Lunch break. Most people who work during the day take some type of lunch break to satisfy their mid-day hunger and get refreshed for the rest of the workday. What if you spent one of those lunch breaks every week in Bible study with other working women? I know several women who have gathered coworkers together in their workplace for a weekly women’s Bible study over the lunch break. Though the idea sounds inviting, time constraints and experience levels of the women can make this difficult. But with the Lord, nothing is too difficult. He can give you creative ways to use your daily lunch break as a way to fulfill your purpose as a disciplemaker as well. We will give you creative ways to offer a Bible study during your workday lunch break. This is post #11 in our “Lifestyle Disciplemaking” series, adapted from our book, Leap into Lifestyle Disciplemaking.
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Most people who work during the day either from home, in an office, or other workplace environment take some kind of lunch break. These can be great opportunities for doing a Bible study once a week with other women during their workday as well. The time allotted can be short (usually less than an hour). And it might be difficult to find a place. But that is where you can trust Jesus to give you creative ways to use your lunch break for disciplemaking. You can also meet in the evening or other times. But for the purpose of this blog, we will be covering how to use your workday lunch break for Bible study with other women.
Where to meet
You have several options for where to meet with other women for a mid-day Bible study—at your job site, at a nearby restaurant or coffee shop, and online.
At the job site as a “Lunch and Learn”
“Lunch and Learn” events are common in most workplaces. What would be the best kind of lunch and learn? The answer to that question would be a Bible study. I know several women who have gathered coworkers together in their workplace for a weekly women’s Bible study over the lunch break. They find a room that is unused during lunch and ask their managers for permission to gather there. They bring their own bag lunches, or the group can order something for delivery. Choose easy-to-eat-and-talk food if you do that, nothing complicated.
Is it legal? Yes. There are no legal prohibitions on employers allowing employees, including managers, to conduct Bible study on their work premises during breaks or outside of working time. You can invite people to join you, but you cannot coerce them to participate in order to gain favor or advancement.
Is it right? Yes. Just make sure to start and stop within the designated time allotted for employees, including you. Being respectful of your employer demonstrates humility and brings honor to the Lord Jesus Christ. This also applies to any one-on-one time you spend talking with another employee. Do it during a break time so that you are not stealing time from your employer. You can view your work as an act of worship, not a curse, and glorify the Lord through your work environment.
At a nearby restaurant
A friend of mine joined with 2 other women from her church who worked in the same area of their city. They invited a few of their coworkers to join them for lunch once a month at a convenient restaurant to their workplaces and said to bring friends. The lunches were short, informal, and good for building relationships—a creative idea for working women who have very little free time to get together with other women. My friend found this to be a great place to invite unchurched coworkers. Something that starts like that can become a Bible study within a few months, perhaps meeting twice a month.
Restaurants and coffee shops can be noisy, making it hard to hear one another. Also, ordering and waiting on food can steal your time to talk. Try to find one that would work well. Some have side rooms you can reserve. If the weather is nice, you can meet outside where it might be quieter.
One summer, I led a Bible study in the café area of a local grocery store over the lunch hour, drawing in women who work from home in our area. We had a little less than an hour to meet, and we did it on Fridays which was a more relaxed day for most of them. I found out who was interested in joining me then looked for a central location that would work. Everyone either ate at home first or brought their sack lunch to eat while we met. It worked very well for several months.
Through an online app such as Zoom
The use of online apps such as Zoom has opened up a whole new world of meeting together for women. Over the last couple of years, I have been offering a noontime Bible study. Several women who work from home have joined the study. You can do the same with your coworkers, whether you are all working from home or only some of you.
Those are just a few ideas of where to meet. The next question is, “What to study?” From my experience, I suggest you use a short and easy Bible study guide that is designed for anyone new to the Bible.
Use a short and easy Bible study guide
Most published women’s studies involve too much homework for the average working woman to be able to do at home with her restricted time. And any accompanying videos are just too long to leave any room in the weekly gathering for discussion and getting to know one another. At best, a workplace lunch break allows for 45 minutes of actual discussion time.
