To Be [a Leader] or Not To Be (or Stop Running in the Wrong Direction)

As I was reflecting on a recent visit with my Team Leader, I thought I would write a bit about what I shared with her, so that I could share my experience with others and to remind myself, for those times when I feel inadequate.

Let me start by saying that I have never, ever, seen myself as a leader; no matter what part of my life we’re referring to (home, work, church, etc.). How am I supposed to lead others with all my shortcomings? There are a myriad of reasons I feel this way, but especially when it comes to being a leader in the church; the first of which is my abysmal, struggling prayer life. Also, I am a shy introvert who shares little of her heart with anyone, even those closest to me. I’m much more content to be a quiet follower. However, this time, God was not content to let me stay that way.

It all started when I clicked a link from one of my daily devotional emails. A new book by Renee Swope was due out in August titled “A Confident Heart: How to Stop Doubting Yourself & Live in the Security of God’s Promises.” I downloaded the sample and, as I read it, became excited for the release of the book. I planned to buy it to read for myself.

Over the next few weeks, I began to feel the pull of leading a women’s group on this book. I could see, in my heart, a room of women all sharing and growing together. I tried to dismiss it because I didn’t feel qualified to teach on something such as confidence, especially since I have none of my own. I ignored the prompting, until I went to coffee with my friend, Angela.

For some reason I felt the need to share about the book and my group idea with her. She immediately began to encourage me to go ahead with it. I sent her a sample of the book and she continued to encourage me and even told other friends about the book and my group. Now, I had no choice to go ahead with the group because others I knew would make sure I did. I do believe God made sure we met for coffee that day, so that Angela could speak encouragement to me. We haven’t been able to get together since then, though I hope both our schedules will allow for some coffee time soon after the holidays.

When group leader signups began at church, I was the first to sign up for this trimester of Bible study groups. I wanted to make sure I didn’t talk myself out of it. I felt peace about it, at that point, and knew that God would send those ladies to me that could most use this study, though I was hoping it would be a small group of ladies. (I’m still an introvert, after all, and the thought of having a large group scared me.)

I have been leading this group now for about eight weeks, and after just the first few weeks, I knew that I was blessed by leading this study. I have a small group of ladies who feel comfortable sharing their lives and we are all encouraging one another. As I mentioned before, praying is a very weak area for me, but God included a couple of prayer warriors in the group, so I can have them pray when I’m not feeling confident enough.

I want to say that, no matter who you are or where you are in your walk with Christ, there is room to lead a Bible study. It does grow you in ways that couldn’t happen by any other means. With the next round of leader signups under way, it’s time for me to assess what my next step will be and if I  am supposed to continue leading a women’s group.

What about you? Is there something God is calling you to do today? Will you follow his prompting or will you try to run? I’d love to hear your comments.