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blank.gif (43 bytes) Prepare a Bible Study
Leading a small group

Using an evangelistic tool to share
Planning for Campus Ministry
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How to Identify, Challenge, and Train Students to Lead a Discipleship Group

"And the 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:

  1. Many students in your ministry are mature enough emotionally and spiritually to help others grow in their faith.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  1. 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 group.

Here are some measuring sticks that you will look for in a student ready to lead:

  1. 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.
  2. Accountability
    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).
  3. 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 2:2).
  1. 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.

  1. 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 areas initially:

  1. 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.
  2. Teach him how to ask each person to be in the Bible study. (Remember how you challenged him.)
  3. Help him choose the biblical content for the study. See Follow-up studiesFaith Tracks studies | Bible Study Material | Fifteen interactive studies for growing Christians.
  4. 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.
  1. 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.

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