On Wednesday, we introduced you to Micah. He told us about the Bible study he has been leading with his peers. We wanted to share with you a little more about how his study works! Our hope is that you’ll be able to take some of the ideas here and implement your own study! If you missed part 1, you can find it here.
There are countless people who are more qualified than I to give “tips” on how to lead a study. This I know for sure, because the most important quality I can think of for a leader to exhibit is the very thing I am possibly the worst at: humility. With that said here are 5 things that come to mind that have helped me over the past 3 years:
War against pride by constantly fixing your eyes on the cross of Jesus
As C.J Mahaney put in Humility: True Greatness, “The cross never flatters us.” He then goes on to quote John Stott who said that “the cross undermines our self-righteousness, and we can stand before it only with a bowed head and broken spirit.” By fixing your eyes on the cross and ultimately our Savior, your eyes will be redirected to the Holiness of God and the greatness of His mercy and grace to us in Christ Jesus; by doing so, you have no other option than to be humbled. (Much easier said than done, but necessary to be done)
“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.” 1Peter 5:6-7
Always remember that you are 100 times
more of a student than you are a leader or a teacher
This one is HUGE! It is when you start to think that you are chiefly a leader that you start to rely upon yourself and your knowledge to lead and instruct. That is NEVER a good place to be. In John 10, Jesus is very clear about his relationship to all believers. When speaking of the shepherd, Jesus says that “the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out… the sheep follow him because they know his voice” (verses 3-4). Listen for the voice of the Shepherd and be attentive to His every word! Never forget that you are a sheep and the one who is leading is the Great Shepherd and Guardian of our souls. John Calvin said, “It is evident that man never attains a true self-knowledge until he has previously contemplated the face of God, and come down after such contemplation to look into himself.” Contemplate the face of God more than you lead because you are a follower and disciple of Jesus!
“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2
We are to resist the devil (James 4:7). Pray continually for your mind and the minds of those who are in your study. Seek out what Scripture says about our adversary so you may know how to resist him. The Lord did not leave us ignorant of Satan’s schemes and his end. A phenomenal truth that the Lord has taught me through one of the most influential pastors in my life is the concept of sovereign joy. John Piper uses this phrase that was originally coined by St. Augustine to describe satisfaction in the Lord severing the root of any fleshly temptation and sin. This has proved to be true and instrumental in “destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God” and in “taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5) By seeing more of the Lord in His Word and truly loving Him more and more, I have found myself most satisfied by Him and that Joy makes all temptations seem frivolous and ridiculous. I have found this to be so helpful in warring against the evil one because I know that the Lord is my joy and if I desire nothing on earth other than the Lord, then the nearness of God is my good and the Lord is my refuge. (Psalm 73: 25-28) When discussing warfare it is essential to discuss the greatness of God and so I leave this point with a quote from one of my heroes:
“God is the highest good of the reasonable creature, and the enjoyment of him is the only happiness with which our souls can be satisfied. To go to heaven fully to enjoy God, is infinitely better than the most pleasant accommodations here. Fathers and mothers, husbands, wives, children, or the company of earthly friends, are but shadows. But the enjoyment of God is the substance. These are but scattered beams, but God is the sun. These are but streams, but God is the foundation. These are but drops, but God is the ocean.” –Jonathan Edwards
If you don’t already have one, pray for the Lord
to send you a Godly Mentor.
Have someone pour into you who has been a believer longer than you, sought the Lord diligently, and knows the nature of God because they love the Word of God. The mentors I have in my life are indescribably influential in my growth because I see the faith that they’ve had for so many years and it encourages me to continue to trust and strive after Jesus. Several of my mentors are not even alive and haven’t been for over a hundred years, but their biographies are beautiful tapestries of God’s faithfulness. (Recommendation: Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret) Living mentors are necessary and ask for them from the Lord. I prayed for the Lord to send me a Mentor for over a year, and He sent me several. Their influence has helped to war against my pride and push me on to continue even in weakness. Ask of the Lord, He is so faithful to provide!
As an example of mentorship within the body of Christ, I think of Paul’s spiritual adoption of Timothy. Pray for a mentor that will admonish you and instruct you in truth like Paul does for Timothy:
“You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 2:1-3
I cannot write out “tips” for leading a study without talking about accountability and staying above reproach.
NEVER EVER be alone with someone in your study of the opposite sex. That is not some ridiculous old-fashioned rule; it is key to maintaining hedges against temptation and assuring yourself that no one will speak evil of you falsely. You answer solely to the Lord and His standards are great and holy. We are a sanctified people, set apart for good works and righteousness. Do everything you can to not allow that to be called into question in your life. The definition of the Greek word for “above reproach” or “blameless” according to Dr. Zodhiates is “One who has nothing which an adversary could seize upon with which to base a charge.” Be a living example of that definition.
I came to know the Lord by studying the book of James and this verse has resonated with me ever since the Holy Spirit came into me. I find that this verse truly clarifies any questions about being above reproach:
“Therefore to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.” James 4:17
I have seen a glimpse of God’s faithfulness and I know there is much more to be learned. With that I want to encourage you to trust the Lord with any study that He may appoint you to lead. His Word must be proclaimed, but how can it be proclaimed if the people of God do not know it for themselves? If the Lord has taught you how to study the Bible for yourself, pray about leading because discipleship is needed desperately. Remember brother or sister, He is faithful!
Micah has been attending Transform Student Ministries Events since he was 13 years old. Micah graduates from High School this year and will be heading off to Moody Bible Institute in the fall!