You feel an inner prompting to lead a Women’s Bible Study group. Your response is one of panic and feelings of inadequacy. Though you love the Lord and His Word, the thought of leading a Bible Study group scares you silly so you hold back for one reason or another, I understand as that was me a few years ago.
Let’s look at 7 Excuses and 7 Strategies to Leading a Women’s Bible Study Group.
And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues.
1 Corinthians 12 :28 NIV
While it is awesome to have the gift of teaching in the sense of expounding the scriptures, to see how one scripture ties-up with another, and the ability to communicate these truths so others get it. To understand the culture of the day and have knowledge of root words in both the Greek and Hebrew. Top that off by writing your own Bible Study; would simply be amazing! Let me just say I love learning from someone who is an anointed teacher, but let’s be real most of us do not process that awesome ability.
We do however have teachers that do, some may even be in your own church and would love the opportunity to come and teach a small group. Another alternative and one which is popular with women are online Bible studies. We’ll come back to those in a little while.
(2) My home is too small to hold a group.
For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them. Matthew 18:20 NIV
While that may be true for a large group, think small intimate group of you and three others, or you and one other. Oh the sweet fellowship you will have as you bond with each other over God’s Word.
On the other hand, if the group is larger than your home can accommodate think about asking one of the group members who has a larger home to host the group.
A friend confessed she is embarrassed about the condition of her home and this holds her back from holding a small group there. Space was not the issue, so what was the problem? Outdated style and decor! Another friend with an up-to-the-minute beautifully decorated 6,000 sq feet home felt equally embarrassed. One felt their home was not enough, and the other felt their home was too much.
The truth is while we all consciously or subconsciously take mental note of our surroundings and that includes homes we walk into. It’s the warm friendly atmosphere and genuine fellowship that will draw us back again and again whether the home is in need of updating or looks like it came straight out of the pages of a magazine. Offer to the Lord what you have, it’s about Him, not you or your home.
(4) I cannot lead a group on my own.
Ask someone who shares your heart for Bible Study to co-lead with you. I have co-led Bible studies for several years and love having another person to minister with. My co-leader and I alternate weeks leading the study. Our other responsibilities include a weekly email update to the group (that’s me) and a weekly group text (my co-leader).
(5) I don’t cook, what will I feed them?
Let’s just say cooking is not my forte’, so sister I hear you. Looking up recipes are not my idea of fun. Still, that said there is a way to provide something to nibble without being in the kitchen all day.
I say nibble because no one is expecting you to provide a cooked meal, or provide for every like and dislike. If you have someone in your group with a particular dietary need try to include something they can eat. Fruit and vegetable trays work well for most people…and they can be bought ready to use. A mistake I’ve made in the past is providing too much food then feeling a little hurt when it was not heartily consumed. You may want to ask the group to take it in turns to bring a dish of their choice. Keep it simple sister!
(6) What would we study?
As mentioned earlier in point one, online Bible Studies abound. The study books can be purchased not only online but also in physical stores such as LifeWay or Mardell’s to name but two.
The authors and subject matter vary, so do your homework. Ask friends that you know and trust for recommendations. Popular authors for women’s groups per a Google search are Angie Smith, Jen Wilkin, Jennifer Rothschild, Lisa Harper, Kay Arthur and Lisa Jo Baker. I have not personally done their studies do your homework and see if they are a good fit for you and your group
Ones I have done are Beth Moore, Lysa Terkeurst, Kelly Minter and my personal favorite Priscilla Shirer. Note; you are not locked into doing a study by a female author, there are plenty of male authors out there who are suitable for either male or female audience. As mentioned before…do your homework.
(7) I’m not sure how to lead a study group.
If you have ever watched a movie with friends and discussed it afterwards, then there is a good chance you can lead a study group using online video and physical Bible Study books. Most have a Leaders Guide you can purchase to go with the study. These are helpful as they direct you step by step how to lead a group from welcoming your guests, ice breaker questions, suggestions how to handle prayer requests and lead questions for the weeks study.
The responsibility is lifted somewhat if you remember you are not the primary teacher. The author of the study book along with her recorded teaching has that covered. You and your co-leader are discussion facilitators. Still, you have a responsibility to lead them into truth. You don’t have to have all the answers, and don’t be afraid to say you don’t know, but make an effort to find out through personal study and/or asking your church teaching pastor. You are not in this alone.
The most important thing to remember is the group is not about you or your co-leader. It’s about lifting up the name of Jesus and making Him known to others. It’s about loving the women the Lord has placed in your group by praying for them and with them. Laughing with them and on times crying with them. It’s about growing together in the Lord and in fellowship with each other.
No more excuses. Go start your Women’s Bible Study.
Would love to hear your comments:
What is stopping you from leading a Women’s Bible Study?
If you lead studies what advice would you give to someone hesitant to commit to leading one?
Live Radiant in Christ.
Photo Credits: Girl reading; Bethany Laird. Dog in window; Robert Pruteanu.
Food photo; Whitney Wright. All found through Unsplash.