What I Have Learned From Leading a Bible Study

What I learned from leading a Bible study

This Friday, our girls’ Bible study will start up again. This is the second time that I am leading a Bible study. I still have a lot to learn, a lot to grow in, many ways to challenge myself. In all honesty, this is a (very) small group of girls. Yet I treasure these times. I grow so much during these times, even though I am a more mature believer in our group. This time we are studying through the book of Philippians, and I am sure there will be many questions. I don’t know if I will have answers. But I do know that in the previous times, God has equipped me with the right words and wisdom.

Maybe you have found yourself in the same position as I did in the spring. You are starting a new Bible study, leading the study through a book you maybe haven’t even studied through yourself before. So what do you need to know? What should you prepare yourself for?

Know why you are leading a Bible study

Honestly? Just wanting to lead a Bible study is not enough. Thinking that you have a lot to teach to others is not the best reason either.

I have been praying for what the Lord has for the girls and for me in this Bible study this fall. I keep thinking about these words from Oswald Chambers: “God does not make us holy in the sense of character; He makes us holy in the sense of innocence, and we have to turn that innocence into holy character by a series of moral choices.”

We study God’s Word because we need the Truth in our lives. We need to know what is good and right. But knowledge is not enough. We have to make the choice to apply these things into our lives constantly. We have to be intentional about the choices we make, and that they are right and good ones. It will not be easy. We will fail. You will fail. And that’s okay. What I forget sometimes, is that the fields of my heart are like walking on a holy ground. This is a heart molded and formed by God, the Almighty, All-Powerful God. Every choice, from the least of them, makes up more than what we can in that moment imagine.

We should do a heart check before we start leading a Bible study. We also need to do a heart check before every meeting. How is your heart today? What is your attitude towards God, towards His Word, towards the people in your study?

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans‬ ‭12:2)

Make sure that you step up to this position because God has put the calling on your heart. Not because someone else suggests that you should lead a study. Not because you think you can do it. A good Bible study gets its beginning always from God.

Put effort into building a sense of community within the group

Ice breakers are often needed for this, to get to the point where everyone is willing to share about their lives and their hearts. I found it good to take a time for introductions within the group. There were easy questions and difficult ones. I asked about likes, preferences, hardships, struggles, and joys.

Be ready to be the first one to share. Let it be a natural conversation. So yes, think about questions you want to ask. But do not think what you will answer yourself. Let it come in the moment, just like it does for the rest of your group.

Be ready to welcome questions

This spring and over the summer, we studied through the book of Ruth. Understandably, there were questions about relationships, dating, and marriage. (Even ones I challenged the girls to think about.) There were nights when we went through the chapter we had been studying for that time very quickly, yet there were many questions relating to topics we had discussed about. Important questions; ones that had been taking up space in the corner of someone’s mind. Thankfully, God guided me to the right Scriptures to give some answers to these questions. But they would not happen if there was no space for questions.

Along the same lines, be ready to welcome conversation on topics outside the topics of the day’s Bible study. Yes, allow them. But also be sure to be quick to confess when you don’t know the answer to something. You can always answer questions the next time you meet.

Be ready to be flexible with your schedule

It is easy to think that you can schedule a Bible study every week or every two weeks at the same time. But this will not happen. Something will come up, more often than not. (Once there was a terrorist attack in our city and so we had to move the meeting to the next week!) So be flexible with your time — from changing the Bible study times to communicating back and forth with your people. It is not always easy or nice, I know. But that’s life.

These are a few things I have learned about leading a Bible study. Have you ever led a Bible study? What did you learn? Let me know in the comments below!

Linking up: Modest MondayGlimpses Link Up#MomentsofHope Link-Up

Get Out of That Pit by Beth Moore

Get Out of That Pit

Get Out of That Pit reflects on Psalm 40:1-3. In the book, Beth Moore reflects on her heart-rending journeys to the pit but also what God has done since. He has given her a new song and freedom found in Christ. As she shares this with the reader, the same promises are given to the reader.

As always with Beth Moore’s books, this book is easy to read because of the conversational style. I do not agree with all the points she makes, as I never do. So I recommend keeping the Scriptures in mind and seeking them out for yourself. To be honest, there were no revelations here in this book for me. But this book had me thinking about the pits in my life and reflecting on those pits. It seems like I often need the reminder of needing to forgive. I also need the reminder to move on. This book did both of those. Beth Moore had me thinking on a lot of these things, on how we fall into different pits and trials in our lives and what we must do to get out of those.

Read more of my book reviews here. See also my book recommendations.

I received this book free from the publisher through The BookLook Bloggers book review program. As always, the opinions I have expressed are my own.

The Gift Of Four Hours

The Gift Of Four Hours

In a season of busyness, God has given me the gift of four hours every week. Two hours every Friday, two hours every Sunday in my car.

