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Logos Live: Jennifer Lucy Tyler on Women in the Word

Logos Live header for Women in the Word episode with Jennifer Lucy Tyler

What you’ll see in this Logos Live episode

Jennifer Grisham interviews Logos national presenter, founder of Soul Circle Ministries, and ambassador for International Justice Mission Jennifer Lucy Tyler. Hear what stirred Tyler’s hunger for the Word, how she started learning to do in-depth Bible study, and how she now shares that knowledge with an international community of women.

Jump to transcript.

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Interview transcript

Jennifer Grisham (00:21):
Hello, everyone. Welcome to today’s Logos Live. We’re so glad that you’re joining us today, and we’re so glad to have Jennifer Lucy Tyler joining us as well. She’s here on the team at Logos. And so I’m really excited to introduce you to her before we jump in. Let me tell you a little bit about what we’re discussing today. So we’re talking about women in the Word, and what it means to really be rooted in Bible study and how that can change lives. So Jennifer Lucy Tyler has a fantastic story of what this is—how this has happened in her life. And so I’m really excited for all of you to get to hear her story today. So let me just introduce her to you real quick. So thank you for joining us, Jennifer. She’s a Bible teacher, a speaker, a storyteller, an entrepreneur, and a growth coach.

Jennifer Grisham (01:11):
She’s created two journals, Be Your Own #Relationship Goals, Volume One, and the Change Maker Guide to Studying the Bible. In 2016, she received a coaching certification through Lifeforming Leadership Institute, and she focuses on helping women grow spiritually through online courses and Bible studies. She also founded Soul Circles Ministries, which you’ll hear more about, which is a different kind of lady’s night out and a virtual community centered around studying the Bible inductively, not just for information, but for transformation. She’s the founder of Mission Consulting Hub, a hub of consultants that serves servant leaders around the world. She currently works as a national presenter for us here at Logos. And she’s also an ambassador for the International Justice Mission (or IJM, you might know it that way). She lives in Maryland and is happily married. So Jennifer, we’re so excited to hear from you today.

Jennifer Grisham (02:06):
Thanks for joining us.

Jennifer Lucy Tyler (02:07):
Thank you for having me. I’m excited for this conversation and I have been enjoying this series.

Jennifer Grisham (02:14):
Wonderful. I’m so glad that you’re here with us, and I’m glad you’ve been enjoying it. So as we jump in, I would love to hear just a little bit about how you got started studying the Bible, how it became a passion for you. Can you tell us a little bit about what that looked like?

Jennifer Lucy Tyler (02:31):
It is so interesting because when you asked that question, I went back to my childhood when my aunt was the very first person to introduce me to the Scriptures. I didn’t grow up in a Christian home, but she was the first person that literally would open up the Bible to us and to myself and her children and begin to go through the Bible with us.

Jennifer Lucy Tyler (02:56):
But my passion grew for studying the Word probably in my mid twenties when I was attending Regent University for biblical studies. And it was just through those classes, that those classes really just began to make me have a stronger desire to want to know more and to study more. And then I had a friend, a sister, actually, my sister-in-law who started discipling me, and she introduced me to the work of Jen Wilkin. And then I got introduced to Kay Arthur, and those amazing Bible teachers just fueled my passion for inductive Bible study. So this has been a journey just from being a child up, being in college and then being introduced to impactful teachers that study and that taught how to study in a way that was truly impactful.

Jennifer Grisham (04:00):
Yeah. It’s fascinating to hear your journey of not being very Bible engaged but maybe knowing something about the Bible—just not being really in it—to now where that’s something that you care so deeply about that it’s become such a passion for you. How did that passion kind of spill out into your life on the other side of that?

Jennifer Lucy Tyler (04:24):
Well, I know we talked a little bit about this, but even with the theme of my ministry Soul Circles, which is we teach women to study the Bible inductively, not just for information, but for transformation. And the reason why that is the mission is because I have seen the Scriptures and Bible study truly transform my life because we get to know the God of the Bible. And anytime we open up the Word and we get to know who God is and get to know who his character is, our lives cannot help but to change.

Jennifer Lucy Tyler (05:02):
And so I strayed far away from God in my teens and in my early twenties. And it was studying the Bible where those things began to fall off, and that desire to really want to serve God and know the God of the Bible began to happen.

Jennifer Grisham (05:23):
That’s so powerful that the Word, you know, is what brought you back—that studying the Word quenched that desire—that you knew the truth of the Word, and you were able to understand and apply it and how that changed so much for you. So I love that. As part of that, too, you talked about being mentored by your sister-in-law and discipled by her. And as part of your ministry with Soul Circles, that’s turned into you taking that discipleship that you’ve gained and spreading that.