Besides the time constraint for a lunchtime Bible study with coworkers, there is also the wide variety of Bible knowledge background or lack of knowledge that each woman brings to the group. And you want to get everyone into the Bible for themselves. That means choosing a Bible study not a popular book to study that has a few Bible verses in it. You can download the “Start and Lead a Bible Study Group” booklet for help in choosing a Bible study for your group.
The best solution is a Bible study that is short and easy for anyone to understand. You want something short enough to be done together during that lunch hour and asking them to do less than an hour’s worth of reading and reflecting on some Bible passages at home.
Over the past years as I have gone to many churches to train women for disciplemaking in their personal lives, I have seen the need for Bible studies designed especially for anyone new to the Bible. So many adult women these days have never learned to read or study the Bible for themselves. When they try one of our typical studies, women who are new to the Bible feel lost and ignorant because most studies assume previous Bible knowledge. It can be very discouraging.
Our ministry now offers several beginners’ Bible studies that are perfect for one-on-one discipling of new Christians and can be easily done during the typical lunch break at work. The series of books is called GRACEFUL BEGINNINGS. Each book contains Bible lessons that are basic, easy to understand, using simple terms and very relationship-with-God oriented. Currently there are eight available on my website and through most online bookstores. You can freely download each of these lessons to check them out. These are the ones I use during the online studies during the lunch hour.
1. A Fresh Start —This one covers the first steps towards a new life in Christ. Basic foundational truths about who Jesus is, who God is, who the Holy Spirit is, and how to live in this new relationship with God.
2. Painting the Portrait of Jesus — Covers the self-portrait of Jesus using His seven “I am” statements in the gospel of John. Get to know who He is and why He is someone we want to follow.
3. The God You Can Know — A quick look into the attributes of our Father God and why His love can be trusted.
4. Grace Overflowing — Looking at how Christ is revealed in Paul’s letters and how we can live in His grace daily.
5. The Walk from Fear to Faith — Trusting God with Your Fears (Old Testament Women)
6. Satisfied by His Love — Let Jesus satisfy your heart with the goodness of His love (New Testament Women)
7. Seek the Treasure — A simple study through the book of Ephesians
8. Pathways to a Joyful Walk — Some foundational truths to learn so that you will have a rewarding spiritual life
Please contact me for more information.
Stay Christ-focused as you take the next steps
For anyone reading this blog who works in an environment with other women, please try a lunchtime Bible study. Doing so is part of lifestyle disciplemaking. In fact, inviting coworkers to CONNECT with them leads to studying the Bible to ESTABLISH them in truth. And that LAUNCHES you into ministry beyond your church setting. It is a win/win!
Disciplemaking is the Lord Jesus Christ’s idea and commission to all of His followers. What He calls us to do, He enables us to do through His Spirit at work in us and in the world. Ask Jesus to give you the courage and drive to start and lead a Bible study for your female coworkers. Trust Him to help you each step of the way including to give you favor with your employer if you would like to meet onsite. Trust Him to show you what to do to offer a Bible study to coworkers during your lunch break. Then, watch what He does!
Lifestyle disciplemaking activities are interwoven throughout our Live Out His Love Bible Study of New Testament women.
Let Jesus lead you into lifestyle disciplemaking. Jesus followers become disciplemakers.
- The Call to Lifestyle Disciplemaking
- Connect: Build Intentional Relationships with Nonbelievers
- Connect: Become a Designated Engager
- Connect: Prepare to Share Your Faith Story
- Connect: Prepare to Share the Gospel Facts
- Establish: Give Believers Strong Roots
- Establish: Choose to Disciple Others
- Establish: Nurture Women Who Are New to the Bible
- Launch: Multiply Impact Beyond Yourself
- Launch: Use Your Workday Lunch Break for Disciplemaking
- Launch: Transition to a Disciplemaking-Focused Women’s Ministry
- Live Out His Love Bible Study on Amazon (New Testament women, disciplemaking preparations)
- Be a Christ-Focused Small Group Leader on Amazon (prepares group leaders for disciplemaking)
- Lifestyle Disciplemaking resources on my website (including everything in this blog series)
- Host a “Leap into Lifestyle Disciplemaking” retreat
- Graceful Beginnings Studies (designed for anyone new to the Bible)
- Counter the “Work Is Secular” Infection
Image credit: Sourced from a template at canva.com. Photo taken by the author with permission from the participants