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Bible study: Preparing ourselves to lead

A bible study about leadership and building good relationships

2010 Available in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish

Good leadership creates strong groups. Photo: Geoff Crawford/Tearfund

From: Leadership – Footsteps 84

Considers the questions 'Who is a leader?' and 'What is good leadership?'

Jesus Christ has been present through the course of history and remains unchanged through time and generations. He formed a group of apostles. He chose 12 people.

Read Mark 3:13-14.

  • What model of leadership does this give us?
  • What was the main teaching that Jesus offered his followers?

Read Mark 12:29-31.

Nothing is more important than relationships.

Firstly: relationship with God. Secondly: relationship with people. This relationship can be long or short distance. Feelings and needs overcome distances. Relationships are more important than money or tasks. (See Matthew 6:24-33).

Thinking about relationships

God does not demand that I achieve great things. But rather that I aspire to excellence in relationships.

  • Does the way I spend my time and money reveal anything about the biggest priorities in my life?

The following three steps help us to consider relationships in the light of scripture.

Communicate with the heart

Read Proverbs 12:18.

Communication is not easy. Communication is the fuel of relationships.

Establish trust in relationships

Read Matthew 5:37.

Trust disappears through lies, insincere compliments, flattery, empty promises and silence. You cannot have good communication without a good level of trust. We are called to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15) but it is easier to be friendly than sincere.

Are my words wearing away or building up trust?

Examine the connection between the mouth and the heart

There is a two-way street between my mouth and my heart. 'The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.' (Luke 6:45)

  • Am I trapped in a circle of words with someone? What steps do I need to take to break this pattern?

Ábia Saldanha Figueiredo is the Executive Director of SEC (Seminário de Educação Cristã), a Bible college in Recife, Northeast Brazil.

Other relevant Bible studies

Bible studies on the following subjects, from past issues of Footsteps and from the PILLARS Guide Mobilising the church, are available on the churches zone.

  • Biblical model of leadership - a discussion looking at the leadership style of Jesus and other biblical leaders
  • Servant leadership - a discussion including John 13:1-17 and 1 Corinthians 3:18-20
  • Developing leadership skills - a discussion including 1 Peter 5:1-4 and 1 Timothy 3:1-13
  • Qualities of church leaders - looking at 1 Timothy 3:1-10
  • God's choice of leaders - looking at the attitudes and qualities of a number of Old Testament leaders
  • Support for leaders - looking at what leaders might need to do their jobs effectively.

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