Jennifer Grisham (06:04):
Can you tell us a little bit about what that looked like, how that got started, and then what has been a marker of all of that? What’s that dynamic like?

Jennifer Lucy Tyler (06:14):
So it’s so interesting because that book that my sister-in-law went through with me, it was Women of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts and Minds by Jen Wilkin. And after she went through that with me, I got so excited about the way that Jen was studying. I just said, I wanna gather some friends together, and I’m going to rent out a restaurant. I’m going to do all the girly things, make it pretty and attractive, but we’re going to come together, not just to eat and have a good time. We are going to hear from a teacher of the Word on how to study the Bible, and they are going to walk us through a passage using the process of exegesis.

Jennifer Lucy Tyler (07:01):
And so it was a very different type of girls’ night out that happened back in 2018, I believe. And from that point, so many of my friends began to say, we need this consistently. And people in different states started reaching out to me and saying, how can I bring this to my city? And they worked with me to bring that experience to their city. And so I began to travel with Soul Circles, and I didn’t start that first gathering with the idea that it was going to become what it is today. Today we are an online community. We switched to online during the beginning of the pandemic. And it has been very fruitful because now we have women who are able to join us from the UK, from parts of Africa. And it has just been beautiful to gather with these women.

Jennifer Lucy Tyler (08:04):
And we literally are just walking through the Bible together. Last night, we had a Soul Circle session walking through the interpretation of John 6. And so this is what we do, and we invite other women Bible teachers in to speak on various theological concepts.

Jennifer Grisham (08:22):
I love that. That’s so cool. And I love that it got started with you just grabbing a group of friends and saying, let’s go do this together. It didn’t start with you up at the front of the room—you got your podium and your whole lesson plan . . . It started with, this is what I want to learn. This is what we all need to learn. Let’s go do it together.

Jennifer Lucy Tyler (08:43):
And that’s what we encourage the women to do as well. I encourage them—all of this knowledge and these tools that you’re getting. It’s not just for you to sit here and just get fat off of the Word.

Jennifer Lucy Tyler (08:56):
I want you to go back to your local church. Go back to your small groups, and use this to walk other women through the Scriptures.

Jennifer Grisham (09:07):
Yeah, that’s so cool. How would you say that’s changed the way Soul Circles operates? That it’s not like, you know, we’re all looking at this one person, and they’re telling us what to do. How is that kind of different than maybe what you might expect sometimes?

Jennifer Lucy Tyler (09:28):
You know, I love it because we are studying and growing together. I never wanted a ministry to rise and fall on my words. I wanted us to come together, and let’s open up God’s words together and allow that to lead us. And so it’s really interesting because we are learning and growing from one another. The proverb that says iron sharpens iron, that is exactly what’s happening.

Jennifer Lucy Tyler (09:55):
And sometimes I just sit back, and I’m just in awe of how much the women are able to pour into me, and I’m able to pour into them. And we are literally just walking through passages together, and the Word does what it does. It gives life.

Jennifer Grisham (10:13):
Oh man. That’s so, so true and so strong. As you started kind of building this ministry, as you started bringing these friends together and it started turning into this thing, what kind of tools did you use that helped you go deeper in your own study? And then also to minister to these women who all came together for this?

Jennifer Lucy Tyler (10:36):
The tools? Well, you know, I use Logos. I love using Logos, as far as the inductive study tool with Logos—that right there has been a game changer. Even last night as we were walking through interpretation, I shared my screen and showed them the inductive study part. And we walked through that together. So that’s one of my favorite tools—using that piece. And then we are really big on printing out a chapter. I love to encourage them to print out the chapter that we are working through. And then just mark that chapter and take your notes and be able to just have that chapter that you focus on without any commentaries. So we don’t start with commentaries. We allow the inductive study method along with the Holy Spirit and other Scripture to interpret Scripture because that’s what the Scripture does. And then we go over and check out our commentaries. And so I’ll pull up our Passage Guide and things of that nature and show them what it is that I’m finding and share it with the ladies in the group.

Jennifer Grisham (11:56):
Yeah. What I love about what you just said is that they’re printed Bible studies. They’re fantastic. And I I’ve done many of them. They’re great. But what you’re doing right here is you’re teaching women how to study the Bible for themselves so that they don’t have to have a book to tell ’em what to do next. They have the information in front of ’em. They know how to pop open Logos, start a Workflow. They know how to pop a Bible verse into Passage Guide, and they don’t know how to answer yet. But all of that is teaching women to jump into the Word for themselves and not be afraid to give it a try and not be afraid . . . not feel like they have to wait for somebody to tell them what to do.

