to Identify, Challenge, and Train Students to Lead a Discipleship Group
things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, these entrust to
faithful men, who will be able to teach others also." (2 Timothy 2:2)
The work of reaching the entire campus or
community for Christ is too large a task for even the most diligent laborer. It is our
Lord's desire that we train other laborers to work in the ministry alongside us. Helping
students multiply their lives into others is the best way to reach your target audience
with the gospel.
Helping students begin and lead their own
discipleship groups is important for several reasons:
- Many students in your ministry are mature enough
emotionally and spiritually to help others grow in their faith.
- Leading a Bible study is a giant step of faith
for most students. We want to continually see our disciples' faith stretched and
increased. Leading a group will take them beyond their own abilities and help them learn
to depend on the Lord.
- In teaching others, your students will really
learn many of the truths in a new and deeper way they never had before. As you have
possibly experienced, the teacher always learns the most.
- All over America,
thousands of high school students have been successful leading their peers. You will need
to identify these potential leaders and then help them get involved in leading their own
Here are some measuring sticks that you will
look for in a student ready to lead:
- Spiritual Maturity
A student does not have to be a spiritual giant, but he does need to have some measure of
maturity. Evaluate his lifestyle, his spiritual priorities, and his desire to serve
Christ. He should be involved in sharing his faith before he is a group leader. He needs
to have demonstrated faithfulness (being consistent and reasonably responsible) as
described in 2 Timothy 2:2.
Before a student can disciple others, he needs to be discipled by you or someone else. He
also needs accountability, so you will want to continue to disciple him as he leads
others. If you have more than one group leader, you may want to disciple them in a
separate leaders' group (Action Group).
- Social Ability
To lead others, a student needs to be able to build friendships, communicate clearly, and
be sensitive to others. He should have basic ability to teach or lead a group (2 Timothy
- Impart the Vision
A critical first step in challenging a student
to lead his own Bible study is to give him a vision for doing it. Vision will keep him
committed to the activity even when obstacles arise.
This opportunity will appeal to the world
vision you have been building in your discipleship times together. Again, point out the
need his friends have for Christ and to grow in the Lord. Show him how he could play a
part in reaching his friends and why God has chosen to use "people multipliers."
Also, reinforce the security he has in his
relationship with Christ and that God wants to use him. Then give him the
assurance that you are there to assist in the work and give him your confidence.
- Teach the Needed Skills
It is necessary to help the student learn the
skills in leading a Bible study. Much will come from experience, but you will really
equip him through some important training.
(See How to Lead a
Small Group and How To Prepare
A Bible Study Lesson)
The student will need specific help in these
- Help him select group members. Ask him which
students he thinks would be good considering several factors: their desire to be part of
the group, their affinity to each other, their respect for him as the group leader, and
proximity of their homes to his.
- Teach him how to ask each person to be in the
Bible study. (Remember how you challenged him.)
- Help him choose the biblical content for the
study. See Follow-up
studies | Faith
Tracks studies | Bible Study Material | Fifteen
for growing Christians.
- Teach him how to lead the group. He has seen you
lead his group, now show him how you prepare and why you do what you do.
- Help Him Along the Way
On occasion, go to the student's Bible study as
an observer. Make it clear to the others in the group that you are there only to meet
them, watch and learn. After the study, meet with the student leader to share some of your
mental notes of how the group went. Be honest with your praise, but be sure to
lovingly correct mistakes.