A Woman's Place Leader Guide: A Bible Study Exploring Every Woman's Call to Work

A Woman's Place Leader Guide: A Bible Study Exploring Every Woman's Call to Work

by Foundry Media LLC

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Overview

A Woman's Place Leader Guide: A Bible Study Exploring Every Woman's Call to Work by Foundry Media LLC

When it comes to women and work, there is often an “us-versus-them” mentality, dividing women according to the choices they make. Yet all women have a shared calling to work in a way that glorifies God—whether it be in the office, home, ministry, or beyond.

In this eight-week study built around Katelyn Beaty’s A Woman’s Place book, groups will explore the idea of a woman’s work. The book contains profiles of eight women, considerations of Scripture, and reflections on the meaning of work.

The Leader Guide contains eight session plan outlines, complete with discussion points and questions, group activities, prayers, and leader helps for facilitating a group.

Other components for the study, each available separately, include a Praticipant Guide and a DVD (with closed captioning) featuring eight sessions, each approximately eight minutes long presenting Beaty and guest interviewees.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781501849022
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Publication date: 08/15/2017
Edition description: Leaders Gu
Pages: 64
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.30(d)

About the Author

Katelyn Beaty is an editor at large at Christianity Today, where she previously served as the magazine's youngest and first female managing editor. She is the cofounder of Her.meneutics, a daily website covering news, cultural trends, and theology from the perspective of Christian women. A graduate of Calvin College, Katelyn lives outside Chicago, Illinois. Visit her online at katelynbeaty.com.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

Session 1

MADE TO REIGN

Planning the Session

Session Goals

Through this session's discussion and activities, participants will be encouraged to:

• Consider what it means that women were made in God's image, and therefore are called into holy work.

• Discover how and why women need to discover their God-given call to shape the world around them through their work.

• Remember that the world needs women to step into these pivotal roles for which they have been created.

Preparation

• Read and reflect on the first chapter, "Made to Reign," in A Woman's Place: A Christian Vision for Your Calling in the Office, the Home, and the World by Katelyn Beaty.

• Read through this session outline in its entirety to familiarize yourself with the material being covered.

• Read and reflect on the following Scriptures:

* Psalm 8

* Genesis 1:26-28

• You will want to have your DVD player or computer ready to watch the video segment. You might also want to have a markerboard or large sheet of paper available for recording group members' ideas.

• Have a Bible, paper for taking notes, and a pen or pencil available for every participant, if they didn't bring their own.

Opening Activity and Prayer (5 minutes)

As group members arrive, welcome them to the study. If you have members in the group who do not know one another, make sure you introduce everyone before you begin.

For discussion:

Pretend for a moment that you are an artist or a cartoonist and that you have been given the task of illustrating the phrase: "A woman and her work." You are free to interpret and illustrate this in whatever way you choose. What do you draw? Explain.

Read aloud or summarize:

In the opening lines of Katelyn Beaty's book, A Woman's Place, she writes, "Every human being is made to work." As women, our relationship with work (however we express it) is often a complicated one, but one that God undoubtedly calls us into as those who are made in God's image. Today we will explore just how God has made us, and the purposes for which we were made.

Opening Prayer

Dear Lord, thank you for this group and this opportunity to study the ways and the whys of how you have made us. Help us today to hear your voice as we dive in and learn to lean into our purpose for your world and your plan. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Watch DVD Segment (10 minutes) Study and Discussion (35–40 minutes)

Our Work Mission

Activity:

Have you ever thought through what it actually physically takes to create a common, everyday object? Let's think through this process out loud.

Think of one item or object that you use daily, and then imagine all the steps and materials and people who are involved in making that item. Walk through the process of creating the item, as you imagine it happens, from start to finish. (For example, you might consider what goes into making your morning cup of coffee — from the planting and harvesting of the beans to how they ended up in your grocery store to what it takes to make the coffeemaker used to brew it.) Think through all the resources used and the people who had hands in the process.

For discussion:

• After thinking through the process of what it took to create this item, how do you feel differently about it? How do you feel about the people who are a part of that process?

• In general, does the process of work seem daunting to you, or exciting? Are you drawn more to the creation of something new, or to the maintenance of an existing process?

Living on Mission

Read aloud or summarize:

Work, though always labor-intensive, is a necessary part of life and of creation. Scripture tells us that God worked to create the world, and was very intentional about that creation.

For discussion:

Read aloud Genesis 1:26-28:

26T hen God said, "Let us make humanity in our image to resemble us so that they may take charge of the fish of the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the earth, and all the crawling things on earth."

27 God created humanity in God's own image, in the divine image God created them, male and female God created them.

28 God blessed them and said to them, "Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and master it. Take charge of the fish of the sea, the birds in the sky, and everything crawling on the ground."

