Meet the Hannah Circle, a women’s Bible study that has been going public with their faith for years. This group provides a timely example of Moses’ charge to the people of God to have our conversations about God’s unique ways in places where we might be overheard (like walking along a road, where anyone might hear us at any time – see Deuteronomy 6:4-9).
Hannah Circle meets twice monthly at a restaurant in the early morning, allowing professional women to attend. The group believes that meeting in public has provided them with opportunities large and small to share their faith, and has given others the opportunity to do the same in surprising ways. For example:
- Many members of the wait staff have asked them for prayer over the years.
- Other customers have commented that they enjoyed listening to the group’s study. (A priest told them as he left one day that he had been studying the same book of the Bible [Ruth], and that their conversation had been helpful to him.)
- A business traveler once boomed a prayer request to them from across the room, saying that he can always use prayer.
- One waitress asked if she could sing a spiritual for them. When the group eagerly agreed, she sang out in a beautiful voice so that the whole restaurant could hear.
- One year, long ago, when they were meeting in a bar, one of the waitresses was seriously injured when her car hit a patch of ice. This group engaged with other regular customers in collecting money to help her and in praying for her.
Jesus’ words in Matthew 28:19-20 restate Moses’ charge from Deuteronomy in light of His own ministry. The passage is a familiar one for us: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you…” The original Greek word for “Go” in this verse is actually not a command, but a verb form that communicates ongoing activity (going). The subtle inference, then, is that we are to make disciples of all nations as we are going. Thus, Jesus urges us to make disciples as we live out our lives wherever we may be. We do this by sharing what we know to be true about Jesus and inviting people into the life and community of faith. Hannah Circle shows us one exciting way that we can live into this challenge.
These women have mastered what is arguably the most effective way to share your faith: let others see it in genuine action. Live it out so others can see. Talk about it so others can hear.
You can do it, too. Consider having your small group or Bible study go public! You can meet in a café, a bar, a restaurant, a park… the possibilities are nearly endless. Ask God to let your group be a part of bringing revival to the Eastside. Jesus promises to be with you through it all (Matthew 18:20).
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” (Deuteronomy 6:4-9)