Leading Small Groups

Challenging Students to Small Group Involvement

Bob Fuhs

In a healthy, growing campus ministry, students shouldn’t simply be asked to join a Small Group, but rather challenged to a Small Group appropriate to their level of maturity and comittment. Here are sample Challenge Sheets that you can use, or adapt for use, outlining the comittment integral to a basic-level Small Group (Access Group), an intermediate-level Group (Training Group), and an advanced-level Group (An Action Group).

Challenge Sheets Below...

SMALL GROUP CHALLENGE FOR ‘ACCESS’

(BEGINNING) LEVEL BIBLE STUDY

Q: How have you seen God work in your life this year?

Some strengths I’ve seen in you this year are...

Q: What are areas you’d like to develop in?

Illustration: Imagine that the Metro Transit system is the whole church. Cru and the church are on the same team, same system, and have the same overall purpose. There are all good busses to be on, and, like Cru they all have a specific direction and purpose. The sign on the bus tells the specific direction of that bus. It’s the vision of the bus, so to speak. From what you’ve experienced or heard or seen in Cru this year, what would you say is the sign on the side of the Cru bus? (Do you remember hearing the vision or mission of Cru?)

Mission....
Vision....
Purpose...(to help fulfill the Great Commission)

Q: Have you ever heard that term, “The Great Commission?" Do you know where it’s found in the Bible?

(Look up Mt 28:18-20)

OUR PURPOSE AND VISION

Cru started with a vision to “win the campus today, win the world for Christ tomorrow.” As a movement, we are committed to helping to fulfill Jesus’ Great Commission to make disciples of all nations. Our vision at the U of M is to be a movement of students Surrendered to God, Serving each other, Sharing the Gospel and Sending laborers to the world.

In your four (or so) years here at the U, we would love to see you learn well how to live your faith, communicate your faith and multiply your faith so that for the next 50 years of your life you will be able to walk with God and be a part of His Great Commission.

LIVE YOUR FAITH

“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught.” Colossians 2:6, 7

Cru exists on campus to help you develop your walk with God. As you understand His character more deeply and live a life surrendered to Him, you will undoubtedly see the fruit of that in your life.

Q: Has it been harder or easier than what you expected to live out your faith this year at college?

COMMUNICATE YOUR FAITH

“It is written: ‘I have believed, therefore I have spoken.’ With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak.” 2 Corinthians 4:13

Our mission begins by submitting to God’s command to share the Gospel of Christ with all people. For us, there is a specific focus on college students. We believe that only a relationship with God through Jesus Christ provides the hope and purpose in life that students are seeking.

“I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.” Acts 20:24

Our task is the same as Paul’s in Acts 20:24, to “testify to the gospel”. We accept God’s command to “Go” by initiating conversations with college students with the intent to share the Gospel. As part of developing into all God wants you to be, you will be trained to effectively share the Gospel in all situations, with friends, family, and even strangers.

Q: Have you had any experiences this year trying to talk to other people about Jesus?

MULTIPLY YOUR FAITH

“The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” 2 Timothy 2:2

In the same commission that God gives us to “Go”, He tells us also to “make disciples”. Jesus modeled this by choosing twelve men to build toward maturity and to found His church upon. Paul further demonstrates this multiplication by teaching his disciples to equip others for ministry who will be able to equip others.

We want you to be equipped to develop men and women into multiplying disciples themselves. The picture looks something like this:

Q: How have you already seen this lived out in the context of our movement?

Because we are trying to accomplish a specific task, we organize our bible studies differently than most churches, not just by location or affinity, but by level of desire or commitment or availability.

Next year there will be two options for you. You can choose either one.

Access Group

Come and See: “Lord, I want to know You”

  • 1 hour
  • No need to commit to come every week
  • Open
  • What you experienced this year

Training Group

Come and Be: “Lord, use me”

  • 1.5 hours
  • Committed to coming to Group weekly
  • Closed—Cru is your ministry
  • I want to be trained in sharing my faith
  • Occasionally meet with a leader 1-on-1
  • Help start and care for an Access Group


THE CHALLENGE

No matter which group you choose, we are challenging you to make a commitment to be three things:

  • Faithful : to seeking increasing intimacy with the Lord. This includes prayer, consistent time in God’s Word following through on commitments, and committing to Cru as your main form of ministry while at school
  • Available : making the most of opportunities to be trained and developed spiritually while at school.
  • Teachable : express a willingness to grow spiritually and to be challenged as you mature in Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18) willing to take steps of faith and seek God’s will.

If you are choosing a training group, here are a few specific things coming up that we want you to make every effort to be part of as well (these are just sample committments):

  • Spring Retreat. In addition to hearing from graduating seniors, you will get a picture of building spiritual movements on campus.
  • TREK (If you are not already going on a summer project). TREK is a 4 day leadership development conference at the start of the summer in Westby, WI.
  • Make a commitment to pray for the campus—specifically the place where you will be making a contribution by helping with an Access Group.

Also, the servant team will be a great place for you to have a chance to sharpen your leadership skills as you serve the movement in areas like prayer, community events, conferences and retreats.

