JEN, Para Church Ministry, United States discussed on The Living Room with Joanna Weaver
Well if you're like I used to dear friend you know that you need to get into gods were but you really don't know how to do it or where to begin well for me. My love for the Bible started in women's Bible steady as a young pastors and I'm so excited to share today's interview with one of the Best Bible teachers. I Know Jen woken. Jen has a passion to see women. Love God not only with their heart heard especially with their mind as they steady. God's Word in meaningful ways here's our conversation. I am so excited to have Wilkin. Wilken with can is an amazing fiber studied teachers. Season author folks like women if the word how to study the Bible of our hearts arts none like him in his image and then we'd personally done several of her studies including sermon on the mountain. And right now we're in God have been covering it and so so powerful. Jen I am so happy to have you with us. Welcome to the living room. Thanks Joanna so nice to be on on the end I I was telling you before we got onto. I feel like I kind of know you because I just spent the morning with you and our own Bible study so powerful powerful much better hairstyle in in the version of me. You were watching this morning. You're our snapshot so so we can put it in the show notes. US kind of it is kind of Nice to have the edited version of us the world rather than the Tuesday morning version while you are busy busy. Not only do you write right and speak. I'll all around the place that you're also on staff with the village Church House a little bit about your position yet. My current role. There is the director after a classes and curriculum as part of the village Church Institute so I have responsibility for all of our adult classes and the largest portion of that would be our men's and women's Bible Studies. Wow I love it and so I I think that's so neat because like for me. A lot of my writing has coming out of my ministry at the Church that we serve. But how's that. How's that work in your life? You find yourself kind of writing studies I use and then discerning whether or not they should become polished or is that just a the process that you used right your studies while it's it's been interesting. The studies that I have have made available thus far have all been sort of the product of either my teaching in a living room or teaching Para Church on texts and when I started started on staff at the village in this role we started writing collaboratively ammon I asked the The managing editor on the project. What we're doing is really formulaic? And so they have a very similar. Feel to what I was writing when it was just me writing for the studies that were happening As part of my Para Church Ministry. So I don't know in terms of publishing I honestly I never thought I would publish any of it and Wisconsin just making it available for free and that's something that the village continues to do anytime we put out a new study. Say they place it on the website. You can find news it. I'll out that generosity. I think I think God really blesses that so. I'd like to dig a little deeper. You never thought that you would be a traditionally published. No I didn't I ahead no and I certainly never thought I would write a book I had discovered blogging as a means of communicating additional content. That I hadn't had time to teach in my Bible study that it could be a teaching platform. It sort of made sense for me as just sort of an online bicester processor assessor thoughts. I didn't really have a good feel for that But then as soon as I was like Oh wait a minute. This is the way that I can take forty five minutes of teaching hat and turn it into a much longer time period. Which is what the teachers secretly always wants I started using it for that and then also to address Parenting questions that were bubbling up through some of the were forming relationships with at the church at. I didn't know how to check the statistics on it. I didn't know how to know if anyone was reading it or not. And over time it developed a following and that that ended up leading to a through through several different things leading publisher. Just calling me and asking me if I wanted to right. That is so cool. That is so cool. So how how do you do all that you do. I mean because you also have a family. Does that look like because I know there's some girls that are listening that are on there in ministry either Ole time were part time your own tier basis and that can always be a challenge of. How do I balance working? How a mystery and and just even intimacy with God? How's how's that all that for you? Oh It's been just so easy. Joanne I mean has green I am now. We have four children who are now grown My youngest went to college in August so he's just finishing his freshman year and and so My entire life as a mom I was either participating in or creating teaching I will studies for women and And either working part time or full time in some a ministry capacity only fulltime recently and a lot of that is just has been due to you. I think most of our women listeners would attest to the fact that there are just not a whole lot of full-time roles for women in the church at teaching writing curriculum. So I'm thrilled. That that has turned into a source of full time employment or maybe understand it still pretty rare out there right But it's always been pretty much fulltime concern whether I was being paid to do in in any way or not and when the kids were little the only way I can describe it is that it's felt like a compulsion for me. It's the thing that I know. The Lord has given me to I do and my husband recognizes at and has always been extremely supportive And not only that but I always like to mention that he did not travel aval like his job allowed him to be home no at at about five thirty every night so I had a ton of support with the kids and certainly in the evenings and on the weekends and then also has been who has just completely bought into me doing my thang. Isn't that waxing that is so I have seen Covering and I just. I'm so grateful. Thank you not take it for granted. Oh it's IT'S A. It's a game changer. In terms of just what you're able to actually commit to do and Your ability to focus on it and I always think you know I think sometimes there are younger women and he will ask me that question of how did you balance and what what. Sometimes the question behind the question is is. was there a cost your family associated needed with you doing ministry and And if so how did you. How did you try to get rid of that ost and and and so oh I do always like to point out to those younger women that there's always a cost a cost to anything that takes time went? We have a small families and even growing families. But that doesn't mean that you aren't willing to pay. It means the way it and decide what what is worth your time. And what isn't and and when it came to the ministry commitments. Our agreement is a family was this is worth it and then because we've said this is worth then. As even as the children grew our whole family mullaly worked together to make sure that when mom was gone on Tuesday nights teaching that everybody their homework done managed all their own stuff got to bed on sometimes it became a family effort instead of just this. Is Mom sing that she does. I think that's so good so important to you and I think I think that there might the some young women or even other women her like that. I don't have that kind of support in exit. You can really rub is is the wrong way but I. I found that for me. At least my schedule is limited and God himself. Kind of put those Romans on me and but each each time An opportunity comes my way. I've learned just bring it to John. Empty go we pray. Ask for what he thinks. And as as I've been willing to kind of submit under his leadership I feel like that's read him less everything thank I too and if there is something that doesn't feel comfortable with I've learned to listen to you. Is your husband been a little bit of that Saudi Ward for you as well. Oh He's great. He's great about all of that and he's he's also a truth teller with me like he's the one who you know he. He knows that he's the one you have to say. Hey you said this. Is that what you really mean. Someone else might not be willing to challenge something. I mean the Lord knew exactly who I needed to be married to. And he's very good at At keeping me this balanced and and focused and at the same time time Looking at the particular gifts that the Lord has given me and celebrating them instead of know seeing them as some sort of potential threat. He has always been. I'm like. Oh my gosh. The church needs this. Our family And that's just been a really thing to see with him but really we all have different cities and we all have different stages of life that we go through and we all have different marriages and all of that impacts our ability to say yes they know two different things and those things are typically changing over the course of our lifetime so what might have worked five years ago may not work anymore now so there's always a a an ongoing in conversation between us about what what makes sense now versus will sense not even two years back. That is so so good. You know I feel you like it. There was one thing that just kind of is an overarching theme in and what you do in the fighting Christ is just creating a hunger for the word of God and I love that NASA is listening to you actually last week teach in the gun at the Covenant. Steady You you got choked up. That'll several points through the steady and I can't even tell you how much that hatched me because because I think we so desperately need yes we need biblical literacy that we need that the word of God coming a liked liked to us in attached at those deep places. Can you talk about that. How do we study the Bible with both our hearts in our minds? I think that when people start talking about reading the Bible as an exercise of the mind when they start thinking about What it means to think critically about what they're reading in in terms of just like weighing when I idea against another or even looking for Adam to some of those basic things that you would do in any line by line approach approach that it can feel like it's going to be a clinical or a cold practice.