• Scripture clearly states that God made humanity — both male and female — in God's image. Have you ever (consciously or unconsciously) left yourself out of that definition of specifically being female and being created in God's image?

• Do you feel any tension in being female and being created in the image of God? If so, in what way?

Read Psalm 8 aloud, and discuss.

1 O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory above the heavens. 2 From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.

3 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, 4 what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? 5 You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.

6 You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet: 7 all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field, 8 the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.

9 O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

(NIV 1984)

• What does this passage tell us about God's role in this world?

• What tasks did God assign to humans?

• Katelyn makes the point that work is a crucial part of bearing the image of God. How does the voice of Genesis come through in Psalm 8?

•In the Participant Guide, you were challenged to read this psalm with your name inserted in verses 3-6. How did you feel about God's purpose for your life when you reread the passage in that way?

God's Call to Women

Read aloud or summarize:

Scripture makes it clear that God created humans to do work and to rule — to take care of the world. We as women are called to live out that mission. Katelyn writes, "For women to live on mission, we Christians need to massively rethink how we think and talk about work. In both subtle and not so subtle ways, Christian women are being discouraged from thinking of work as a good, direct way of bearing the image of God and living on mission for him."

Bottom line? As a woman, you were authorized by God to make something of the world.

For discussion:

• How does that statement — you were authorized by God to make something of the world — resonate with you?

• Do you think it's true that Christian women are sometimes discouraged from thinking of their work as a good, necessary part of being created in the image of God?

• Think about your own work. In what ways does it reflect the image of God?

• How are you feeling about starting this study? In which areas of your work/life are you hoping God will speak to you?

Closing Activity and Prayer (5–10 minutes)

Read aloud or summarize:

Katelyn says she wrote the book A Woman's Place to help women "explore God's invitation to women to labor for his honor, for their own enjoyment, and for others' benefit." In the Introduction she writes, "This book is for all women who dream of taking their hands to the plow of life and creating something good."

As we work through this study, we will be challenged at the end of each session to think of a specific way that God is speaking to us about our work.

On a markerboard or large piece of paper, write the following:

You were authorized by God to make something of the world.

Ask participants to write this sentence at the top of their own piece of paper or in their journals and to take a few minutes in silence to pray and consider how God is speaking to them about their work. Ask them to write down one word or phrase where God is challenging them to dig deeper into the idea of their life's work. If time permits and participants are willing, have them share their answers with the group.

Closing Prayer

Creator of the World, thank you for creating me so lovingly and carefully and deliberately. You have given me a purpose and a hope, and I pray that you continue to show me and these sisters how to live out your grace and truth in our lives this week and in the following weeks of our study. In Jesus' name. Amen.

CHAPTER 2

Session 2

WHY "LEANING IN" IS GOOD — AND NOT ENOUGH

Planning the Session

Session Goals

Through this session's discussion and activities, participants will be encouraged to:

• Consider not only how we work but why we work.

• Embrace their spiritual gifting and how it relates to their work and the body of Christ as a whole.

Preparation

• Read and reflect on chapter 2, "Why 'Leaning In' Is Good — And Not Enough," in A Woman's Place: A Christian Vision for Your Calling in the Office, the Home, and the World by Katelyn Beaty.

• Read through this session outline in its entirety to familiarize yourself with the material being covered.

• Read and reflect on the following Scriptures:

* Ephesians 2:10

* 1 Corinthians 12

* Romans 12

* James 1:17

• You will want to have your DVD player or computer ready to watch the video segment.

• Have a markerboard or large sheet of paper available for recording group members' ideas in the "One God, Many Gifts" activity.

• Have a Bible, paper for taking notes, and a pen or pencil available for every participant.

Opening Activity and Prayer (5 minutes)

For discussion:

We are fortunate to live in a time when our culture openly praises the "strong woman." Who is someone you'd consider a strong woman, and why? (This could be a public or private figure — anyone from Ruth Bader Ginsburg to Beyoncé to your grandmother.)

• Do you aspire to be a "strong woman"? Does being known in that way appeal to you? Why or why not?

In this session, we'll dive a little deeper into what it means to be an image bearer of God and to realize the ways in which God has gifted us to be strong, effective, whole women in this world and live into God's purpose for us.

Opening Prayer

Lord, help us today to learn more about why you created women the way you did, and what purposes you have for us. Give us each ears to hear what you have for us in our time today. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Watch DVD Segment (10 minutes)

Study and Discussion (35–40 minutes)

When Work Becomes Who We Are

Read aloud or summarize:

The title of this chapter and session is a direct reference to the best-selling book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead (2013), written by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. In her book, Sandberg explores why women occupy so few leadership positions, and she encourages women to take their rightful places at the table and offers practical advice for negotiating, finding a mentor, setting boundaries, and building a satisfying career. At no point does Sandberg say work outside the home is more valuable than work inside the home. Rather, she seems to hope that women who love their work outside the home will not abandon it because they think they can't have a family as well.

