September 29 9:00am - 3:00pm
Hyatt Regency Milwaukee
$99 general public / $35 undergrads
The WLI 2017 National Conference is located inside the Hyatt Regency Milwaukee. For your convenience, we have secured a block rate for king and double queen rooms at the Hyatt Regency Milwaukee. Book your room(s) early to ensure you are included in this block rate. Rooms are $119.00 a night, $20.00 for each additional person per room. Included with reservation is one breakfast voucher for each paid guest to be used in the Bistro 333 in the lobby. Hotel guests will be responsible for parking fees. The cutoff date for reserving a block rate room is September 12, 2017.
Hyatt Regency Milwaukee
333 West Kilbourn Avenue
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA, 53203
Designed for both men and women Christian professionals and college students, the Pressure Points event will tackle four topics where workplace expectations and responsibilities can create pressure points. Four experienced speakers will share their personal journeys of being a Christian professional in corporate and public life and share tips for navigating the grey areas when Christian values and workplace expectations don’t always reconcile. Each topic will be followed by reflection time, interactive table discussions with like-minded professionals, and online discussion boards for further connection and engagement.
Participants will also receive lunch and refreshments and have to walk through our exhibitor tables and connect with other organizations that support Christian professionals in the workplace. This will be an event you do not want to miss! Click through to see the schedule, speaker bios and topic descriptions.
- Christian business leaders share how to lead and influence in the secular workplace
- 4 Ted Talk-style presentations with small and large group discussion
- Admission to the WLI National Conference Exhibitor Hall
- Buffet lunch and refreshments
by Peggy Kuethe
Words are transformative.
Recall Genesis 1 when God spoke the universe into existence, and Genesis 3:15 when He spoke the promise of a Redeemer. Recall John 2:1-11, when Jesus spoke the water into wine and 1 Peter 1:3 where He gives us new life in Him. God’s words have immeasurable transformative power.
Language is an intentional gift from God. He also intends for us to use words to communicate with Him and with others. It is the foundation of our relationships.
You are fashioned in the image of a creative God. He gives you words and language, a mind and a heart and a voice. Along with that comes the desire to connect with others, to establish community, to form social bonds. Perhaps, as you do, you feel compelled to share a message, to communicate from your Spirit-inspired point of view. Sometimes a few words via Twitter or Facebook just aren’t enough. You want more space to express your thoughts, to tell your story. You want … to write a blog or a book or a Bible study!
Our words cannot do such miraculous things as transforming one thing into another thing or to give life where there is none. But they have transformative, intentional power. One of the most exciting ways you can influence others is through the written word made public. Thanks to technological advances and the Internet, publishing has never been easier. If you want to publish, you can.
Perhaps you’ve heard that eight out of ten people say they want to (or “should”) write a book. It sounds so simple. Write it. Publish it. Check that off your bucket list.
On the surface, it really is that simple. Scratch that surface though, and things begin to get a little complicated. Writing can be tedious. Publishing can be difficult. And selling—that’s a real challenge.
Eight out of ten say they want to publish, but how many do it? If just one person gets it done, why not let it be you? After all, the Holy Spirit may be nudging you. Your best friend is encouraging you. The members of your Bible study group are asking you. But where do you begin?
First, you write.
- Every writer discovers a process and a work style that, well, “works.” An hour first thing every morning. One day a month sequestered with the computer. Midnight the day before a deadline. Something in the middle is more likely. Find what suits you and stick with it.
- Decide what to write and who you are writing to.
- Edit. Revise. Repeat. (A few writers get it perfect the first time. Most don’t.) (Don’t even ask me how many false starts I made while writing this short article!)
Second, you publish.
- Make an informed decision between traditional publishing and self-publishing.
- Market, promote, and sell. The work you do after you write, regardless which publishing route you choose, is key to getting your message out there, to making it public. (See the second bullet point above.)
I’m writing this on a Monday. Yesterday, one of our communion hymns was “Take My Life, and Let It Be.” The third stanza brought to mind all of you: “Take my voice, and let me sing / Always, only, for my King; / Take my lips, and let them be / Filled with messages from Thee.”
As Christian writers, we have the responsibility—and the joy—of filling our messages with the hope, peace, mercy, comfort, and truth that are Christ’s own Gospel. Let us serve Him with our talents and our words!
Peggy Kuethe is the Senior Editor of Women’s Resources and Children’s Books at Concordia Publishing House. Peggy has worked in the publishing industry since high school (if you count the yearbook and student newspaper, that is). In the years since, she has worked as a newspaper reporter, periodicals editor and writer, marketing copywriter, and book editor.
By Sharla Fritz
“I know you’ll do a great job! I have every confidence in you!” the pastor says with a smile as he turns toward his office. As you watch him walk away, you wonder how he was able to talk you into this. Me? Lead a Bible study? I’ve never done anything like that before!
