Understanding the Responsibility of Leading Others in Studying God’s Word
Such an important ministry comes with great responsibility. As James wrote, “Not many of you should presume to be teachers . . . because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly” (3:1). If you’re leading a Bible study out of obligation or a sense of duty, it’s time to re-evaluate. Rather, you should receive a genuine call to study God’s Word more deeply yourself and to share your insights with others.
Read 2 Timothy 2:11-15.
The story of God’s love and faithfulness weaves throughout the Scriptures and is beautifully summed up in this passage.
• If we died with Him through salvation, we will live with Him through eternity.
• If we endure, we will reign with Him.
• If we disown Him, He will disown us, but through our faithlessness, He is still faithful. He can do no less as God.
These truths form the basis of our message, according to Paul. He instructs Timothy to remind believers of these things—of God’s inherent loving and faithful nature—and, in light of all God has done, to warn them against fighting about things that don’t really matter. That is the great responsibility of the Bible study leader: to remind people of the things that matter, to reveal the heart of God, to illuminate the central message of the Scriptures. If a leader becomes so bogged down in details that she loses sight of the Word’s overarching themes of love and forgiveness, Paul says this will only ruin those who listen.
How can we prepare ourselves for this responsibility? According to Paul, the keys are hard work and prayer. He tells Timothy, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). Only by doing the work of study and seeking insight from God can you correctly handle the word of truth. Anyone who isn’t willing to do those two things is not ready for the position of Bible study leader.
Why do you think God places such responsibility upon teachers of His Word?
How can a teacher positively or negatively influence her students?
“Leading a Bible Study, part one” is published by the National Women’s Department, www.women.ag.org, © 2020. Permission to reproduce is limited to personal use or within a teaching setting. All other forms of use are prohibited.