Here is what you can expect from me and Cru:

  • That we will always believe the best in you and seek God’s best for you and your whole life.
  • That we are committed to equipping you with the character and skills to walk with Christ for a lifetime.
  • That we will provide you with the skills and training at each step of your growth and involvement in Cru.

SMALL GROUP CHALLENGE FOR ‘TRAINING’

(INTERMEDIATE) LEVEL BIBLE STUDY

(The challenge to a Training Group for those not ready for an Action Group commitment.)

Q: How have you seen God work in your life this year?

Some strengths I’ve seen in you this year are...

Q: What are areas you’d like to develop in?

Illustration: Imagine the Metro Transit system is the whole church. Cru and the church are on the same team, same system, and have the same overall purpose. All the busses are good busses to be on, and, like Cru they all have a specific direction and purpose. The sign on the bus tells the specific direction of that bus. It’s the vision of the bus, so to speak. From what you’ve experienced or heard or seen in Cru this year, what would you say is the sign on the side of the Cru bus? (Do you remember hearing the vision or mission of Cru?)

Mission....
Vision....
Purpose...(to help fulfill the Great Commission)

Q: Are you familiar with the term, “The Great Commission”? Do you know where it’s found in the Bible? (Look up Mt 28:18-20)

OUR PURPOSE AND VISION

Cru started with a vision to “win the campus today, win the world for Christ tomorrow.” As a movement, we are committed to helping to fulfill Jesus’ Great Commission to make disciples of all nations. Our vision at the U of M is to be a movement of students Surrendered to God, Serving each other, Sharing the Gospel and Sending laborers to the world.

In your four (or so) years here at the U, we would love to see you learn well how to live your faith, communicate your faith and multiply your faith so that for the next 50 years of your life you will be able to walk with God and be a part of His Great Commission.

LIVE YOUR FAITH

“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught.” Colossians 2:6,7

Cru exists on campus to help you develop your walk with God. As you understand His character more deeply and live a life surrendered to Him, you will undoubtedly see the fruit of that in your life.

Q: How has your relationship with God changed since you came to college?

COMMUNICATE YOUR FAITH

“It is written: ‘I have believed, therefore I have spoken.’ With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak.” 2 Corinthians 4:13

Our mission begins by submitting to God’s command to share the Gospel of Christ with all people. For us, there is a specific focus on college students. We believe that only a relationship with God through Jesus Christ provides the hope and purpose in life that students are seeking.

“I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.” Acts 20:24

Our task is the same as Paul’s in Acts 20:24, to “testify to the gospel”. We accept God’s command to “Go” by initiating conversations with college students with the intent to share the Gospel. As part of developing into all God wants you to be, you will be trained to effectively share the Gospel in all situations, with friends, family, and even strangers.

Q: Have you had any experiences this year trying to talk to other people about Jesus?

MULTIPLY YOUR FAITH

“The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” 2 Timothy 2:2

In the same commission that God gives us to “Go”, He tells us also to “make disciples”. Jesus modeled this by choosing twelve men to build toward maturity and to found His church upon. Paul further demonstrates this multiplication by teaching his disciples to equip others for ministry who will be able to equip others.

We want you to be equipped to develop men and women into multiplying disciples themselves.

 

Q: How have you already seen this lived out in the context of our movement?

Because we are trying to accomplish a specific task, we organize our bible studies differently than most churches, not just by location or affinity, but by level of desire or commitment or availability. We try hard to have different types of environments in order to meet the needs of people wherever they are in their spiritual life.

On a scale of 1-10 (10 being high):

Q: What is your level of desire to be in a Cru small group next year? Why?
Q: What is your level of desire to share your faith with other people?
Q: Do you have a desire to be trained to share your faith?
Q: Have you ever attended a conference or Leader U? Why or why not? Was it helpful?
Q: Are you finding Cru to be a good place to learn about God and grow spiritually? Why or why not? Q: Do you have a desire to help out in any of the areas of the ministry like prayer, Cru, social events, etc.?

If it’s your desire, we will make every effort to find a great small group for you next year.

The servant team might be a great place for you to have a chance to sharpen your leadership skills as you serve the movement. Also, we’d really encourage you to take advantage of retreats, conferences and summer opportunities next year since God traditionally uses these things so significantly in people’s lives.

Here is what you can expect from me and Cru:

  • That we will always believe the best in you and seek God’s best for you and your whole life.
  • That we are committed to equipping you with the character and skills to walk with Christ for a lifetime.

SMALL GROUP CHALLENGE FOR ‘ACTION’

(ADVANCED) LEVEL BIBLE STUDY

(The challenge to an Action Group and owning a Target Area)

Q: How have you seen God work in your life this year?

Some strengths I see in you are...

Q: What are areas you’d like to see God further develop?

Illustration: Imagine the Metro Transit is the whole church. Cru and the church are on the same team, same system, and have the same overall purpose. They are all good busses to be on, and, like Cru, they all have a specific direction and purpose. The sign on the bus tells the specific direction of that bus. It’s the vision of the bus, so to speak. From what you’ve experienced or heard or seen in Cru this year, what would you say is the sign on the side of the Cru bus? (Do you remember hearing the vision or mission of Cru?)

