Equipping Women to Interpret and Teach God's Word

A Conversation with Taylor Turkington

Taylor Turkington

Graduate Taylor Turkington, DMin, is the founder and director of BibleEquipping, an organization that trains women to study and teach the Bible. She will soon publish a book on the prophet Habakkuk and recently joined Western’s board of trustees. Taylor sat down with Transform to talk about her heart for the local church, her love for God’s Word, and why she is grateful to be serving Western in her new role.

What is the vision behind BibleEquipping?
It’s been a joy and a gift to launch BibleEquipping. I believe God is changing the world through the local church, and our heart is to partner with the church to help women interpret and teach the Bible. Everyone is called to communicate the truths of Scripture and we want to be able to teach women at different levels so that they can pass it on.

How does BibleEquipping provide training to women?
We host training events at churches teaching Bible interpretation and Bible communication focusing on questions like, “How do we study the Bible?”, “How do we articulate the story?”, and “How do we understand genre?” We also offer cohorts for women who want to teach. These cohorts give women additional homiletics training and the opportunity to practice teaching together so that they can learn from one another. While men in ministry can sometimes get feedback from pastor’s groups, women don’t often get that opportunity.

Have there been any surprises since you started?
We launched in 2020 in the middle of the pandemic, so of course we had some things that were scheduled and then canceled. But overall, I have been surprised at how we’ve been able to create community with the women in our cohorts. It is not always easy for women to find other women who are doing Bible teaching in their local church.

How have you thought about the role of women’s ministry in the church?
I often consult with pastors who are wondering how to approach women’s ministry. I think it’s important to think through how we care for, shepherd, and empower women in the church. Women are uniquely equipped to care for each other. If God has truly gifted the women in your church, how can we make sure they can use their gifts to make disciples?

What was it like writing your firstbook, Trembling Faith?
I have really enjoyed the process. It was six years of work, as I wrote my Doctor of Ministry dissertation on Habakkuk, and then it took me seven months to write the book, mostly working at night. I had the dissertation in my head, but I had to turn it into a book that could be helpful and engaging.

What is the book about?
Habakkuk gives us a prayer dialog and two songs to deal with injustice. He leads us to a way of faith that isn’t cliché or simple. It’s gritty and complex, but it sees God as a God of justice who rescues and gives strength in the midst of really hard things.

How has this theme impacted you personally?
Habakkuk has had a huge influence on my life during difficult seasons. When I was living overseas, I ended up in Habakkuk asking God what He was doing in the midst of chaos and suffering I witnessed. The prophet tells us God will judge those who are proud and upright in their own eyes. The Lord speaks woe to those who take advantage of someone else. Still, the vision God gives is of the righteous living by faith—that is how we will stand in the end.

You’ve also had to face some health challenges. Can you share about that?
I have had several health scares over the years. When I was in seminary, I got a large blood clot in my leg. I was engaged to be married and about to finish my degree. At first, doctors told me I had simply pulled a muscle. But a stubborn roommate of mine encouraged me to get an ultrasound, which led to an immediate hospitalization and emergency surgery. While coping with the physical pain, I was facing questions like “Will I lose my leg” and “How is my life going to change?” That personal suffering mirrored the brokenness I saw world in the world around me. But ultimately, I found comfort in Habakkuk’s song. God has rescued in the past and will rescue again.

How are you feeling now?
I have good days and bad days. I have just learned to do what I can do with each day.

Do you have any plans to write more books?
Yes! I am excited to be writing on Zephaniah for the Hodder Global Commentary Series, which features authors from around the world.

You recently joined Western’s board of trustees. What impacted your decision to serve Western in this way?
I see Western as a place that will continue the work that we all do for longer than I am alive. The work of ministry is much bigger than ourselves. I want Western to continue serving pastors, women in ministry, and counselors longer than I’m here. This idea drew me to want to serve on the board.

How did your time as Western prepare you for ministry?
Western has served me significantly. My professors gave me a framework for the Bible and fanned into flame a love for the Scriptures. They also took me under their wing. They encouraged me, shepherded me, and coached me. I saw my professors live out their faith beyond the classroom. It was something that changed their families, churches, and communities. I wouldn’t be doing the ministry I am doing without them.

Taylor and her husband, Matt, live in Portland with their daughter. They attend 26 West Church in Hillsboro.