Jennifer Lucy Tyler (12:45):
Yeah, Jennifer, it gives them confidence in knowing that they don’t just have to hear from me or another Bible teacher. I want women to have confidence to know that these tools are here, and they can do it themselves because the ultimate goal is for them to know God and know who he is. And so using the Workflow, the Inductive Study Workflow, that’s my favorite. Of course I use so many others in my own personal study, but with Soul Circles, we just hone in right there.

Jennifer Grisham (13:19):
Oh, that’s fantastic. Do y’all actually go through those workflows together, or is it everybody kind of does it separately and then comes together as the group and talks about what they did?

Jennifer Lucy Tyler (13:32):
We do both. So there are times where we will have moments. So I meet with them on Zoom, and then I’ll do breakout rooms. And in those breakout rooms, I will have the different groups to work through different parts of the inductive study method together.

Jennifer Lucy Tyler (13:52):
And then we come back together and we discuss our findings. So that’s typically how we do it. And it’s really cool to see what comes from that.

Jennifer Grisham (14:02):
Yeah, that’s fantastic. And it sounds like there’s not a whole lot of extra work that even goes into prepping for it because you’re really just doing all the same work together.

Jennifer Lucy Tyler (14:15):
Yeah. The only prep is to read. So right now we are studying the book of John. And so the prep work is to simply read the book of John to make sure you understand everything that’s happening so that you can grasp the proper context. So before we even study, I just encourage the women to read through the chapter fully and to also listen to it as well because that’s helpful to retain and to understand what’s happening.

Jennifer Grisham (14:47):
Yeah, absolutely. So I asked that because sounds so, so very doable. You know, there may be people watching—women, men, kids, students who want to study the Bible better, who know that there are people around them, their friends, neighbors, family, whoever—they want to get more into the Word. And that’s just so very doable to just do it together. You know, you don’t have to prep, you don’t have to be up at the front, but you can do this. And Logos is a tool that can help you do it.

Jennifer Lucy Tyler (15:19):
Yeah. You can literally just . . . you know, what’s interesting is that I used to look at Logos as something just for the pastor or for the theologian Bible teacher, but there’s so many cool workflows too, that really just encourage devotion and reading and quiet time. I recently got into the Lectio Divina workflow, and I really, really have been enjoying that just for quiet meditation on the Scripture. So there’s a lot of simple tools for those that really just want to dive into their Bible more. And you may not be ready for exegetical study, but, you know, before we even get to that, we need to develop, it’s healthy to develop a habit of just reading and devotion. And so on a daily basis, that is what I use Logos for, even before going into my inductive studies.

Jennifer Grisham (16:30):
Yeah. That sounds so healthy because sometimes when we’re in the nuts and bolts of inductive study or really any kind of study, you know, sermon prep, lesson prep, whatever kind of work that you’re doing in the Scripture, sometimes it can be easy to kind of approach it as “here are the list of to-do’s,” but that kind of keeps your heart engaged. And this is why I’m doing it because through the Word, we know God better. We gain an understanding of what it’s like to live in God’s world and all of that. So I would love to hear a little bit about what brought you to the Logos team, how you’ve been able to get involved, and the kind of work that you’re doing right now.

Jennifer Lucy Tyler (17:20):
It’s so interesting. A friend of mine introduced me to the Women in the Word series that he was doing and reached out and told me about this series and asked if I could be a part of it along with another sister in ministry.

Jennifer Lucy Tyler (17:38):
And then at the end of our planning conversation, he told me about this national presenter role, and he began to lay it out and lay out what that work would look like. And my friend looked at me, and I looked at him and said, “This sounds exactly like Jennifer, something that she can be passionate about and thrive doing.” And so I brought it to my family, brought it to God, of course. And here I am today. And the interesting thing is that this work feeds into my love for engaging the Scriptures and teaching other people how to engage with the Bible. So this was an easy addition to everything else that I have been a part of just because of the overall mission of equipping the church. And so that is what I have been doing through the ministry of Soul Circles and how I serve these women.

Jennifer Grisham (18:43):
Yeah. That’s fantastic. I love that it was such a natural connection for you, that it’s just passions overlapping at this point for you.

Jennifer Lucy Tyler (18:55):
Absolutely. Yes. Yeah.

