5 Qualities for Effectively Leading Women Bible Groups by Stephane

by IFEOMA SAMUEL

What readily comes to mind when you
think about “a good leader”? For many of us it is someone who is confident and
strong, wise and knowledgeable. Someone you would gladly fight behind.

As a small business owner and a leader in
the women fellowship, it takes more out of me than I can put in.
Honestly, I wish I could be there for
the ladies in our group more often, although I do my best to pray for them each
and every day. There is in the end, only so much of me to go around.
I desire to be a good leader, to be a
good example of Jesus Christ for them so that we both can grow in the grace and
knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Well, it’s not about me, it’s
about them.
There
is no greater example of a good
 leader than the one Jesus has left for us.
Bible Reading: John 13 (click to read online)
In this chapter we find Jesus gathered
with His disciples, the persecution and the cross are looming over His head and
He gets up from supper, takes off His garments and begins to wash the disciples
feet.
Are you a woman leading a small women’s
group?

Do you intend to lead a women
fellowship someday?
This is for you.
In this scripture, you will notice five
distinct characteristics of a good leader.
  1.  Love.
A good leader is willing to put aside self, and all that is involved in self
for the sake of those they love. Jesus was on His way to lay down His life for
the disciples and for every single other person on the face of the earth.

Now, before the Feast of the
Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to
the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the
end. John 13:1
He was willing to put aside His entire
life for them and for us. A good leader will set aside every single thing on
their calendar to help the ones they love.

During supper, when the devil
had already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him,
Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He
had come from the God and was going back to God, John 13:2-3
  2.  Confident in the call
of God over their lives
. Peter reminds us in
2 Peter 1:10 that we need to be diligent to make our calling and election sure.
A good leader knows that God has called
them to the ministry, and knows that God has given them the gifts that are
needed to fulfill the ministry. There is no room for doubt in the mind of a
good leader.
Good leaders are confident, not in their ability, but in the
ability of God to use the gifts and talents He has given them.
Jesus never questioned whether or not
He was the Son of God. From day one He knew His calling and He walked
confidently in it.

rose from supper. He laid
aside His outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around His waist. Then He
poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples feet and to wipe them
with the towel that was wrapped around Him. John 13:4-5
  
  3.  Willingness to serve,
instead of being served. Jesus rose from supper. Jesus chose to put aside His
meal and serve those who were seated with Him. Love is not what we say, it is
what we do.
If you want to lead and teach women, then you have to
be willing to love and serve those same women, no matter how dirty their feet
are, or where they are seated in life.
Jesus laid aside His garments, He took
off that which was hindering His ability to serve the disciples and knelt down
before them, as individuals. He laid aside His garments to make Himself ready
to serve the men seated around the table.
As leaders we must be in readiness to
help those whom God has given us. That woman in your life that you are
drawn to, needs your Godly example.
She needs to know that someone is there
for her, kneeling at her dirty feet and willing to wash her clean. Jesus Christ
chose to put aside His supper, His hunger, to serve the disciples at their
dirtiest and He made Himself ready for their sake, not His own.
  
  4.  Understand Timing:
One of the hardest lessons I have had to learn, and am still learning, in
regards to leadership is knowing the right time to sit or when to stand,
knowing when to speak and when to be silent.
A good leader knows when to serve.
Do you notice Jesus got up in the
middle of supper, not a time when most people would have their feet washed.
But He saw their need and made Himself
available to them
. He put aside His own desires for the sake of those whom
He loved. A good leader will do the same.
Read the conversation that ensued
afterwards here in John 13:12-17
Jesus asked the disciples if they
understood why He washed their feet. He wanted to know if they understood what
it meant to be a good example, to be a good leader, to be a good teacher. The
disciples were going to become Apostles and lead multitudes into the saving
knowledge of Jesus Christ.
He needed them, and He needs us to
understand that to be a good leader, you have to first learn to be a servant.
  5.  Willingness to be Taught.
Jesus knelt down and got to know the disciples on a personal level. Jesus lived
with these men, He ate with them, traveled with them, spent time with them.
A good leader will seek to spend time
with those who are with them, and seek to know them not just as someone who
attends their weekly study, but as a person, as an individual with needs. Jesus
washed their feet. He held their dirty feet in His hands and wiped them clean.
A good leader will kneel down alongside the women they are
leading and hold their dirty feet in their hands.
They will get to know them, listen to
them and become a part of their lives.
To be a good leader, you have to know those you are leading.
We are not greater than those we serve
and we are no better than those we lead. We are not in a spiritual game to see
who wins or who has the most followers. 
We are in a body, working alongside one
another, washing each other’s feet.
If you want to be a good leader or
teacher, learn to be led and taught first. Follow Jesus’ example and kneel
before you try to stand. Amen?
Further Reading:

How
to Work Well With Small Women Groups

About the Author
Stephane Singletary gently leads “The Upper Room” Women’s Ministry where writes and teaches women to love Christ. 

You can find her writing regularly on her blog One Woman at A Time, on Facebook and Google+

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36 comments

Living In This Season February 3, 2016 - 11:58 am

These are really good tips! I serve in various areas and need to remember all of these.

Reply
Stephane Singletary February 3, 2016 - 12:34 pm

No matter where we serve, or what role we serve in, being a good example to those around us is what matters! God bless your heart to serve!

Reply
Michele Morin February 3, 2016 - 12:56 pm

Ifeoma, thanks for sharing Stephane's words with us today. I'm always looking for ways to improve my leadership of the women in our group. Blessings!

Reply
Catherine @FaithfilledChaos.com February 3, 2016 - 3:55 pm

Thanks so much for this! I have been leading and helping in a church for years with the children's ministry. However, I feel a calling to step out and lead a women's group. I love how you said "Good leaders are confident, not in their ability, but in the ability of God to use the gifts and talents He has given them." That is how I feel. I am willing to take that step knowing God will lead the way, however I am not so confident in my ability to run the group. Hearing you say this today, really helps me to be confident in knowing God has got this, so I don't have to. I just need to follow where he is leading me. Thanks again! 🙂

Reply
Stephane Singletary February 5, 2016 - 11:38 am

That is great Catherine! I took a leap of faith and the Lord has been good and gracious through it all. Many blessings to you!

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Linda Stoll February 3, 2016 - 6:02 pm

5 great keys. Thanks, ladies!

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Laura Pheneger February 3, 2016 - 8:36 pm

Thanks for the great reminders on qualities for leading small groups!

Reply
Anna Clarke Blog February 3, 2016 - 8:47 pm

Thanks for sharing this!!! My husband and I lead a college and young adult ministry and this was such a wonderful reminder and so full of truth. VERY encouraging and challenging, too. Thanks for sharing! Love the example Jesus gives us in all situations.

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Stephane Singletary February 5, 2016 - 11:39 am

Thank you Anne! God bless you and your husband's ministry!

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Jed Jurchenko February 4, 2016 - 1:23 pm

Excellent leadership tips Stephanie. I'd add in that these are very relevant for us guys too 🙂 I especially like #5 and agree wholeheartedly. The best leaders are teachable and continually learning themselves. Thanks for sharing these!

Reply
Stephane Singletary February 5, 2016 - 11:40 am

Thank you! I agree! The Word of God applies to male and female!

Reply
Amanda February 4, 2016 - 2:53 pm

"They will know them, listen to them, and become a part of their lives." SO very true. Exactly how Christ leads us! Thank you for sharing!

Reply
Stephane Singletary February 5, 2016 - 11:41 am

Thank you Amanda!

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ConciergeLibrarian February 4, 2016 - 4:29 pm

Yes those are all good traits of a good leader. A good leader is always willing to be led and to learn from others regardless of their position

Reply
Hannah Jinks February 4, 2016 - 4:32 pm

Love this! I'm about to begin co-leading a women's Bible study at our church and these are excellent reminders!

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Stephane Singletary February 5, 2016 - 11:42 am

God be with you Hannah as you start this new study! Congrats!

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Lori T February 5, 2016 - 2:08 am

Stephane, these are very good tips.

Willingness to serve- this is something that I watch for in leaders. I've sat under a pastor and his wife who wanted to get what they could out of people. After 30 years of this kind of attitude, it has just about killed their ministry.

Thank you for these reminders about being willing to serve and being teachable.

Thanks for sharing with Thankful Thursdays.

Reply
Stephane Singletary February 5, 2016 - 11:43 am

You are welcome Lori! Thanks for having us! I have been under pastors/ leaders like that too, it is draining to say the least. But through it all God is sovereign! Amen!

