Nervous about leading a Bible study?

Nervous about leading a Bible study?

With the start of a new school year comes the start of new small groups/Bible studies! Small groups are the heart of every college ministry. Maybe it is your first time leading and you’re feeling a little nervous? I completely understand. I’ve been there!

The second semester of my freshman year I co-led a Bible study with 3 other leaders. I was the youngest leader and had never led a study before. Right before our first study, I sat with one of the other leaders outside the dorm where our study would meet. I said to her, “I can’t do it. I don’t want to do it.” Fear crippled my mind and almost stopped me from even walking into that building. My biggest fear was what people would think of me.

What if I messed up? What if they couldn’t relate with my story? What if I didn’t know an answer to their questions?

The leader grabbed my hand, looked me in the eyes and said, “Joy, God has given you a powerful story. He is here with you and he will be there with you while you lead the study. I will be there too. You are going to do amazing, because you’ve prepared for this and because I have faith in you.”

We prayed together, walked into the dorm, and relief washed over me. I led my first Bible study, I shared my story, and it felt incredible! God gave me the words to say and took away my fears, and he can do the same for you.

As a Bible study leader, there are some things you can do to see success in your Bible study. God is ultimately in control, but we are his vessels and he wants us to put in the work.

Here are 8 things to remember when beginning your small group:

  1. Prepare. Spend time working through the study, chapter of the Bible, or whatever content your group in going through. Start working on it at least three days prior to the study. This gives you time to allow the material to seep into your life.
  2. Engage. Start the study with a fun qet-to-know-you question. Pick something random and funny: If you could have any super power, what would it be? This allows girls who may feel uncomfortable being in a Bible study setting begin to open up.
  3. Meet up with each girl outside of the group. This shows them that you want to get to know them and have a friendship. Ask them about their background, life, and share stories.
  4. Love them. Show them you love them for who they are, not for what they do. If they are not a Christian, it is important for them to know that you love them just as much now as you more would if they accepted Christ.
  5. Be open and honest. When you are vulnerable, then they will also be vulnerable. This also takes you off a pedestal and shows them you are equals.
  6. Pray. Pray for the whole group and the specific requests of each girl, in the group and out of the group. At the end of the study, provide a time for the girls to share prayer requests.
  7. Get excited!! If you’re excited about the group, so will they. Bonus- if you get a few people pumped, others will follow.
  8. Give out responsibilities. If you assign roles to the girls, they will feel important and an even bigger part of the group. For example, take turns bringing snacks or have two girls be in charge of planning the group social. The more they are involved, the more they will feel like it is their group.

You are going to do an amazing job leading your Bible study! I’m going to say to you what my leader said to me, “God has given you a powerful story. He is here with you and he will be there with you while you lead the study. You are going to do amazing, because you’ve prepared for this and because I have faith in you.”

I hope this post has been encouraging! Share it with anyone you know leading a study. =]

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12 Comments on Nervous about leading a Bible study?

  1. Sharita ~7DaysTime (@7DaysTime)
    September 2, 2014 at 10:25 am (6 years ago)

    Wonderful tips, Joy. I have been privileged to lead a couple of different studies and these are all right on target. I have noticed that being authentic (“You know, I really DON’T know the answer to your question. But let me do some research and get back to you”) is much better than trying to fumble my way through or wing it.

    Thankful I stopped by from SDG. Blessings!

    • Joy Pedrow
      September 2, 2014 at 10:28 am (6 years ago)

      Thanks for your comment Sharita! I’m glad you stopped by too. Yes that’s a great response!! I’m sure you’re an awesome leader 🙂

  2. Heather
    September 2, 2014 at 10:35 am (6 years ago)

    Great tips Joy! I teach a youth SS class but have been feeling led to branch out and do a bible study with women (eek!) in my church…! It’s a scary thing to think I’d be leading someone older! But I think your post may be the incentive to get it going…! Thanks girl! : )

    • Joy Pedrow
      September 2, 2014 at 11:17 am (6 years ago)

      Heather that is awesome! Follow God’s lead and do a Bible study if you think he is calling you to that. I’m so excited for you!

      • Heather
        September 3, 2014 at 8:12 am (6 years ago)

        Thanks Joy! Have an awesome day! : )

  3. Ronja
    September 2, 2014 at 10:46 am (6 years ago)

    These are great tips, and they came just at the right time! Thank you so much for these!

  4. lisasmith93
    September 3, 2014 at 12:57 pm (6 years ago)

    Love these tips!! I pray many are encouraged to put words and action to teach their faith!! Vulnerability is key to leading…when we allow people to see our weakness, we allow them to see Jesus work in us.

    • Joy Pedrow
      September 3, 2014 at 1:11 pm (6 years ago)

      Lisa thanks for the comment! I love love the last part of that. You are spot on!

  5. drairwolf
    September 4, 2014 at 10:21 pm (6 years ago)

    I think group leaders are some of the bravest people there are. I love that groups leaders are the most perfect people, but the ones willing to admit first that they don’t have it all together. I love to tell our leaders that I’m looking for someone who’s wants to grow personally and asks others to join the ride. Thanks for your thoughts.

  6. stephanie
    February 3, 2016 at 12:42 pm (4 years ago)

    I want to start, please email me
    I need more ideas for studies

  7. Lucinda
    June 9, 2017 at 1:50 pm (3 years ago)

    Im schedue for a Sunday school teaching next month, im a bit nervous becuz i have never taught a class before. There will b well learnt Pastors in the class and i am still not fully have complete revelation of the teaching. Plz advise. I need more ideas.

    • joypedrow
      June 25, 2017 at 4:15 pm (3 years ago)

      Hi Lucinda, I’m so glad God led you to this post. Have you been preparing for your class? What are you teaching on? I would advise you to talk to those pastors. Ask them for help. Ask them for Bible commentaries to help you understand the Scripture. I’m so excited for you and this new learning opportunity! Blessing, Joy


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