All Good Things Must Come to an End

Photo by Gretchen E.K. Engel

Two years ago I embarked on one of the most life-changing adventures of my life. I was invited to participate in the inaugural Ladies Leadership Training class at our church. My husband had completed Timothy Leadership Training, which was the single best thing to happen to our marriage and family. God took my husband and developed and grew him into a strong spiritual leader. There is nothing more attractive in a husband than a strong, quiet faith.

There was so much I loved about this class. I’ll distill it down to my Top Three.

1. The Curriculum

This was a leadership class, not a “ladies leadership class”. We studied books by some of the top theologians of the twentieth/twenty-first century. These are the same books my husband studied plus or minus a couple of books because our pastor typically changes one or two per session. Grudem’s Bible Doctrine was my favorite because I loved diving into systematic theology. This one is Reformed and I’d love to study a solid Wesleyan/Arminian one. He equated this curriculum to one year of seminary!

My other favorites were R.C. Sproul’s The Holiness of God, Finding the Will of God, a Pagan Practice? by Bruce Waltke, which I’m currently reading because I fell a bit behind this summer.

2. Discipline

One of the books we read was Donald Whitney’s Spiritual Disciplines. It’s a fantastic book about practices Christians should be in the habit of doing – Bible study, prayer, meditation, Scripture memory, silence, fasting, tithing, journaling, evangelism. Some I’m better at than others (Bible study and prayer) than tithing or journaling (this writer prefers fiction over soul baring). Fasting is new to me, and one I’ve only done a couple of times years ago. I’ve grown so much in my faith and discipline since this class, especially in setting aside time with God.

3. Mentoring and Accountability

We were divided into accountability/mentoring groups. I was with my mentor, who happens to be our pastor’s wife and one of the wisest women I know. The other two are women about a generation older than me and a woman in her twenties. God definitely orchestrated for us to be together. We complement each other and have personality types that lend themselves to iron sharpening iron. Over the two years, this group has become one of the few places I can let myself be vulnerable. I am so thankful we’ve decided to stay together.

What’s next?

This was the question we posed at the end of our course. We’ve become accustomed to near daily homework. Our pastor recommended John Piper’s Desiring God, so my mentoring group will be studying it. I also have four partial books to finish. I haven’t finished Finding the Will of GodThe Peacemaker, Improving Your Serve, and Body Life. I’m also looking forward to mentoring one of the women in the next class. I’m also doing my own Bible study of Mark, which is the Gospel I’ve spent the least amount of time studying.

What non-fiction Christian book has had the most influence on your life?

About Gretchen E K Engel

Chemical engineer by day, spec fiction writer by night

4 comments on “All Good Things Must Come to an End

  1. Wow, what a challenging study! I think it’ll impact you massively for the rest of your life, and you’ll be glad you did it. I’ve never studied theology, but I did dig deep into the Word in Bible Study Fellowship. The best study was Minor Prophets, because I finally saw how the entire Old Testament fits together. I’ve been doing some studies via Michael Heiser’s podcast, and it’s so over my head. So much Greek!

  2. What a spiritually deep study, your growth undergirded by a vulnerable small group spanning life cycles. Wonderful! Im glad you’re committed to one another and continuing in fellowship. I’m studying Andrew Murray’s “Waiting on God” right now, sharing insights in my mixed ages small group. We need each other, as we seek to know and draw closer to Him.

  3. I am so thankful for this opportunity and that our group is staying together. I’ve not read that book but sounds like something I’d enjoy.

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