Leadership Traits for
Discipleship Bible Study Leaders

As Bible study leaders, we have learned through experience some leadership traits that that greatly improved our effectiveness. We'd like to share them with you.

What was Jesus' secret to leading? One thing that is undeniable is that Jesus trained people to become what he was -- a maker of disciple-makers. As a small or mid-sized group leader, your role is to make disciple-makers. You are a spiritual training and mentor. Do you have this mental picture of yourself?

Typically a small or mid-sized group leader assumes that his role is to host meetings, prepare lessons and teach the Bible. Spiritual mentors do more than keep schedules and maintain structure. They share life. We challenge you to think of your Bible study as a discipleship Bible study.

This is a small or mid-sized group that focuses on making disciples of Jesus. This kind of study contains two distinct characteristics:

  • an expectation to practice spiritual disciplines
  • a focus on character development

bible studies

The Priority: Spiritual Disciplines

The first distinct characteristic is the priority of spiritual disciplines. Members are expected to read the Bible for themselves, confess sins and pray for the lost. The steady in-take of Scripture, confessing sins and praying for those who do not know Christ are the foundational disciplines of following Jesus. Every effective disciple-making Bible study integrates these three basic practices. Fellowship without expectations or direction is eliminated.

Want more about the spiritual discipline of Bible reading? Here's some resources.

Listen to a Sermon on the DNA of Jesus
Devotional - Practicing Christian Disciplines is like Training for a Marathon

The Focus: Character Development

The second distinct characteristic is the focus on character development, not just learning information. Jesus gave his followers commands to obey, not just facts to know. The main weakness in the contemporary church is a lack of character. The lack of character explains the superficial nature of the average believer. Christ-like character is the single most important element for fulfilling the great commission. As Bible study leaders, our Christ-like character is the basis of our credibility.

What Makes a Good Leader is Helping People to Be Like Jesus

These mentoring tips will make a significant difference in your small or mid-sized group or Sunday school class! By following some very simple principles, you will see real life change. Your members will:

  • move beyond passive listening to examining the Scriptures for themselves
  • move beyond surface relationships to sharing real struggles
  • move beyond the vague hope that others become Christians to asking God to intervene in the lives of specific people

Mentoring 101 - Leadership Traits

We'll be adding mentoring tips on a regular basis - keep checking back OR better yet, subscribe to the RSS feed at the top left of the page.

Click on the links to read the entire articles.

Tip #1 -- Expect people to learn how to study the Bible for themselves

Tip #2 -- Cultivate Accountability - Men with Men; Women with Women

Tip #3 -- Define Purpose - Up, In, and Out 

Tip #4 -- Christian small groups should meet weekly for two years

Tip #5 -- Influence People through friendships and service

Tip #6 -- Form mini-groups to build trust in relationships

Tip #7 -- Learn how to set priorities and say No to other legitimate ministries

Tip #8 -- How to be a mentor - Simply share your life

Tip #9 -- Practice effective succession planning

Tip #10 -- Leadership Characteristics for Getting Started in Disciple-making

Tip #11 -- Make Christian Relationships a Priority

Tip #12 -- The Importance of Good Character Traits

Our e-newsletters will help you continue to improve your discipling skills. You can subscribe to the newsletter on the left column.

Train others to be disciplers where they live, work or play.

Author: Paul Schlieker

For any reuse or distribution of Leadership Traits for Discipleship Bible Study Leaders or any of our free Bible study materials author credit and web address is required.

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