Back in elementary school, you had plenty of practice speaking in front of your peers. Now that you’ve grown up, though, that experience has dwindled and you may feel unprepared talking in front of other people.
With something as intimate as Bible study, you have to be vulnerable while also being respectful and authoritative. Leading Bible study means wearing many hats and juggling many tasks. You’re not alone, though. Plenty of people have been in your shoes.
Everyone who regularly leads Bible studies has had to lead one for the very first time before. You’re in good company.
How to Radiate Confidence During Bible Study
When you know you’re going to lead a Bible study, one of two things pop into your mind. You’re either over-the-moon excited, or you freeze and wonder if you’ll be doing things correctly. If you’re the latter type of person, you might find public speaking challenging, and guiding others through something as important as the Word of God might feel too heavy for just one person.
Luckily, you don’t have to feel afraid. People with anxiety over leadership and public speaking and teaching have a few tips they can implement to make themselves feel a bit stronger as the dates of their presentations inch ever closer.
1. Get in the Right Mindset
If you go into your Bible study knowing it won’t be perfect right out of the gate, you will feel more at ease. Everyone slips up now and then — sometimes, people stumble over their words, say the wrong meaning of something, or skip around their outline for the meeting entirely. Know that it’s likely you’re going to mess up, and that’s okay! You’ll be in a room surrounded by loving, caring people who only wish to see you succeed.
Comparison is the thief of joy. Don’t compare yourself to people who have hosted more Bible studies than you have. They’ve got more experience, so obviously the meetings they run are going to go a little smoother.
Comparing yourself to others only brings you unnecessary stress, which is the last thing you want when diving into the Bible with your friends and peers.
2. Dress Sharp
If you know you look good, you’re going to perform better, too. To boost your confidence to its maximum level, ensure that your clothes fit you correctly and aren’t too baggy or too tight. If you’re wearing a dress shirt, make sure it’s fitted. If you’re wearing a jacket, make sure it’s properly sized.
Clothes that are too baggy tend to give off the appearance that you lack seriousness and motivation, whereas clothes that are too tight might seem like you don’t take care of yourself or take pride in your appearance.
Having clothes that fit right, not too snug or too loose, is the key to feeling confident. Once you know you’re well-groomed and look good, you’ll be ready to take on the world.
3. Prepare Yourself for Tough Conversations
Leading Bible study opens you up to vulnerable conversations and people who may have heavy things weighing on their minds. No matter how serious the topic, you must be prepared to comfort a friend during this time. Be there for them and allow them to speak to you while you partake in active listening.
Avoid inserting yourself into their narrative. This story is theirs, and putting your negative experiences in may make them feel unheard or, worse, create an echo chamber that will make you both feel terrible. Instead of joining them in their negative ideas, speak positively and encourage them and be the light people need to see.
4. Make a Plan
If you’re worried about the night going south beyond your control, make an agenda. A proper outline should help you stay on track and bring your group back to the center if the train of thought has gone off the rails.
With a guideline that’s detailed and full of everything for your Bible study, you will feel more comfortable and confident while leading and might be able to predict what happens next. Having a schedule is a great way to control your study group when minds and conversations tend to wander.
5. Dive Into Scripture
If you’re feeling entirely lost, that’s okay! It’s times like these when you can turn to your Bible and read one of the many passages that can instill confidence in you. Commit them to memory around a week before you’re slated to host a Bible study, and you can recall them in times of trouble. Some great ones for building self-esteem are as follows:
- 2 Corinthians 12:9: “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
- Proverbs 3:26: “For the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.”
Remember: You were chosen to lead this Bible study for a reason. And as long as your heart is in the right place, everything will fall into place around it and prosper.
Host a Bible Study to Remember
When you exude confidence, other people will pick up on it. You can honor yourself and God by presenting yourself in a friendly and professional manner, thereby creating a lasting impression on your Bible study group.
Remember the essential parts of public speaking when you’re standing in front of your peers. Speak calmly and slowly, give time for other people to speak, and stand tall with good posture to give off an air of confidence or authority. Swallow your doubts and face the world with a smile. You’ve got this.