How to Lead a Bible Study, Part 2

By | June 13, 2021
This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series How to Lead a Bible Study

Previously, in part 1 of this series, I wrote about whether a Ladies’ Bible study (LBS) is essential for the local church as well as the values of having one, along with the dangers and cautions that we should be aware of.

This time, let’s assume that the leadership team of the church has agreed that a LBS would be beneficial to the women of the church and the church as a whole. . .


What should be true about the teacher of a LBS?

Teachers in general

1. They should be loving. 1 Corinthians 12 talks about the various gifts that God gives individuals in the church, including teaching. 1 Cor 13 goes on to say that someone who prophecies, speaks with tongues, etc. but does not have love is just a noisy gong or clanging symbol. A teacher who is not loving is just annoying and unhelpful.

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Cor 13:4-8 ESV).

2. They should “equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes” (Eph 4:12-14 ESV, emphasis added).

If they are not building up the body, aiding in faith and knowledge, helping believers not to be swayed by false teaching, they are not a qualified teacher.

3. They should understand what they are teaching and not promote speculation and vain discussion.

“As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith. The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Certain persons, by swerving from these, have wandered away into vain discussion, desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions” (1 Tim 1:3-7 ESV).

4. They need to give sound teaching, not simply telling people what they want to hear.

“I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths” (2 Tim 4:1-4 ESV).

5. They need to be skilled in the word of righteousness with their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to discern good and evil.

“For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil” (Heb 5:12-14 ESV).

6. They need to be self-controlled in their speech.

“Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water” (James 3:1-12 ESV).

7. They are not devious, sensual, greedy, manipulative, and dishonest.

“But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words” (2 Peter 2:1-3 ESV).

8. They are not intentionally hypocritical.

“You then who teach others, do you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal? You who say that one must not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who boast in the law dishonor God by breaking the law” (Rom 2:21-23 ESV).

9. They need to be people in whom the Word of God dwells richly.

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God” (Col 3:16 ESV).

10. One qualification for a pastor is that he is able to teach. Although every pastor should be a teacher, not every teacher is a pastor. But here are accompanying requirements for pastor/teachers:

“The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil” (1 Tim 3:1-7 ESV).

11. A teacher teaches others to teach.

“And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also. Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus” (2 Tim 2:2-3 ESV).

12. A teacher should be kindnot quarrelsomepatient, and gentle.

“And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness” (2 Tim 2:24-25 ESV).

13. A teacher should have good role models.

“You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me” (2 Tim 3:10-11).

Female teachers

1. They are not to teach men.

2. Older women who teach younger women (which all older women are required to do) should be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not slaves to much wine.

“Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled” (Titus 2:3-5).

3. While 1 Tim 3:11 speaks to qualifications for deacon’s wives and not necessarily teachers, it does provide some good qualifications for a woman who will be in a leadership/visible position.

“Their wives likewise must be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things” (1 Tim 3:11 ESV).

What should be true about the content of a LBS?

1. It should be Word-centered, truth-centered, for building up and equipping of the saints

2. It should be doctrinally sound; not devoted to myths, genealogies, speculations, or vain discussions (1 Tim 1:3-7; 6:2-5).

3. It should be Scripture-centered.

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim 3:16 ESV).

4. It should not be that which simply suits the passions of the hearers.

“For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths” (2 Tim 4:3-4 ESV).

5. Older women are to at least informally teach what is good. They are to train young women to love their husbands and children, to be self controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their husbands.

“They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled (Titus 2:3-5 ESV).

What materials should you use?

1. I believe that if you call it a Bible study, you should be studying the Bible. There is nothing more powerful and effective than the Word itself. There are various studies that help people study books of the Bible.

2. A book can be a helpful tool to study as a group, but it must be chosen with great care. The emphasis of the book should be very biblical, and extra time should be taken to look at what Scripture says, holding the author’s words up to the light of Scripture. (e.g., I led a study through Choosing Gratitude by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. It had some great truths, but the content contained a whole lot of stories. I had to take time to go through many of the Scripture references and lead discussion about those.)

{Next time, I will address the audience in a LBS as well as practical issues to consider.} 

Series Navigation<< How to Lead a Bible Study, Part 1How to Lead a Bible Study, Part 3 >>