Jennifer Grisham (18:57):
So can you tell us a little bit about that Women in the Word series that you mentioned? And just for our viewers, if you’ve watched any of our previous Logos Lives, you’ve probably met Chauncey Allmond, and this is kind of his baby, his brain child. And so Jennifer’s involvement came through that, but tell us a little bit about what that is, how that all works.

Jennifer Lucy Tyler (19:20):
Well, from what I have seen about the series, it is really incredible to just hear from different women, from all different backgrounds, denominational backgrounds, and to learn their journeys of how they ended up in the Word of God and how they study and the things that . . . just their spiritual journey and their walk with God. And it’s just been really, really encouraging because as you listen, you hear from all different types of women—from authors to Bible teachers to seminarians—and you learn, and you get to see a common thread in all of the women, but there’s also a lot of differences as well. And it’s just the common thread is that we all love God. We all love the Scriptures and are all passionate about seeing others be able to engage with the Scriptures and grow in that as well.

Jennifer Grisham (20:21):
Yeah, that’s fantastic. And part of what I really appreciate about what you just said is that it shows that there’s not just one way to do this. Everybody is on a journey. Everybody is growing as a disciple of Jesus, and everybody’s story of how they got into the Scriptures, how they spend time in the Scriptures, it’s all just a little bit different. But all of it is faithful to the Word and is growing in knowledge and understanding and just personal relationship with God.

Jennifer Lucy Tyler (20:55):
Absolutely. It’s just really interesting to see and learn from all of the different women, and women who are on all different types of platforms . . . to see how their relationship from God has evolved and how it’s continuing to evolve.

Jennifer Grisham (21:19):
Yeah. Amazing. Amazing. So if you’re interested in jumping into one of the upcoming Women of the Word sessions, I believe there are two or three coming up, is that right? Do you know which one’s coming up?

Jennifer Lucy Tyler (21:30):
I know Jen Wilkin is coming up.

Jennifer Grisham (21:36):
Ooh. Okay. We’ve also got some more, so watch the comments. There will be links to some of the upcoming Women in the Word events, if you wanna jump in. And I’ll also say these have been really fantastic conversations with a wide range of people who are all talking about their experience. And I believe even part of that is sharing about how they use Logos to study the Word. And so if you’re curious of how this could look for you, that’s a great place to just kind of jump in and hear how it all works—how things could work—if you’re interested. So Jennifer, we can end with kind of one big question here, which is, say that you’re studying the Bible or you have friends who are starting to study the Bible.

Jennifer Grisham (22:27):
You’re kind of new to it. Maybe you’ve been at it for a while, but you feel like you’ve kind of stagnated or you just honestly don’t even know where to start. Where would you pick up? What’s maybe one thing that you would encourage people to to start after this?

Jennifer Lucy Tyler (22:46):
You know, I’m going to have to say the book of John, and the reason why I say the book of John is because that is the book, the one book, that focuses on the divinity of Christ and who Jesus is. And as I’m going through that book now, I’m like, wow, this is so incredibly encouraging, especially for the person who just may need a refresher and a reminder of who it is that we serve, who it is that died for us so that we could be saved.

Jennifer Lucy Tyler (23:23):
It just speaks so clearly to his divinity, and I would start them there, and then maybe move on to Romans. And I don’t know what else, but yeah, I would start with John.

Jennifer Grisham (23:39):
Oh, that’s fantastic. Yeah. I love the book of John. There’s so much there. You really just see the heart of God in a way that is captivating, that kind of pulls you in and helps you understand what God cares about and how he feels about his people. That’s wonderful. So we’re coming to the end of our time today. Thank you everybody for joining us. We’re really excited that you were able to be part of this conversation.

Jennifer Grisham (24:19):
If you’re interested in what Logos is, feel free to go to logos.com. You’ll be able to learn more about what Logos is, how it can help you in your everyday study and in your work of ministry. And as just one final remark, if you are heading to any upcoming event, any conferences, anything like that, and if you see Logos, is there, keep an eye out for Jennifer. She’d love to meet you there.

Jennifer Lucy Tyler (24:45):
I would love to meet you.

Jennifer Grisham (24:49):
Well, thank you everybody for coming. Thank you, Jennifer, for being part of this conversation.

Jennifer Grisham (24:54):
Thank you, Jennifer, for having me. It’s been great.

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Written by
Jason Brueckner

Jason Brueckner is the Sr. Community Manager at Faithlife. He has a master’s in biblical exegesis from Wheaton College Graduate School and over a decade of experience with digital marketing, church communications, and ministry.

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Written by Jason Brueckner