5 MsWomen’s Bible study is a vital component of many church’s women’s ministries. There’s something special about women gathering together to study God’s Word. The unique blend of friendship, encouragement, and accountability creates a perfect environment for spiritual growth.

Of course to keep our Bible study ministries running effectively we need leaders – women and men who are not only willing, but also equipped to lead small groups. Unfortunately, many churches struggle to find enough willing and equipped leaders.

Do you see your church in any of the following scenarios?

More than 100 women have signed up for Bible study. Awesome! But, just four women are willing and equipped to lead small groups. Well, that’s enough for about half…

You have enough leaders – barely – for the amount of women you have coming to Bible study. Okay. But, these leaders are tired and overworked. They’d love to simply be a participant one semester. But, without them…

You have a solid number of equipped, faithful leaders for your women’s Bible study. But they’ve been leading for years. There aren’t any young, fresh faces in the bunch. When the current leaders are gone…

For many churches, leadership can be one of the greatest challenges of women’s ministry. Often, we lack enough trained, faithful small group leaders. And even if we have enough leaders now, we should be planning for the future by equipping women from the younger generation.

Your women’s ministry can have strong leadership now and in the future through purposeful leadership development. The 5 M strategy, which I have used to recruit and train small group leaders, could also be used with other types of leadership positions.

  1. Model – Current leaders model leadership in their groups. Include your current small group leaders in your plan for leadership development. Train them well so they demonstrate strong leadership qualities. These kind of solid role models will foster a desire to lead in others. (See “7 Characteristics of Effective Leaders.”)
  2. Mentor – Current leaders identify and mentor potential new leaders. Ask your current leaders to prayerfully watch for potential future leaders within their groups and initiate a mentor relationship with one or two women who are willing. Then the mentees can assist the mentor in leading for a period of time. (Download the list, “7 Signs She Might Make a Great Small Group Leader.”)
  3. Monitor – Leadership responsibilities reverse. Now the mentee leads the group while the mentor supervises and assists.
  4. Motivate – Release the group. The new leader assumes full leadership of the group. The mentor encourages from the sideline and is available for help and to answer questions.
  5. Multiply – The new leaders become mentors. Begin the process again with your new leaders.

This strategy can take much of the anxiety out of your Bible study program. Just think, no more scrambling for leaders or begging your friends to take a group. Instead, with ongoing leadership development that continuously enlists, equips, and encourages new leaders, you are always ready to go!

Have you ever used or been a part of a similar strategy? How did God use it to meet the leadership need?

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