Here’s a wonderful story of God’s faithfulness in steering the ladies ministry at my church out of doctrinally weak teachers. I joined my daughter’s Southern Baptist Church about ten months ago to be able to worship with her and my three grandchildren. I met with the pastor a few times and we had wonderful conversations about Reformed theology and the church’s long history. Since I had developed somewhat of a rapport with him I felt comfortable going to him when I found out the ladies ministry leader had chosen, yet again, a not so doctrinally sound study.
Last fall we did Lisa Harper’s Job study which I faithfully attended and early on realized she was not what I needed or wanted in a Bible study. Lisa likes to share a personal story of her life in each of her weekly videos and it soon became burdensome and kind of annoying (I don’t have much patience when it comes to studying the Word). Before Lisa Harper was Lysa TerKeurst, Beth Moore, and Priscilla Shirer, so the church has had a history of fluffy studies.
In late December of last year the announcement was made that we would be doing Priscilla Shirer’s new study One in a Million. I was disappointed to say the least as I’m not a fan of Shirer.
I prayed a lot about how to approach my pastor about this because the woman in charge of selecting our studies is a friend and fellow Sunday School attendee. Since I’m so new to the church I decided to find out who was in charge of overseeing the ladies’ ministry. I assumed it was a deacon but soon found out that wasn’t the case. The head of the deacons told me it was our Discipleship Minister. So I contacted him and he confirmed that he oversees the men’s and ladies’ ministry and when I asked if he oversees the Bible study selection he said that’s left up to the ladies’ ministry leader.
So I decided it was time to talk to my pastor. I did my due diligence and researched the problems and concerns with Shirer and sent him links to Michelle’s critique and also pastors who have written about her to warn the women in their churches.
One of the comments my pastor made in his defense was he assumed if a teacher is promoted by LifeWay, they must be good. I was surprised he didn’t know about LifeWay and all the heretical authors and books they have on their shelves.
I also shared with him the problems and concerns with other studies the church has done in the past. He listened, reviewed the links I sent him and decided he needed to call a meeting with the Discipleship Minister and ladies’ ministry leader to discuss this matter. That meeting hasn’t happened yet (he promised it would be soon) but I’m praying for all to come to the right decision going forward. And, the ladies’ ministry leader recently announced that we will be using a Jen Wilkin book for our next study. I give all glory to God for giving my pastor eyes to see and ears to hear.
Ladies, God is still at work in the hearts and lives of His people, including yours! Would you like to share a testimony of how God saved you, how He has blessed you, convicted you, taught you something from His Word, brought you out from under false doctrine, placed you in a good church or done something otherwise awesome in your life? Private/direct message me on social media, e-mail me (MichelleLesley1@yahoo.com), or comment below. Your testimony can be as brief as a few sentences or as long as 1500 words. Let’s encourage one another with God’s work in our lives!
5 thoughts on “Testimony Tuesday: Alma’s Story”
Thank you for sharing. It was greatly needed encouragement.
Glory to God, this is great to hear!
It sounds like your pastor was more responsive than mine. It will be interesting to see if that meeting happens and what is decided there. I hope you will be able to attend the meeting so that you will really know what is said. You approached this well, and in a God-honoring way.
Though I’d met resistance from my senior pastor and the associate pastor and a couple of elders, I finally met a more recently hired pastor who know some of what I’d experienced before I met him. He told me he wanted to form a discernment committee to vet materials leaders brought to him for use in their small groups.
One of the names he gave us to investigate was Jen Wilken. I responded with sort of a general approval after investigating online, but did point out an item of concern in one of her video’s. After sending my response I then looked up the church she attended. It is Matt Chandler’s church. I then sent a followup email cautioning about that, since Chandler is a continuationist…or charismatic. Quite a bit of false teaching can come in under that umbrella.
More recently (last year), it has become well known that Matt Chandler has joined the ranks of the new Social Justice movement . In other words, he’s “woke”. I don’t know how aware of this dangerous movement you are, but MacArthur has called it the most serious attack on the gospel he’s seen in his 50 years of defending the gospel.
I would strongly caution against using materials by any pastors or leaders who are associated with this movement. In Matt’s case, he is part of the Gospel Coalition, which was formerly a good group, but they’ve taken a decided left turn toward a social justice paradigm. This is true of pastors and leaders in the Together for the Gospel –T4G group, as well as those in the 9 Marks group.
I would highly recommend that you suggest to your pastor that the women’s groups use Michele Lesley’s studies, that you can access here. Michelle’s studies are writing such that they help women to learn to read and interpret scripture for themselves, which is an excellent way to develop discernment, without having someone else’s potentially false ideas laid on top of scripture.
I’m sure Michelle would be happy to help you think through how best to make this recommendation to your pastors and elders.
I’ll pray about this situation!
Thank you for the kind words and recommendation, Susan.
On my part, I do have some concerns about Matt Chandler and Jen Wilkin, but I am hoping they will both get back on track. I want to clarify that while I do have concerns, and I don’t proactively recommend either of them, neither of them, at this point, is a false teacher.