“Do I have what it takes?”
It’s the question that’s haunted me for most my life. I asked myself this question before dance tryouts, piano recitals, and before my driver’s test. I wondered if I had what it took to get into college, to get a job, to be a wife, and to be a stepmom to my 8-year-old stepson. I’ve spent my 30 years worried that I didn’t have enough skill, enough knowledge, enough practice, or enough strength to do the task at hand.
Maybe some of you are like me.
I came face to face with this question again a few years ago. Over and over again I had this overwhelming feeling that I should lead a women’s Bible study at my church. I kept pushing it off and doubts filled my mind:
“I don’t know enough about the Bible to lead a group of women. What if they ask me questions I don’t know the answers to?”
“I am exhausted from working full time and adjusting to life as a wife and stepmom. I just don’t have the time.”
“Who would come? I’m not connected at my new church yet.”
In a recent survey hosted here on the Lifeway Women blog, we asked “What is the biggest obstacle keeping you from leading a Bible study?” This was the response we saw:
I don’t feel like I know enough to lead: 35%
I don’t have time: 22%
I don’t know who to invite to my group: 9%
It can be difficult to get the resources for my group: 6.9%
Seeing these results, it looks like I wasn’t alone in the doubts I had.
All of these feelings and more were flooding my mind until one day I decided to talk to a friend. She has had a profound impact on my spiritual life, went to seminary, leads Bible study, hosts a podcast, and is actually releasing her first book this spring (shoutout!). I told her about the tug on my heart to lead a Bible study and asked her this simple question: “Do you think I have what it takes?” Her answer was emphatically yes.
She was my truth-teller in this moment, pointing me to Scripture, to God’s promises, and to my identity in Him. And you know what? I listened to God’s call and started that Bible study. I asked another girl who I barely knew to lead with me, and little did I know, she was asking the very same question of herself.
We are in our second year now, and I couldn’t possibly love this group of women more. Each week, 13 of us gather in my living room to study, pray, encourage, and laugh together. Our group members span from 23 years old to 52 years old. They are single, married, divorced and have kids, stepkids, or no children. They are PhDs, cookie artists, writers, scientists, business owners, teachers, and the prettiest lunch lady you’ve ever seen!
It grieves me to think I could have missed out on their friendships and everything God wanted to teach us from His Word.
I almost missed it because I worried I didn’t have what it took to lead.
You know what is really interesting?
- They have never complained that I don’t know enough about the Bible. We are there to seek, study, and learn together. When I don’t know the answer, we seek it out together and reach out to our church leadership for advice.
- They understand I’m busy, because they are busy too! Sometimes the house isn’t clean and sometimes I didn’t finish my Bible study homework, but they didn’t come because they were expecting perfection. They came expecting love and authenticity.
- They didn’t sign up for the Bible study because of who I was. Not one of them knew a single thing about me or my co-leader. Every single one of them signed up because they were looking for community and a place to grow spiritually.
It turns out, I did have what it took to lead a Bible study. I had a willing spirit, an open heart for new friendships, and thirst for more of God.
And trust me, friend, you have what it takes too.
Looking for some tools to help you get started as a Bible study leader? Click here for a blog post with some tips for your first small group meeting + some free printables! Also, our Lifeway Women Bible studies make it easy to lead, no matter your experience. Each one comes with leader helps and conversation guides, so you, too, can feel confident in leading. Feel free to comment below with any questions you have about our resources for leaders!
Mickey Pitts serves as a Marriage & Family Strategist for Lifeway Christian Resources. She is passionate about equipping couples with tools to help their marriages and families thrive. Mickey loves ministering to women and coaches women’s Bible study leaders in her local church. Mickey and her husband Reed live in Spring Hill, TN with her 7 year old stepson, Landon, and a crazy Wheaten Terrier named Dexter.