Reply
Bev Duncan February 5, 2016 - 11:29 am

Stephane,
All great tips…and naturally the first and most important is Love. I struggle, sometimes, with timing. I need to trust God's timing when I lead and not try to be in control. I also need to work on my waiting abilities as well. Good food for thought!!
Blessings,
Bev

Reply
Stephane Singletary February 5, 2016 - 11:44 am

God be with you Bev as you lead and teach. Sometimes I pray the Lord to put His hand around my shoulder and His hand upon my mouth! LOL!

Reply
Alison Tiemeyer February 5, 2016 - 11:16 pm

These are wonderful tips. I especially like #5. How can we teach others without first being willing to learn? Thanks for sharing this with us at 100 Happy Days!

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carlybenson February 6, 2016 - 1:35 pm

Thanks for sharing- this is all great advice! It definitely makes a big difference if we lead with the attitude of serving and loving others and thinking of them first.

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BARBIE February 7, 2016 - 8:19 am

All wonderful leadership qualities. Thank you for sharing at #weekendwhispers.

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Ceil February 7, 2016 - 6:43 pm

Hi Ifeoma and Stephane! I really was interested in the point you made about timing. That Jesus washed feet in the middle of the meal. I never thought about it that way. Great point, and a wonderful reflection on what really matters in leadership.
Glad to meet you today Stephane!
Ceil

Reply
collettakay February 7, 2016 - 10:32 pm

Thank you! This was a very timely post for me! I hope you can stop by:

http://collettaskitchensink.blogspot.com/2016/02/songs-on-sunday-one-thing-by-hillsong.html

Colletta

Reply
Kelly Basham February 9, 2016 - 2:42 pm

What a great lesson for leaders. I particularly needed the reminder to be confident in my calling. Thank you for writing and sharing this!

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Tracey Cross February 10, 2016 - 7:04 am

Thank you – as a women's group leader this is great encouragement !! Visiting from nearby at Works For Me Wednesday.

Reply
Mary Hill February 11, 2016 - 2:56 am

Another great post. I love these tips. I know they work well because I tried to follow them too when I lead a women's group. Thanks for sharing on Literacy Musing Mondays.

Reply
Jaime Wiebel February 11, 2016 - 3:56 am

I loved all of these tips and not just because they were so well put but because we can see each of them in the heart of Christ. May we be women after His own heart. Thank you for sharing with us at Sitting Among Friends on Wednesdays.

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Lisa notes... February 11, 2016 - 1:13 pm

This is one that usually trips me up the most: "Good leaders are confident, not in their ability, but in the ability of God to use the gifts and talents He has given them." Thanks for the reminder to keep it all about God, and that will remove our insecurities about ourselves. We don't have to have it all together; He does!

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Ana (@ANAWINSblog) February 11, 2016 - 2:26 pm

Perfect timing for me to see this post, Ifeoma! I've tried to start small Bible studies with local friends in the past and they haven't been successful. The women close to me don't want to get together to talk about the Bible, they'd rather just eat and talk casually. So I gave up (and started a blog instead!). Recently, I've felt the nudge from the Lord to try again! So I've begun reaching out. These are perfect tips to encourage women!

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tialea2 February 11, 2016 - 4:39 pm

Great post. I think to be an effective leader you need to be sure you are connecting with them on the same level. SO important.

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Lori Schumaker February 13, 2016 - 4:14 am

Great tips, Stephanie! When leaders do not work to embrace these strategies, their ministries are never as effective as they could be. People are hurt and the view of the church is tarnished! Thanks so much for this fantastic post!
Blessings and smiles,
Lori

Reply
Raising Samuels February 15, 2016 - 1:15 am

Great post, Stephane! I am so glad you had love as the first one. That is essential to effectively leading. Thanks for sharing with #SocialButterflySunday! Hope to see you link up again this week 🙂

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Marissa D February 16, 2016 - 8:44 pm

These are great points for leading. I have learned more leading than any of my students… Thanks for sharing with #TheCozyReadingSpot
Marissa

Reply
Cristi February 24, 2016 - 5:31 am

What a powerful message! Thanks so much for sharing and for linking up with The Alder Collective! Hope to see you again this week!

Reply

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