While Katelyn Beaty says she found many things in Sandberg's book helpful and right on, Katelyn also points out that Lean In discusses the "how" of work, but it falls short of addressing the big question of "why" we work, wherever our "workplace" might be.

For many of us, work (which can be defined simply as what we do with our days) provides us with an identity that becomes hard to separate ourselves from.

For discussion:

• Would you say that you find your identity primarily in what kind of work you do? If so, how does that work make you feel about yourself and your circumstances? Do you feel content in that identity, or insecure? Why?

• Read Ephesians 2:10: "For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do" (NIV). What does this verse say about our God-given identity as it relates to our work? In what ways does this verse encourage you?

• Often we consider work something that should primarily give back to us instead of us giving back to the work. Do you feel this way? How does that view line up with what Scripture says about God's view of work?

One God, Many Gifts

Activity:

On a markerboard or large sheet of paper, draw an outline of a human body (no artistic pressure here — stick figures welcome!).

Ask members to consider the various parts of the human body, and then ask them to identify certain "work actions" that correspond with the parts of the body and label them on your sketch. For example, you might label a hand "cooking and cleaning," a foot "giving a ballet lesson," a mouth "giving a presentation," a finger "typing a report." There can, and hopefully will be, multiple labels given for the same body part.

After a few minutes of recording responses, ask:

• If you're being honest, do you consider any of these acts of work more important than others? Why, or why not?

• How might this belief affect your identity about what you do for work?

Have one or more people read aloud 1 Corinthians 12:

1 Brothers and sisters, I don't want you to be ignorant about spiritual gifts. 2 You know that when you were Gentiles you were often misled by false gods that can't even speak. 3 So I want to make it clear to you that no one says, "Jesus is cursed!" when speaking by God's Spirit, and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit. 4 There are different spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; 5 and there are different ministries and the same Lord; 6 and there are different activities but the same God who produces all of them in everyone. 7 A demonstration of the Spirit is given to each person for the common good. 8 A word of wisdom is given by the Spirit to one person, a word of knowledge to another according to the same Spirit, 9 faith to still another by the same Spirit, gifts of healing to another in the one Spirit, 10 performance of miracles to another, prophecy to another, the ability to tell spirits apart to another, different kinds of tongues to another, and the interpretation of the tongues to another. 11 All these things are produced by the one and same Spirit who gives what he wants to each person.

12 Christ is just like the human body-a body is a unit and has many parts; and all the parts of the body are one body, even though there are many. 13 We were all baptized by one Spirit into one body, whether Jew or Greek, or slave or free, and we all were given one Spirit to drink. 14 Certainly the body isn't one part but many. 15 If the foot says, "I'm not part of the body because I'm not a hand" does that mean it's not part of the body? 16 If the ear says, "I'm not part of the body because I'm not an eye," does that mean it's not part of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, what would happen to the hearing? And if the whole body were an ear, what would happen to the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God has placed each one of the parts in the body just like he wanted. 19 If all were one and the same body part, what would happen to the body? 20 But as it is, there are many parts but one body. 21 So the eye can't say to the hand, "I don't need you," or in turn, the head can't say to the feet, "I don't need you." 22 Instead, the parts of the body that people think are the weakest are the most necessary. 23 The parts of the body that we think are less honorable are the ones we honor the most. The private parts of our body that aren't presentable are the ones that are given the most dignity. 24 The parts of our body that are presentable don't need this. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the part with less honor 25 so that there won't be division in the body and so the parts might have mutual concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part gets the glory, all the parts celebrate with it. 27 You are the body of Christ and parts of each other. 28 In the church, God has appointed first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, the ability to help others, leadership skills, different kinds of tongues. 29 All aren't apostles, are they? All aren't prophets, are they? All aren't teachers, are they? All don't perform miracles, do they? 30 All don't have gifts of healing, do they? All don't speak in different tongues, do they? All don't interpret, do they? 31 Use your ambition to try to get the greater gifts. And I'm going to show you an even better way.

(Continues…)



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Copyright © 2017 Abingdon Press.
Excerpted by permission of Abingdon Press.
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Table of Contents

To the Leader,
Session 1: Made to Reign,
Session 2: Why "Leaning In" Is Good — And Not Enough,
Session 3: Our Generous Worker God,
Session 4: Women Have Always Worked,
Session 5: You Are Female, And It Is Good,
Session 6: How She Does It All,
Session 7: A Fruitful Life,
Session 8: Embracing Ambition,

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