Mission...
Vision...
Purpose... (to help fulfill the Great Commission)

Q: Where would you go in the Word to read the Great Commission?

PURPOSE AND VISION

Cru started with a vision to “win the campus today, win the world tomorrow.” As a movement, we are committed to helping fulfill Jesus’ Great Commission to make disciples of all nations. Our vision at the U of M is to be a movement of students Surrendered to God, Serving each other, Sharing the Gospel and Sending laborers to the world.

In your 4 (or so) years here at the U, we would love to see you learn how to live your faith, communicate your faith and multiply your faith so that for the next 50 years of your life you will walk with God and be a part of building His kingdom.

LIVE YOUR FAITH

“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught.” Colossians 2:6,7

Cru exists on campus to help you develop your walk with God. As you understand His character more deeply and live a life surrendered to Him, you will undoubtedly see the fruit of that in your life.

Q: What is your relationship with God like now in comparison to when you first came to college?

COMMUNICATE YOUR FAITH

“It is written: ‘I have believed, therefore I have spoken.’ With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak.” 2 Corinthians 4:13

Our mission begins by submitting to God’s command to share the Gospel of Christ with all people. For us, there is a specific focus on college students. We believe that only a relationship with God through Jesus Christ provides the hope and purpose in life that students are seeking.

“I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.” Acts 20:24

Our task is the same as Paul’s in Acts 20:24, to “testify to the gospel”. We accept God’s command to “Go” by initiating conversations with college students with the intent to share the Gospel. As part of developing into all God wants you to be, you will be trained to effectively share the Gospel in all situations, with friends, family, and even strangers.

Q: What have your experiences been like this year as you’ve tried to talk to people about Christ?

MULTIPLY YOUR FAITH

“The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” 2 Timothy 2:2

In the same commission that God gives us to “Go”, He tells us also to “make disciples. Jesus modeled this by choosing twelve men to build towards maturity and to found His church upon. Paul further demonstrates multiplication by teaching his disciples to equip others for ministry who will be able to equip others.

We want you to be equipped to develop men and women into multiplying disciples themselves.

 

THE CHALLENGE

Because of your love for the Lord and the heart for the lost that you have demonstrated, we would like to invite you to begin to multiply your life by owning a target area and leading people in a small group. Specifically, we are challenging you to make a commitment to be three things:

Faithful : To God and to the commitments that you make

  • This includes prayer, consistent time in the Word and following through on commitments
  • Choosing Cru as your main place of ministry while at school

Available : Owning a Target Area is no small commitment. It is probably the hardest thing we ask anyone to do, but the rewards are worth it! A Target Area can be a particular residence hall, team, college or Greek house. This is the group that you will seek to reach with the Gospel and from which your small group will come. You will be asked to own a certain target area by the staff team, but if you have preferences, let us know. Here is further clarification as to what’s expected:

  • Foundational to you leading, is you being led. We are asking you to be part of an Action Group which will meet for 1 to 2 hours a week. This will mean coming every week and being prepared to contribute to learning.
  • Reaching a target area means seeking to give your Target Audience 3-5 opportunities to hear the Gospel. (Fall questionnaires, for instance, is 1 opportunity. Other opportunities could be an Open Forum, Pizza discussion, etc.) You will be responsible (with a few others) to do the initial follow-up of contacts from questionnaires in the Fall.
  • As you’re getting the Gospel to your Target Area, you will no doubt find people who want to be developed in their faith and who will be in your Access Group. You will lead an Access Group weekly. You will be supplied with the materials in the Fall.
  • You will need to commit to coming to all small group leaders training times, including the small group leaders track of Leader U for training and development.
  • We know it is difficult to make it to everything, but we would like you to make an effort to be actively involved in Cru events, retreats, conferences and summer projects. God traditionally uses settings like these so significantly in people’s lives. We want you to be a part of these not only for your own growth but also because you are leading others who are more likely to go if you do.

Teachable : Express a willingness to grow spiritually and to be challenged as you mature in Christ. Be willing to take steps of faith and seek God’s will.

EXPECTATIONS

Here are a few specific things coming up that we want you to make an effort to be a part of as well:

  • Spring Retreat. In addition to hearing from graduating seniors, you will have an opportunity to “capture a target area”!
  • TREK (If you are not already going on a summer project). TREK is a 4 day leadership development conference at the start of the summer in Westby, WI.
  • Campus Briefing. This is an overnight for all small group leaders. It will be at the end of August in or around the Twin Cities.
  • Make a commitment to pray for the campus—specifically the place where you will be making a contribution by leading an Access Group.

Here is what you can expect from me and Cru leaders:

  • That we will always believe the best in you and seek God’s best for you and your whole life.
  • That we are committed to equipping you with the character and skills to walk with Christ for a whole lifetime.
  • That we will seek to provide you with the skills and training at each step of your growth and involvement in Cru.
  • That there is LOTS of grace as you try new things.
  • That we’ll try and have a good time doing all of the above!

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