In her book, Church Lady, Chandra Peele calls for a “do-over,” redefining of the term Church Lady—shattering common stereotypes and reclaiming the Church Lady’s respect. She addresses a number of issues in the Church Lady’s mind, heart, and home as she ushers her readers to a new perspective and a new pursuit of spiritual growth.
- How do you feel about the term “Church Lady”? Do you initially have a positive or negative reaction when you hear the term? What in the book challenged you to move beyond the stereotypes you may have associated with this term?
- Take a moment and think about these stereotypes—conscious or maybe unconscious before reading the book—that society places on Church Ladies. Are they based on her politics? Geography? Even her looks? How can we redefine the image that we have of the Church Lady—for ourselves and for others?
- In the book, the author talks about traditions that Church Ladies have—traditions that are not in Scripture, but have evolved nonetheless as stalwart institutions and expectations in the church. Some that are good, but others keep us from experiencing the freedom we have in Christ. Can you think of some traditions that fall into both categories—good and bad? How can we move beyond the ones that aren’t Scriptural or useful?
- The author talks about the need for ministering to other Church Ladies in the hard seasons of life. Have you ever struggled with finding the right words or actions when someone is grieving or in pain? Why is so hard just to listen?
- Do you judge yourself with negative self talk about your appearance, church involvement, past, or relationships? What can you do to ground yourself in the truths from God’s Word about who you are in Christ?
- When you look at your life, do you suspect you’re often cocooning yourself in the light—church, church activities, Christian friends? How can you bring your light as a Church Lady into the darkness without becoming part of the darkness?
- As women, we nurture and care for others. How can we stay close to Jesus, the Vine, to sustain our energy? What steps can we incorporate into our daily routine to be sure our own spiritual tank isn’t running low?
- Ask God to open your eyes to Church Ladies who may not fit the traditional mold or our preconceived notions, and to show us how to embrace and love them well. Ask Him also to help us redefine the notion of what a Church Lady is by our fresh actions, attitudes, and unstoppable love for others.
- Ask God to help you love other people well, even when you don’t know how. When someone is grieving, or has hurt you, or is a difficult personality, ask Him to give you the grace to minister to them and be a blessing.
- Every Church Lady needs a group of godly women (other church ladies) that she can share her heart issues with. If you’re not part of such a group, make an effort to explore small groups within your church and other ministries and activities that could lead you become part of such a group. If you are part of a godly group of women, make an effort to reach out to those outside your group so that you don’t become too insular.
- Many women struggle with negative self-image and self-judgment—or with judgment of others. (In fact, almost everyone does occasionally!) Search the Bible for Scriptures that address these issues, and pray through them daily until your mind and heart are transformed.