NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Ask Patty Williams what her passion is and she’ll tell you in no uncertain terms — she’s in love with God and the Bible.
She’s not so sure she could have said that six years ago.
Williams discovered heartbreak and loneliness after experiencing a painful separation and divorce from her husband. Suddenly finding herself a single mom trying to raise two small boys alone, Williams found hope when a friend mentioned she should read “To Live as Christ,” a Bible study by Beth Moore.
“I know that God directed Beth’s studies into my life at that time to heal my heart and to grow me in his Word,” Williams said. “When the world would have offered therapy sessions, I found passion for God and saw him put my heart back together.”
Now six years later, she’s a prayer coordinator for her church, Magna View Baptist Church in Talbott, Tenn., near Knoxville. She has done “every study that Beth has ever written,” including the recent online study offered on LifeWay.com, “Believing God.”
Communicating interactively online with other women of faith has become an important part of the spiritual walks of the 30,000-plus women who participated in the study. And it’s not stopping there.
LifeWay Christian Resources responded to the overwhelming success of “Believing God” by launching a new site through its online community forum area. Women who are participating in other Beth Moore studies can now go online and participate in topical discussions through the forum “Bible Study E-groups.”
“The distinction between the e-groups and the Believing God study is that you don’t have to participate in an online study to participate in these other discussions,” said Craig Kendall, manager of the web development team at LifeWay, the Southern Baptist Convention’s discipleship/publishing entity based in Nashville. “This offers people who may be doing a study through their church or on their own a chance to have another outlet to talk about what God is teaching them.”
Women from all over the world including England, Canada, Australia and Malta as well as the United States gather to find and offer support to one another. They share prayer requests as well as thoughts on the current Bible study topic.
“This forum is such a great tool because it allows us to share our thoughts about the study and testify about God and how he is changing us through these Bible studies,” said Williams, who is a frequent participant. “It’s encouraging to read how God speaks to other ladies.”
The replies on the discussion boards encourage Williams, and she’s glad for the chance for help with a study’s homework or to get advice on a particular situation.
“The LifeWay community is bringing Christians together, ” Williams said. “It’s a huge ministering tool that’s bringing glory to God.”
The self-called prayer warrior prepares future generations of young women for God’s touch as well. Each Sunday night she mentors a group of girls at her church, teaching — what else? A Beth Moore Bible study.
LifeWay.com currently offers e-groups for three Beth Moore studies: “Beloved Disciple,” “Jesus the One and Only” and “Breaking Free.” Volunteers who serve as moderators post topical and insightful questions to participants who share in the discussion.
The Bible study e-groups area, launched in late January, has plans to add other studies in the near future. To register and participate in LifeWay’s Bible Study E-groups, visit http://forums.lifeway.com .
(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: ONLINE OPPORTUNITY.