Accidents happen. In most cases, they can be avoided with a little common sense. As comedian Jeff Foxworthy once joked, “Someone in my family usually died right after they said, ‘Hey, watch this!'” He understood the reality of accidents, and their preventable nature. What about the accidents, though, that we might make while leading a Bible study? There are 4 kinds of group leaders who tend to have accidents in a Bible study – and you’ll want to avoid being this guy or else you’ll end up damaging your Bible study group:
- The “I-run-red-lights” guy. Don’t you just love these guys on the road? They’ve got the mindset that “red means go.” You’ve see them at every intersection. The light turns yellow, then red, and 3 more cars drive through the intersection while you’ve got the green light. So frustrating! But there is a Bible study leader who sees the red light while leading his group. The red light says, “Don’t talk – someone else has the right of way.” Yet this kind of leader just can’t help running the light and running over someone else’s conversation. Red means stop. When others are talking, even if they are slightly off-base, don’t jump right in and correct them! Let people talk, encourage them to answer questions, and resist the temptation to run the light.
- The “I-drive-the-same-no-matter-the weather” guy. You see these people on the road every day, too. It’s been raining and roads are slick, but they still drive like it’s in the heat of summer and their tires are sticking to the pavement. They fly by you doing 20 mph over the limit, with no regard for the safety of others. They are completely insensitive (perhaps even selfish) and don’t take others into account. How does this kind of person manifest themselves in a Bible study group? The “I-drive-the same-no-matter-the-weather” group leader does things the same all the time. He refuses to vary his teaching techniques. He does what he wants (which is usually what he has done the last 20+ group meetings). He pays no attention to the changing climate in the group and isn’t sensitive to times when the Holy Spirit is dealing with group members. Nope, this guy just keeps on teaching and leading like he always has.
- The “I’m-too-lazy-to-return-my-shopping-cart” guy. My least favorite kind of person is the one who is too lazy to return a shopping cart 20 feet to a cart corral. I bet your car has been dinged by a random shopping cart or two over the years. It’s the result of a lazy person’s actions. And they are never around to see the fruit of their labor. But their laziness contributed to the damage your car received. In a group setting, the lazy group leader shows up late, hasn’t studied his lesson thoroughly, and hasn’t planned any new or interesting activities or visual aids. He’s the kind of guy that just does the bare minimum. There are more of these kinds of group leaders than you think.
- The “I-think-I’ll-change-lanes-often” guy. And finally there’s this guy. You gotta love the driver who is so important and in such a hurry that he thinks quickly changing lanes is the way to get to where he’s going a little faster. A Bible study leader who “changes lanes often” is the kind of person who shifts their focus from topic to topic and is flighty. They don’t seem to be able to stay in their theological lane, but instead “chase rabbits” and are all over the map when leading a Bible study. An experienced Bible study leader will have a singular focus, know the objective he wants to accomplish during a study, and stays in his lane until he arrives at the destination. The leader who causes accidents shifts topics, changes direction unexpectedly, and makes everyone in the room a little nervous.
Don’t be like one of these four guys. Know the rules of the road. Use your turn signals, be considerate of others on the road with you, and you’ll reduce the amount of accidents in your group.