Before you panic, I’d like to share some simple principles that will help you fulfill your role as Bible study leader without stressing out. Guiding a Bible study group can be a very rewarding experience as you delve into God’s Word and develop relationships with your brothers and sisters in Christ. You will be helping others discover life-changing truths in God’s Word.
To enable you to serve God and fellow Christians, let’s look at four basic principles spelled out by the word LEAD: Look to God, Examine the Study, Ask Excellent Study Questions, and Direct the Discussion.
LOOK TO GOD
The most important thing you can do as a Bible study leader is to begin with prayer. Ask God for guidance and wisdom as you prepare. Pray over every detail of the study experience: Pray for:
- wisdom in choosing the right study
- the participants who will be in the group
- guidance for your role as leader
- time to adequately prepare for leading the study
- God’s peace and love to be evident
EXAMINE THE STUDY
When you accepted the role of leader, the Bible study materials may have already been chosen. Of course, we can study the Bible with no other book but the Bible, but you might want to choose some published material to guide you. If you are responsible for choosing the study, consider the following elements:
- Topical study or book of the Bible study. What would best meet the needs of your group—a study that tackles a subject or issue of particular interest to the members? Or a detailed study of a book of the Bible? You might want to alternate between these two types of studies so that members can gain a deeper knowledge of Scripture and understand particular challenges to the Christian life.
- Book only or video driven. Does your group enjoy the added element of a video lesson? Or would they rather have more time for discussion?
- Doctrinal agreement. Examine the study for issues that might not agree with your church’s teaching. Minor disagreements might not disallow a study if it brings an opportunity for discussion on the subject. But you probably would not want to choose a study that contained basic doctrinal differences from your beliefs.
- Length of study. If your study is to be completed in a prescribed amount of time, pay attention to the number of lessons.
- Amount of homework. Some groups love to delve into the Bible between sessions and enjoy having extra questions and readings. Other groups are made up of members who don’t have time for extra homework.
After you have chosen the study, remember that as the leader you need to come to each session prepared. Do each lesson thoroughly and prayerfully. Most of all, study to see what God wants to teach you for your life. God’s Word is most importantly a tool for heart-change. Plus, when the others in the group see the leader applying Scripture to her life, they will be inspired to follow.
Next, study to present the material to your group. Find key lessons. Underline important points. Highlight probing questions.
ASK EXCELLENT QUESTIONS
Studying Scripture with a group of people allows you to gain their insights and life experience. We do this through discussion.
Examples of questions that encourage discussion:
- Questions that ask How? or Why?
- Questions that ask for personal reaction: What do you think about…” What stuck out to you in this passage? Why do you feel that way?
- Questions that ask members to apply Scripture to their lives: What challenges you most in this passage?
- Questions that link the reader’s experiences with the Bible story: When have you experienced this Scriptural principle?
Examples of questions that discourage discussion:
- Questions with a yes or no answer: Is Genesis the first book of the Bible?
- Questions that have only one right answer: What was the name of Adam’s wife?
- Questions with an obvious answer: What was the name of the place where Adam and Eve lived?
DIRECT THE DISCUSSION
Even if you have a supply of excellent questions, you may run into some discussion potholes. One member of the group talks too much, someone else barely says one word. The discussion swings way off topic or you feel unqualified to answer a member’s honest question. Here are some tips for leading a lively discussion:
- Don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know” if someone asks a question you are unsure about. Promise to research the answer for the next meeting. Ask your pastor or consult some reference books in the meantime.
- Try to get everyone involved in the discussion. Encourage quieter members by sometimes calling on them personally, “Amy, what do you think about question 3?” If someone, seems to be dominating a conversation, gently cut them off by saying something like, “Thanks for sharing Patty. Does anyone else have something to add?”
- Allow time for personal sharing. A Bible study group is not just about improving our knowledge of Scripture. We also want to build relationships. You might include time for small talk and relationship building at the beginning of each meeting.
- On the other hand, if the conversation veers totally away from Scripture gently bring the discussion back on topic. After all, the participants signed up for a Bible study.
- Make allowances for life emergencies. If a member has suffered a tragedy or devastating experience do not feel you have to ignore their needs just to finish a lesson.
Enjoy the privilege of being a Bible study leader. The experience will help you grow in your knowledge of God’s Word as you prepare for each lesson. You will expand your people skills as you lead discussions and help members connect with each other. You will grow in faith as you pray for guidance. You will increase your capacity for love and compassion as you and your groups members share life’s ups and downs.
Learn and love as you lead.
Sharla Fritz is the author of three Bible studies: Soul Spa: 40 Days of Spiritual Renewal, Divine Design: 40 Days of Spiritual Makeover, Bless These Lips: 40 Days of Spiritual Transformation, and a study for teens: Divine Makeover: God Makes You Beautiful.
For more great articles like the one you just read, explore the EQUIP page of our website. Get inspired to lead by reading through the ENCOURAGE page, then visit one of our campus EVENTS near you. Stay connected by following us on FACEBOOK and TWITTER.