We had the opportunity to interview Liz Bowlin about her experience as a Bible Study Leader. Liz recently attended our Leader Training in Chattanooga. We reflected on the impact of Precept in her life and advice she would give to new Bible Study Leaders.
Precept: How long have you been involved with Precept Bible Studies?
Liz: I have been studying inductively with PMI since 1992. I have been a trained leader since 1994.
P: What made you want to lead your own study?
L: I was immediately in love with the process [of Inductive Bible Study] because the teacher in me saw the value of digging and learning for myself. And then I began to uncover truths that no one had ever taught me!
In 27 years of church-going, I had never been taught how to study scripture. My disciplining had included a copy of a devotional and a blank book. I was told to read the devotional each day and journal. In this way I would grow closer to God.
When I discovered Precept, I felt like I had been nibbling saltines all my life and someone had just set before me a royal wedding feast. I could not get enough. I knew that others needed this meat of the Word as well! I had to be trained as a leader, so I could share more than just fill-in-the-blank studies.
P: Was there anything unexpected that you learned at Leader Training?
L: It was ALL unexpected. The fact that Precept did not charge me for the training and even provided my room and meals was unexpected. The reason they did this was a powerful testimony to accomplishing one’s mission.
The EASE of leading a discussion was so new, fresh and freeing! I had been making my preparation time more about what I do and less about the power of the Holy Spirit. He is responsible for the life changing discussions, not me! I think I was making an understanding of God Word seem unattainable to people.
Prior to this training, I spent more time on the process than I did the application. Forgive me, Lord!
P: Why did you choose Precept as your curriculum?
L: Of all the study materials I have been introduced to, none of them teach the Word more clearly and firmly than Precept. Some spoon feed the milk of the Word, but it is time for the church today to step up and feast on the meat of the Word!
My husband is a pastor. As a Bible study leader, I can come along-side him in ministry and support him by teaching others in the church how to feed themselves between Sundays.
It is interesting (but not surprising) to me that the folks who stay in the Word for themselves are my husband’s biggest champions and prayer warriors. The ones who take responsibility for their own spiritual growth, are the ones who serve and support the whole church family the most. Precept is just one way of taking up that responsibility.
P: What is your biggest take-away from Leader Training?
L: I must get out of the way! The Holy Spirit can move and speak without my adding a layer of teaching with word studies and lists and white-board-covering visual aids.
P: Do you think it is important to attend Leader Training?
L: I appreciate that PMI requires this training prior to allowing someone to lead a Precept Upon Precept study. In this way, you can be certain that true disciples are practicing multiplication. As disciples, we are called to make more disciples and to “entrust to faithful men…” It takes so much more than a copy of a pocket devotion on the back of your commode to make that happen!
I encourage others who have studied inductively to take up the baton, attend the leader training, and run the race God has set before you!