Shortly after the stay-at-home order took effect in Minnesota, I started to identify ways to connect and reach out to people in my congregation. After much prayer, and as my comfort level leading meetings on Zoom grew, I decided to offer a Bible study to women of Cross View. I also wanted to introduce the Christ-like Servant leader Journey Guides, so we began with “Cultivating Faith.”
The intention was to have a time to gather, but to be accessible to moms and working women, so we started at 7:30 pm. I would have been happy if 5-6 women signed up. To my surprise, we had 20 women participate in May and June!
We started “Cultivating Health” in mid-July, and we continued to average about 20 each week. We added breakout rooms for discussion, and a short teaching time at the end of each week’s session, introducing the practice for the upcoming week. Prayer time was in the large group with everyone sharing prayer concerns, and following up during the week with each other.
This fall, the study moved from a journey guide to one that looks more at listening to God’s call. Participants still identify different practices introduced during our KINDLE discussions and connect them to other questions. Two women are introducing the Journey Guides in their small groups — the multiplication of Christ-like servant leaders continues!
In reflecting on the Cultivating Health study, participants responded with the following thoughts:
“So often we think of health as just our physical well-being, but this has been a great reminder to me that health includes so much more than just our physical being. It’s our spiritual well-being, it’s our emotional well-being. And just as it’s important to take care of our bodies, and keep ourselves physically healthy, it is just equally important to take care of other areas in our life. And these studies have just really reminded me of that.” (Vicki W.)
“One of the things that I really appreciated about this study — in addition to what was said about how many different aspects of health there are — was discerning/recognizing God’s call. We talked about that passage from Samuel about David, and I started thinking about how, throughout the Scriptures, we really see God calling different people. Starting with Abraham, and David and the prophets, and Jesus being called to His ministry by the Father, and that we really all should be listening and discerning and answering God’s call on our life. It could be in a lot of different ways … I love the insight that God is really calling us and we need to listen for it, and recognize it and live it. I appreciated that about this study a lot.” (Marcia J.)
“I originally thought about one thing each practice would be about. For example, with pursue wellness, I thought it would be talking about diet and exercise, and taking care of your body. But, as we went through each one of the five practices, there were so many more aspects to each one than I imagined there would be. And shed light on so many more aspects and ways to cultivate each one of the practices.” (Sue H.)
Director of Children’s Ministries
Cross View Lutheran Church, Edina, MN
Dean of KINDLE: Recent Graduates and 2004 Classic KINDLE Associate