Last week our staff and our church had the privilege of hearing from author and Bible teacher Jen Wilkin. We’re incredibly thankful to Jen (and The Village Church) for taking the time to speak on the importance of Bible literacy and about ways in which men and women can partner together in ministry. With Jen, we pray that our people would grow to say, “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law” (Psalm 119:18 ESV).

Here are some of the best moments from her various talks last week:

“People are satisfied with passively accepting whatever a person says about the Bible, without digging in to the Bible themselves. As church leaders, we should never be content with this.”

“God didn’t reveal himself in a 15-second video. He revealed himself in 66 books.”

“So what should we be teaching the people in our church? Well, I think it’s simple. First, the Bible. Second, the basics. Obvious, right? But take a look in a Christian bookstore, and see how many of those books are actually geared toward helping people understand the Bible.”

“I get asked all the time, ‘Will you come speak to our women about their identity in Christ?’ And I always answer, ‘No. I will come and talk about Christ.’”

“The command to love God with our minds isn’t written just to men. Women are expected to do it, too. And in many ways, we will love God with our minds differently than men do.”

“The heart cannot love what the mind does not know. Right thinking will beget right feeling.”

“Your people won’t give an account for how well they loved God with J.D.’s mind. They’ll be held accountable for how well they loved God with their own mind. We must teach our people to read the Bible for themselves, even if they sometimes come up with a bad interpretation. Why? Because we’re teaching them to dig into the text. In the long run, that’s more profitable.”

“We need to do a better job wrestling through the text. We need to allow people to sit in the ‘I don’t know.’ That moment of dissonance is where learning begins. That’s to be leaned into, not avoided or diminished. We need to give people permission to fail, to speculate, to wait, to guess. Being wrong is okay; that’s part of learning. The job of the student is not to please the teacher; it’s to expand her thinking.”

“If you’re looking for people to teach, don’t look for people who want to teach the Bible. Look for people who want to teach people the Bible.”

“What I’m asking the church to do with Christian education isn’t a new thing. It’s an old thing that’s been recently forgotten.”

“When you are an unbeliever, the law points to your need for grace. When you are a believer, grace points to your need for the law.”

“We are so busy trying to manage relationships between men and women from a Genesis 3 perspective that we’ve lost sight of how things were created in Genesis 1 and 2. We need to acknowledge the realities of a Genesis 3 environment but always strive for Genesis 1 and 2.”

“The complementarian view of men and women is deeply shaped by God’s statement, ‘It is not good for man to be alone.’ We’ve taken that principle seriously and applied it to leadership in the church.”

“Elevating the influence of women in the church isn’t about equal employment opportunities. It’s not even primarily about giving women a place to use their gifts. It’s about guarding the voices of the most vulnerable among us, making sure that everyone is heard. Women tend to hear the voices that men may not be aware of.”

“By leaving the church a better place for our daughters, we are also leaving the church a better place for our sons. Because a church can only truly thrive when both men and women are thriving.”