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

  • welcomeheart

    excellent. I've done this so many years, it can become rote and cold when God wants me growing as much as any in my group - so what does that mean to you, Oswald's holy innocence quote? We start up this next Thursday and we are on hold ground. Thanks for the reminder!

    • Ronja

      Yes! I truly do believe that God wants all of us growing in that group -- and just because we are leading a Bible study, doesn't mean that we have less growing to do than the rest. I have thought about the Oswald Chambers quote a lot. To me it means that before God, we have been forgiven and cleansed of our sins -- the ones in the past, present, and future. But to become more like Jesus we need to choose the right things, make the right and godly decisions. Grace is never a license to sin, and we need to keep choosing Jesus in everything.

  • Lesley

    This is really good advice. I think building a sense of community and making space for questions are really important. I have mainly led Bible studies with teenagers so important things have been thinking about which bits might be difficult for them to understand and being ready to explain them, also thinking about how to encourage some of the quieter ones to contribute without them feeling under pressure. Visiting from Glimpses.

    • Ronja

      Thank you, Lesley! That is a very good point about thinking about the things that might be difficult for them to understand. I think the same things can be considered for those who are new in the faith, too. Thank you for visiting here and taking the time to share, Lesley! God bless you!

  • Robinality

    One of my favorite memories was leading my first women's bible study! It was a weekly bible study and I am forever grateful for the women who showed up to support one another, and to praise and worship God. You are so right - worshiping together and going deeper into God's word creates a strong community! Thank you for sharing!

    • Ronja

      Oh I'm glad to hear that! I'm sure that Bible study was such a blessing to all who participated. :) Thank you for sharing this sweet memory with me. God bless you!

  • Aimee Imbeau

    I am so thankful God gives us the words to say. You have given us good questions to think about - why are we wanting to lead a Bible study? How are our own hearts? One thing I learned from leading a study is how to be ok with disagreements on secondary issues. And that it is actually healthy to be able to talk about our differences. Thanks for sharing on Grace and Truth.

    • Ronja

      Yes! It definitely comes up from time to time, that we disagree on some issues -- and that is totally okay, as long as they are secondary issues like you said. We are all different people after all, from different cultures and different backgrounds so we are bound to think differently on some things. Thank you for sharing this, Aimee! God bless you!

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