Deborah: Encouraging Faith
Get Into the Study
Share the following story as an alternate introduction to today’s session.
Bart was an up-and-coming high school football player when he broke both ankles. This injury forced Bart to quit football and find an alternate elective credit. He begrudgingly joined the school choir. When Mrs. Fletcher, the choir director, heard Bart sing a duet with a friend, she added him to the show choir. Bart protested, but Mrs. Fletcher glared at him and said, “You can and you will. And there will be no further discussion about it.” The following year, Bart was cast in the lead role of Curly in the musical Oklahoma, despite the fact that he did not audition.
When Bart belted out the opening song of the musical, his grandmother whispered to his girlfriend, “Mercy me! That can’t be his real voice!”
Bart said of Mrs. Fletcher: “It’s one thing to believe in yourself, but when others around you start to join in and encourage you, it’s a totally different dynamic…I owe her a great debt for sticking to her guns to force me to overcome my fear and step out of my comfort zone to sing a solo.”
Follow up by asking Question #1.
Information for this post was gleaned from Chapter 4 of Bart Millard’s autobiography I Can Only Imagine.
Toni Sanders provides technical support and training and is a graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. She and her husband lead a senior adult Bible study group in Orlando, Florida.
Get Into the Study [Additional Option]
Use the following optional activity after you ask Question #1 (Adult Leader Guide, p. 29).
In advance, prepare to show a video clip from a movie or TV show that demonstrates the kind of leadership that influences others.
Ask the group what made the leader’s words or actions so influential.
Live It Out
Use the following story as you wrap up today’s session.
Officials in Iceland have been forced to close off public access to the Fjadrárgljúfur canyon due to the influence of Justin Bieber. The Environment Agency of Iceland estimates that over 1 million people have visited the area since the release of Bieber’s video, “I’ll Show You” in 2015, putting the natural landscape at risk. Bieber’s video, which has been viewed over 400 million times as of May 2019, shows Bieber exploring the canyon. The area has now been closed off to protect the delicate landscape. Nonetheless, Bieber fans continue to sneak past fences and attempt to bribe the rangers for access to the canyon.
You may not have a Twitter account with over 100 million followers like Bieber does, but you still have an area of influence. This week, be on the lookout for areas where you have influence, and seek opportunities to use that influence for God’s kingdom and for His honor.
Nikki Wilbanks is a stay-at-home mom, writer, Bible study teacher, and commercial real estate appraiser/investor. She is a graduate of Pepperdine University. She lives with her husband and two children in Murfreesboro, TN.
- Which brands or corporations do a great job of leveraging influencers?
- When has someone else seen potential in you?
- When have you discovered a new talent by stepping out of your comfort zone?
- How can we know when God is calling us to a specific task?
- How can our group help each other discover our callings?
- How can you tell Deborah understood her calling from the Lord?
- What are some specific ways that you could encourage others to take on more leader responsibilities in your circles of influence?
- What makes it so hard to let others lead sometimes?
- When have you needed encouragement from someone to help you do the task assigned to you?
- How can we honor God through the ways we lead others?
- What are the benefits of pausing to celebrate spiritual victories?
- When was the last time you praised God for something He has done?
Send the following link to your group members as either a teaser before the group meets or as a follow-up thought:
Here’s a brief video giving you an overview of this session: Living by Faith, Session 2.
This article complements the study. Share this link with your group members.
- Mature Living – The Prayer Cup