By Ken Carver
Contributing writer, B&R
COLLIERVILLE — When Amy Dobson got serious — really serious — about her fellowship with Jesus, when she fervently pursued a much deeper walk with Him, little did she know that her spiritual path would lead to her writing the Mirror Image ladies’ Bible study series. Dobson wrote the first study in 2016. It was on Malachi. A two-part study on Galatians followed a year later.
Fast forward to 2021, and you find this wife, mother of two school-age girls and former nurse leading a writing team of four other ladies at First Baptist Church, Collierville. Dobson, Dedee Berry, Jennifer Goodwin, Barbee Halford and Lynn Meany have written and published Mirror Image studies on Hosea and Philippians. Their current project, a study of Esther, will debut in August. Each study digs deeply into the featured Bible book.
God’s hand on Amy Dobson’s life is further illustrated by His leading her to become the director of women’s ministries at CFBC. She had long volunteered in many ministry areas there, but her heart was always most passionate about women’s ministry.
“For years, my ‘yes’ has been on the altar of God’s will,” she said. So when the door was opened for her to resign from her lucrative nursing career and transition into the church’s first full-time women’s ministry director, she simply said, “Yes, Lord!” She quickly added that her husband, Joe, and their girls have supported her at every step.
Amy Dobson’s pastor, Chuck Herring, is one of her biggest cheerleaders. She credits him with prompting her to write that first study and those that followed. After the Malachi and Galatians studies, he suggested that she enlist a team of like-minded writers to join her.
“Amy is a godly, Spirit-filled lady who has a passion to study God’s Word and to teach it,” Herring said. “Several years ago, I challenged her to enlist a writing team that could assist her in developing high quality women’s Bible studies. I would encourage any group of women to give strong consideration to utilizing these solid Mirror Image studies as a means to deepen their walk with the Lord.”
Having taught The One Year Chronological Bible as a women’s study several times at CFBC, Dobson considered all of the Bible’s books before settling on Malachi as her first project. The fact that the book reflects the sad spiritual state of many Christians and their churches led her to the Mirror Image concept.
“Anytime we read God’s Word, we should hold it up like a mirror to our lives and see how we compare to His standards,” she said. “Through Malachi, God showed the religious leaders how far short of His standards they fell. Their blemishes were glaring in the mirror of His Word.” Testimony to the depth of her Malachi research is the fact that she memorized the entire book! She also memorized much of Galatians, her second solo project.
Before Amy Dobson ever wrote a word of any Bible study, Pastor Herring told her that a key to writing a good Bible study was using a Bible that included strong cross references.
His coaching started her search for such a Bible. She discovered The MacArthur Study Bible, English Study Bible (ESV), and her search was over. She had found her primary resource, and it remains so – not only for her, but also for her team. Other trusted resources now include the Blue Letter Bible and the Key Word Study Bible.
All of this time, research, and collaboration with her writing team has one goal.
“Our purpose is to lead women to genuine faith in the Lord Jesus, and to live in moment-by-moment obedience to Him, journeying daily through His Word,” said Dobson.
Steady growth in Bible study attendance – and in every facet of the church’s women’s ministry – is evidence of the success of that purpose.
The students’ enthusiasm for the studies fuels the writing team’s enthusiasm. “When people start asking, ‘What book are we studying next?’ we know God’s favor is with us,” she said.
The studies utilize individual study coupled with small-group and large-group collective study. Typically, there are five days of individual study each week over an eight-to-ten-week period.
During that time, the students meet weekly in small groups to compare notes and then combine for large-group teaching. The groups are intentionally multi-generational, as is every aspect of CFBC’s women’s ministry.
“It’s similar to the ‘iron-sharpening-iron’ principle,” said Dobson, “and we take seriously the apostle Paul’s concept of older women instructing younger women.”
Mirror Image Bible study books, teaching aids, and DVDs for the large-group sessions are available for purchase. All proceeds go to support the church’s women’s ministry.
Simply contact Amy Dobson in any of the following ways: Call her at Collierville First Baptist Church at 901-853-2668; text her at 901-848-1416 or send her an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. B&R