“Would you like to lead a Bible study this month?”
This question is one that will either excite us tremendously, or strike instant fear into us, or sometimes both. Attending a Bible study is one thing, but leading? That’s huge and it comes with major responsibilities. Our immediate reactions might be “I’ve never lead a Bible study, so I’m not equipped enough for it” or “I’m not a leader, no one will listen to me” or even “I’m scared, I don’t know how or even where I would start”.
These are all very real, very natural, and very okay responses. It’s perfectly okay to feel unequipped to fill the shoes of something this important, in fact, if we do feel unequipped then that reveals a certain kind of humility that makes us perfect for the task. We just need to make sure that this humility doesn’t turn into fear, keeping us from participating in an awesome experience.
Leading a Bible study, or really any event, is a task not to be taken lightly, but not taken too seriously either. Here are some simple guidelines to go by when you’re asked, or want, to be the leader of a Bible study.
- Come prepared. It’s always a good idea to have a plan of how the study is going to go, and “icebreaker” questions or activities are a great way to get “non-talkative” groups talking. It’s up to the leader to get those groupies talking and interacting with each other!
- Prepare to be vulnerable. As a leader, those who are in the group are going to come to us with questions that may need us to be vulnerable in our explanations. We don’t have to be ready to tell every single thing about ourselves, but more often than not, the need to be vulnerable in the group helps the group be vulnerable to each other and actually makes the group stronger.
- Be flexible in the schedule. I know I just said to have a plan ready, but that is just so your group has some direction and you have an idea of what to do. Many times, members of the group will have ideas that they want to share, activities that could be done together, and its important to leave room for their ideas in the schedule. Being a leader isn’t about dictating the actions of those present, its about leading them in the right direction and allowing them to make some decisions of their own, so remember to keep that in mind when the schedule is getting put together.
- Be yourself. It’s totally normal to feel nervous the first few meetings, but just push through it! Don’t try to change who you are just because people are now following your lead, it’s so important that you lead them based off of your experiences, off of your struggles, off of your triumphs and those require you to be yourself.
- Watch other leaders. It’s good to watch how other leaders handle certain situations and duplicate what you see works and take note of what doesn’t work. Now, don’t try to be them but we all need someone to look up to and many times we need to copy some other people to better ourselves. Just like that verse says, “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17 ESV)
And finally, just make sure to have fun. The most memorable Bible studies I’ve ever attended, and lead, were the ones with lots of laughing and sometimes even just taking one of the meeting days to talk about each other’s lives, play games, and enjoy each other’s company. It’s so refreshing to have a group of friends who are all on the “same page” and learning the same stuff, and its important to not get so into the schedule of the book that when the Bible study ends, no one really knew each other. I’ve been there, too.
A Bible Study is an honor to be able to lead and it’s actually a lot easier to do than it sounds, even for an introvert like me. Anyone can lead a Bible study with some determination, prayer, and some people on board helping them out!
Rayleigh Gray – Column: Tap into Your Potential