TGC picWhenever I’m preparing to host a large meal, I try to do most of the work in the days beforehand. I’ll prepare sides, set the table, clean the house, and make up a few batches of sweet tea. The reason?  I want to be able to enjoy the feast! I’ve found the more I prepare ahead of time, the more I enjoy sitting around the table with those we’ve welcomed into our home.

In just 11 weeks, thousands of women will be heading to Indianapolis to enjoy a different kind of feast at The Gospel Coalition 2016 National Women’s Conference (TGCW16). Thousands more will listen online.  If you’re planning on attending in either format, I’d like to offer one way to prepare your hearts for the feast to come:

Go ahead and begin studying 1 Peter on your own.

Prior to TGCW14, I worked through Kathleen Nielson’s Nehemiah study. Studying the book for nine weeks prior to the conference prepared me to be a better listener as I sat under the teaching of others.

jen studyLast month, I finished Jen Wilkin’s study on 1 Peter.  If you’re looking for a study guide to work through, here are some of the reasons I’ve enjoyed her study so much:

It’s Focused on 1 Peter

You will read the entire text of 1 Peter every week. All of it. Again and again.  Nine times through. (But who’s counting, right?) Every Monday for the past two months, I’ve read the entire book of 1 Peter like a letter, coming to my doorstep. Each time I’ve gotten something different out of it. It’s tempting to skip this part of the study. Don’t do it!  One of the best results of this type of repetitive reading is that you immerse yourself in the text. The words and phrases will become like familiar friends. Just the other day I read a quote and immediately I knew: That’s 1 Peter. For me, that’s the sign of a good Bible study.

It’s Time Efficient

Jen’s workbook allows you to study God’s word in manageable portions. She puts you in the text, asks helpful questions, and encourages you consider what you’re reading.  Some days you’ll look up words in the dictionary, use colored pencils to mark up the text (at a reasonable rate, not every day), or glean wisdom from other related Biblical passages. It’s divided up in such a way that it usually took me 15-20 minutes per day. Faithful study in small amounts leads to a wealth of knowledge and understanding over time.

 It Includes a Video Option

In my initial work through of 1 Peter, I only used the workbook. Currently, I’m going through the study with my mentor group and we’re watching the video as well. If you’re studying with some friends (or planning a Bible study for the fall), it’s helpful to have the video option.  However, if you want to just use the study to prepare for TGCW16, the workbook is excellent on its own.

It Teaches You How to Study as You Study

One of the best ways to learn how to study the Bible is to use a well-written study guide.  Jen’s daily homework is a practical outworking of her book, Women of the Word.  As you work through the daily lessons, you’ll gain helpful methods for studying the Bible on your own. It’s for this reason that I’m using Jen’s study with my mentor group. I want these young ladies to learn how to study as they study.



I hope I’ll see you at TGCW16.  Most of all, I’m looking forward to sitting down to a shared feast of God’s word, considering the living hope to which we’ve been called:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,  who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.  1 Peter 1:3-9