How Facebook Can Help Your Devotional Life
It’s 5:45 on a typical Monday morning. I’m behind on my Bible study. Three days behind actually, but who’s counting. The baby woke up early the first morning and I didn’t even have a chance to get started. Then, the next morning I hit the snooze button a few too many times. On that last morning my husband made me coffee so I sat and visited with him for the few minutes before he had to leave for work.
It’s baffling how hard it can be to fit a 15 minute Bible study into a 24 hour day.
I roll out of bed, make a stop in the bathroom, and then shuffle my feet down the hallway and into the living room. I start my coffee, light a candle, and pull out my Bible study. I spend the next hour catching up with God. He doesn’t seem to mind that I missed a few days as He sits with me, sharing the wonder of His Word. I’m so engrossed in my time with Him that I barely notice when the kids get up and start getting ready for school. God has been good to me this morning.
God is faithful, even when I am not.
I can hardly wait to share the truth that I have discovered in my study. I open Facebook, my journal and Bible still open on the table in front of me. I don’t dawdle on my Facebook stream, but instead head straight for my private Bible study group. I’m excited to share with the women in my group. It’s the daily encouragement of these women that inspires me to keep up with my devotional habit. One or more of us is always a little behind on any given day, and we support one another through those struggles. We are inspired through one another’s journey and motivated to pursue our own, even as God pursues us. It’s a gift, this fellowship we have, and God is at work in the midst of it.
Using Facebook to Connect with God Each Morning
1. Find an online Bible study group.
I find it easier to participate in an online Bible study, but it can be difficult to find a group of women like ours. We were not all friends when we started this journey together. Most of us have never met one another in person. If you’re interested in finding an online group I suggest joining a large online Bible study network to get started. There are several websites that host online Bible studies throughout the year. I have been involved with groups through Good Morning Girls, Mom’s Toolbox, and Hello Mornings.
2. Decide on check-in times.
I like a group with daily check-ins rather than weekly ones. I find the daily check-in keeps me more focused and is more likely to keep me on track. I also think it’s important to set a fixed timeline. My current group, for example, is asked to commit to only the six week study we are currently doing. If, at the end of the six weeks, someone has to pull out for a season, that’s okay. We don’t hold their spot open for their return, but they are welcome to rejoin us the next time we have a spot available.
3. Choose a group size.
Speaking of spots, I believe groups need to be kept small and private in order to be effective. Sometimes the Bible study network you go through will set a group member maximum for you, other times you’ll be able to set it for yourself. In my experience, groups of 12-16 women work really well. It’s a big enough group that at least a couple of people are on track and have time to comment, but small enough that no one feels too intimidated by the number of voices to speak up. My current group has 15 members, including the two group leaders.
4. Nominate a group leader.
It’s a good idea for your group to have a leader or facilitator. This is someone who initiates the daily conversation and invites everyone else to join in. It’s okay to have more than one leader, as long as everyone understands who is responsible for what. Maybe you have one person in your group in charge of the daily check-ins and someone else is responsible for keeping track of prayer requests. The leader(s) doesn’t have to be the most knowledgeable person in the group, but they should be someone dependable and consistent. That person might change from season to season. That’s good; movement is a sign of growth and should be expected.
5. Expect a generous blessing.
This week has been more hectic than last week was, and yet I’ve been able to keep up with my devotional time anyway. I’m enjoying my time with God and I’ve been excited to hear how He is leading some of the others in the group. I’ve also been greatly encouraged this week because I know they’ve been praying for me. I haven’t felt like hitting snooze and when things haven’t gone as planned I’ve been able to just roll with it. This is our final week together as a group and I’m sad about that. Although there are always one or two people that leave each session, this time most of the members will be moving on. Although it’s sad it’s also beautiful to see how each of us has grown through our time with God and fellowship. We have all been blessed. We have all been a blessing. God has truly been generous with us.
Jennifer is a wordsmith, blogger, and book launch extraordinaire. She lives with her husband and five children in a cabin tucked in the woods of Washington State. Jennifer writes about living the life between once upon a time and happily ever after on her blog, Jennifer’s Life Between. Connect with her on Twitter and Instagram @jennifermlucas.
I read this wonderingly, Jennifer. I’ve never heard of anything like it, bu I love the idea. Thanks so very much for introducing me to the idea–and for sharing on KG! 🙂
Thanks Rachelle. And, if you’re interested, registration for the Hello Mornings challenge starts today! The next 6 weeks will be a study of Matthew. http://www.hellomornings.org/register/