On Fridays, those two hours stretch endlessly before me as everything in me is longing to be home already. Home can never come soon enough. It is a silent longing inside of me, one that I don’t necessarily even notice during the week. But on the way home, to what I know is good and comfortable – I notice it.

I have been thinking about the gift of these two hours on Fridays. How I have been reminded that this is the way we all live while we are still here on earth. We live, we take our residence here – but we do not belong. Our home is not here. There is that little something, in the way we breathe more freely and it feels like our hearts expand when we are in the presence of the Lord. That, is our reminder of our home in heaven. Our days are clouded with darkness here and there. Some seasons we seem to walk through the valley. Other seasons, we are only reminded of the darkness when we see our shadows fall behind us. Still we know, we need more light. This is good and comfortable; but there is something better waiting.

On Sundays, I spend those two hours in awe. Home, family, church family and fellowship – these are all things that fill my heart in ways I cannot describe. Safe, secure, loved; always beyond what I deserve. I drive, my mind on the sermon and the ways God is changing my heart right now. Am I happy with how much I love these people of mine right now? How can I reach out? How can I love them better?

I look at the beautiful scenery of the countryside, the beauty of God often leaving me with a heart leaping with joy. I am a failure; I know I do not deserve this. Yet God has poured out His love and grace. His love is expanding before me in the wheat fields turning gold, in the leaves slowly taking on yellow and orange as autumn season falls upon us. There is something in the way the golden sun graciously, gently turns this scenery into art. I cannot help but wonder, how He does the same with my heart. This little heart of mine, so messy and mundane – yet He wants it. Like He wants yours. Did you know that? He wants your heart. He thinks it is beautiful.

These are such mundane things, these two hours every Friday and every Sunday. I drive because I want to be somewhere else, because I need to be somewhere else. This is the season of life God has me in: doing an internship two hours up north. I go sometimes with a grudging heart because I have a hard time not attending church twice a week. I even cried over it just the other day. But I am growing, as different and hard as this season is for me.

“Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness.” (Psalm 107:8-9)

Linking up: Word Filled WednesdayWise Woman LinkupCoffee For Your Heart

How Do You Know God Is Real?

It was a Monday morning when those words popped up on my screen, demanding my attention because suddenly there was a question that seemed bigger than life — and I found myself wondering, unprepared to be the one to answer a question like this.

“How do you know that God is real?”

I sat there for a while, a cup of coffee warm in my hands and the Bible steady in my lap; but these words were heavy and demanding. How do you know? And I knew this question required something more than what my heart had to say: that I just do. I kept thinking about this that day because really. How do you know God is real?

My heart answered: I believe it because it is the Truth. I believe because God reveals Himself everywhere, in every situation. But I know, having grown up in a family of non-believers, that this is not always so easy to believe. And I know this is a question that is found in the hearts of many. I know because there was a time when that question took a lot of space in my heart.

So if you are in that place, wondering if it’s true that God exists. This is for you. If there are any questions, you can always e-mail me at adashoffaith[at]gmail.com.

How Do You Know God Is Real

God created the world

I know that God exists because it is so obvious in His creation, in the nature, animals, and us humans. Friend, just think about our bodies and the way everything is connected and works just right — how could that have happened by accident? I find us too complicated to be created by an accident. For example, think about our brains and the two hemispheres of our brains that look exactly alike. Yet the two hemispheres carry out entirely different functions, in a way that it is all connected. And to some extent, one hemisphere — carrying out different functions than the other — can make up for the other one if there is damage.

I find this quite miraculous. And I see God’s design there clearly.

“For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.” (Romans 1:20 NLT)

Universal moral standards

This is the one that has always proved to my heart that there is God. There are moral standards and things that are considered immoral pretty much by most people and cultures – say, murder or rape. How is it that there are these universal moral standards if morality has always been determined by us? How could we think the same if truly we all were the ones to decide what is right and what is wrong?

I see God’s hand in there too, creating us and giving us these moral standards that most of us hold.

It is a relationship, not religion

More than anything, I know God is real because I have a relationship with Him. God has answered my prayers. He has provided for me miraculously. He has delivered me from darkness, depression, and illness. I have seen His work in other people’s lives very clearly, too. It is not religion but a relationship with God. A relationship is a connection based on communication: the sharing of one’s heart with the other. I know God’s heart because He has given me His Word. And I know He knows my heart, as He has walked with me through this journey of life and all the pain.

That is how I know God is real: because I get to talk to Him and He answers. He is a living God who loves His creation — enough to come down from heaven and bend down to the lowest, just so that He can spend eternity with us. And He took the punishment of death so that we wouldn’t have to. He loved us bigger than life — and still does.

Friend, if you are interested in reading more about this topic, I found this good read from Answers in Genesis.