A Note from Mary Margaret West: Over the next few weeks, you’re going to hear from Rebecca on ways for you as a leader to stay focused and in the Word. It’s really easy for us to look for solutions for the girls in our lives and forget that we need to be spiritually healthy and leading well. I hope that you’ll take some time to reflect over the next couple of Fridays and keep your feet planted on the Word of God.
Fix Them, Not Me
God is so gracious. How absurd that he would choose to use us, broken and so easily distracted by ourselves, to shepherd his flock? The opportunity to serve in the local church is a gift. Teenage girls are truly a unique calling. Most people are intimidated by their hormones and drama, but I love their smiles, spontaneity and eagerness to soak it all in. When I was on church staff, I loved to study and teach bible studies. God’s Word is engaging, and it is so fun to expound with crafts and illustrations. I would read a passage and immediately envision an event, summer study or t-shirt design. I would stumble upon a verse and think of specific girls who needed to hear that word of challenge and encouragement. I would study and pull truth off the pages for all of them, but regrettably not for me.
I look back and wonder…Why did God not zap me off my uncomfortable office chair for my disregard to my own spiritual disparity? Why did He continue to use me when I was so focused on the work instead of the worker? I was missing beautiful truth given to change my heart and mind. I was selfish to think they needed it more than I did. Oh, the pride of my heart. I am humbled that God used any of me in those narrow-minded moments. I am thankful that His kingdom continued to grow despite my childish ways. Thank you, Jesus, for grace.
I have grown so much as a minister of God’s Word. I started doing ministry at the age of 19 and 20 years later I am still a work in progress. Over a series of posts, we will address the neglect and insensitivity we sometimes show to the scriptures. Why do we blind ourselves to placing the spiritual growth of our girls over ourselves? What can we do to tether our hearts to reading the Bible for personal maturity and intimate interactions with the Holy Spirit? Let’s take an honest look at our motivations and reclaim an unwavering devotion to our personal time in the Word.
Today, take a moment to answer these questions about your approach to Bible reading.
- Over the past several interactions with scripture, did you read it more for ministerial work, social media posting or personal growth?
- The last time you soaked in scripture, did you walk away with a challenge from the Holy Spirit for an area in your own life, or insight for someone else?
- On average, are you reading the Bible more during work hours or prioritized, personal time?
Rebecca Bradford is a mom of three who happily just sent her youngest off to kindergarten and skipped all the way home. She served for over 20 years in SAGE Ministries and as the Director of Girls Ministry at Lake Pointe Church for 15 years. Currently, Rebecca is called Queen of her own home, and teaches and volunteers in Girlz 4 God, Gather Moms, and discipling 4th grade girls. She loves encouraging girls and moms with transparent truth that helps them understand God’s grace and feel connected with others experiencing similar struggles. Her easy going spirit makes her a joy to be around and she is never short of laughs. She’s been married to her college sweetheart for 18 years and loves doing ministry together in their hometown of Rockwall, Texas.