view women?’ and ‘How to study the Bible.’ Right now we are exploring what a godly man is, how to recognize one (i.e., church leader, man in life, etc.), and what is a godly woman (for the single women this focus is on being the woman that would attract the type of man they are interested in; for the married women it’s on supporting the man God’s placed in her/our life). Attendance usually runs from 10-12 on most nights with a few attendees being those seeking to know God.
SUMMER SMALL GROUP:
As summer comes it is normal for people to head out to the villages. Often any small group we have finds the numbers dropping some and so we often go to more informal type meetings. Sometimes we watch Christian movies, or other movies and talk about the truth and lies in them. Occasionally we sit around a table and talk about our favorite Scriptures or discuss what we had been reading personally and ideas or questions that arise in our minds. And still other days we just sit and drink tea fellowshipping.
2007-2008 SPIRITUAL GIFTS CLASS:
Due to work schedules of many of those interested in the Spiritual Gifts class, we offered it on Thursday night and then again on Saturday night. At first we only had 2 or 3 but it quickly grew to 11 to 13 each night, which filled almost all our chair and desk space.
We looked at a number of different studies on Spiritual Gifts and settled on a Bill Gothard, Principles of Life, course and an assessment from a group of Pastors in California. Gothard’s version was very organized and was easier to teach.
Many nights we went for more than two (2) hours going through the materials, checking it against Scripture, explaining Scripture, and answering questions. The students were like sponges soaking up everything they could get their hands on. This caused us to seek God even more in our teaching preparation, in prayer before the classes, and personal quick prayers before answering a question. Here, in most churches, the Pastor or Deacon ‘tells’ the people what to believe and never allows questioning of why, or how. We want to be very careful to lead our students to the Scriptures and let God speak to their hearts.
It has been utterly amazing to see the response of those in the class. So many of them were deeply impressed with the fact that God has given them specific gifts, talents, skills, etc… that He wants them to use in serving and loving others in His name. We heard so many times “God gave a purpose to me ! ?” It was empowering in an unbelievable way for them
So many of them sought out ministries in their church and started participating. Others saw a need in their church and started new ministries. When discouraged or prevented from ministering in their churches they sought ministry opportunities in their everyday lives that would use their spiritual gifting. The results were more than we ever expected and our fears of their churches rejecting them, was realized unfortunately.