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7 Characteristics of Effective Bible Study Leaders

Can you feel the excitement building? The books are in… The coffee pot is on standby… The name tags are ready… A new semester of women’s Bible study is about to begin!

The success of women’s Bible study depends heavily on the small group or Bible Study leaders. Maybe you’ve been asked to lead a group. Maybe you’re responsible for finding and training leaders. I’ve done it all – and sometimes all at the same time! Leading a small group or teaching a Bible study class is a great responsibility because we will influence the members.

effective Bible study leadersOver the years, I’ve noticed some common attributes among leaders who make a positive spiritual impact on their group members. Although not an exhaustive list, these characteristics are ones all leaders can work to incorporate into their small group ministry.

  1. We are students – Leaders don’t have to know everything about the Bible, but we need to be constantly learning. Do your best to study the lesson’s passage and don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know, but I’ll find out.”
  2. We are accountable – It’s easy to get lazy in our study and discipleship unless we give someone permission to hold us accountable. Ask God to give you an accountability partner or mentor who will pray for you and ask the hard questions.
  3. We are transparent – Share honestly from your own life and spiritual journey. A “perfect” leader discourages the group members. A leader who talks about her own struggles with life and faith connects with the women and encourages them to open up too!
  4. We are passionate – Passion for God’s Word and work is contagious. Don’t be afraid to show some excitement over what God is teaching you and about what He has been doing around you. Your spark will start a fire!
  5. We are jealous – Paul had the attitude of a mother bear when it came to his spiritual children (2 Corinthians 11:2-6). As leaders and teachers of God’s Word, let’s diligently protect their hearts and minds against false teaching. Don’t’ be afraid to stand firm for the truth.
  6. We are disciples – Our students need leaders they can follow. Like Paul, I want to be able to say: “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ” (1 Cor 11:1). Let’s set a godly example for our groups in prayer, spiritual growth, holiness, and commitment to the body of Christ.
  7. We are investors – Each student has individual needs. Good leaders take time to know the students and their needs. Connect with them outside of class. Encourage them with calls, emails, and Facebook messages. Pray for them and let them know you’re praying for them.

Women’s Bible study impacts women for Christ. Your faithful leadership will make an eternal difference in their lives. Are you ready to get started?

Which of these characteristics do you struggle with most? Which characteristic have you seen make a positive difference in a group?

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12 Responses to 7 Characteristics of Effective Bible Study Leaders

  1. Stephanie Shott September 7, 2013 at 11:03 am #

    LOVE this Kathy!! Great insight for Bible teachers and those who feel led to become Bible teachers!

    • Kathy September 7, 2013 at 11:06 am #

      Thanks Stephanie! Great leaders don’t have to have all the answers or a seminary degree. The right heart and attitude can make a great impact!

  2. Kela Nellums September 7, 2013 at 11:21 am #

    Thank you for this, Kathy! I’ve started a Women’s Bible study…on paper but haven’t been able to launch it yet for various reasons.
    These are excellent tips to keep on the forefront of my mind even now!

    • Kathy September 7, 2013 at 11:37 am #

      Hi Kela, thanks for stopping by! I love women’s Bible study. May God open the door for you to get yours up and running soon!

  3. Kari Scare September 7, 2013 at 3:17 pm #

    Great advice! I need to work on #7. I invest some out of class, but I could do a better job. Transparency makes a huge difference. If someone notes a connection, it’s usually to something said in transparency.

    • Kathy September 7, 2013 at 4:21 pm #

      Kari, you are so right about transparency! Women want to know the leaders are for real and have struggles just like they do!

  4. Carmen Wilson September 17, 2013 at 7:55 pm #

    Kathy, This is exactly what I needed to read! I am teaching two classes this fall.

    • Kathy September 18, 2013 at 6:33 am #

      Hi Carmen! I’m so glad the post was encouraging!

  5. Sherry Carter August 15, 2014 at 9:57 am #

    A great list, Kathy. I can use all of them! I started a study a couple weeks ago and I’m so fortunate that the ladies are comfortable in sharing their experiences and what God’s teaching them.

    • Kathy August 15, 2014 at 10:41 am #

      Hi Sherry! Are you leading at church or in your home?

  6. Lee Ann August 15, 2014 at 10:03 am #

    Thanks so much for these reminders. I’ve just sat down to prepare notebooks for our ladies class this fall. These words remind me of the importance of keeping everything in perspective and working diligently to protect “His” word.

    • Kathy August 15, 2014 at 10:42 am #

      Hi Lee Ann, thanks for coming by! Sounds like you’re practicing good leadership over your leaders! Do you do any formal training with them?

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