When Jesus first met His disciples, He invited them to “Come and see. 1 ” It was a simple invitation: “Let’s spend some time together.” They accepted. The disciples spent four months with Jesus. They watched, listened, and learned from Him. They experienced His first miracle, witnessed Him evangelize in a Samaritan city, challenged a curious pharisee, and so much more.
Their hearts were stirred.
But afterward, the disciples returned to what they knew: fishing. Jesus seemed content to give them the space to consider all they had shared together. Not long after, Jesus approached them with another invitation, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people. 2” This time, they were ready. They left the comfortable and known and chose to follow Him. Over the next three years these ordinary guys came to believe Jesus was who He claimed to be as they grew in their faith and were equipped for a life greater than they could ever imagine.
Jesus kept His promise. He transformed them into fishers of people. Though they didn’t “feel” it at the time, Jesus knew they were ready to continue where He was about to leave off. They would be disciples who made disciples.
After His death and resurrection, Jesus placed the future of all that He started into the disciples’ hands. Imagine how you would feel in that moment.
What would be on your mind? In your heart?
On a mountain in Galilee, Jesus spoke words that launched a revolution that continues to this day: “Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.
When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18–20 (NIV)
Because of this moment, you and I are here today. We are Jesus followers because the disciples followed first. Thousands of years have passed, but obedience to this command has continued. Jesus made disciples. His disciples made disciples. Their disciples made disciples, and so on for generations to come.
Now, here we are. Here you are. And in this moment, like all the moments in the past, it’s your turn to decide if you’ll accept Jesus’ invitation to become a fisher of people. In fact, if Jesus were standing in front of you right now and you asked Him: “What should I be doing with my life?” He would look you in the eye, smile and say: “Make disciples.” And get this: When you accept, and most of you have by serving in SCY, Jesus gives you the absolute promise of His presence. Jesus is with you! And because of that, you can do this.
The question is, will you?
For some it might require a change of mindset going into this season:
MY GROUP IS NOT MY GROUP… IT’S GOD’S
- If we have the mindset of “my group” we will not grow.
- We want to disciple more kids than ever before and we have to understand that even though I might be leading a group, it’s not my group. We are leading disciples in the ways of Jesus and we don’t possess anything about the groups we lead because they are not ours.
PACMAN NOT CIRCLES
- Circle = closed off. “My group”. No room to be let in.
- PacMan = Open space for people to come in. There is always room for someone to come in and be a part of the group.
- It is a different mindset we all need to adopt within our groups and it begins with leaders first, and then it bleeds into students mindsets as well.
- If we begin to think of our group as a circle, we will believe that a new person is an inconvenience to the group because it will “mess up the group dynamics”. This is not what we want on Wednesday nights.
- If we look at our groups as pacman, there is always an open space for a new person. Just setting that expectation and tone with your students will help make a new person feel like they are supposed to be there, expected to be there and feel welcomed.
BUILDING UP AND MULTIPLYING YOUR GROUP = SUCCESS
- Discipleship leads to multiplication.
- The expectation for every group should be to build up to a certain size and then create a new group so now the group is two pacmans with room to add and grow as more and more students come on Wednesday nights.
- Goal = 2 leaders with no more than 12 students on the roster
- Once a group hits that size, the goal and expectation is to multiply off and make another group so we can continue to expand.
- Smaller campuses: We want to begin to work on more options for new students
- If you have one high school guys group and a new student doesn’t like it, where do they go? They don’t come back.
- Need to work on making lower class man/upperclassmen, or two high school guys groups for more options
THE NEW STUDENT SHOULD BE THE PRIORITY
- I know this sounds weird, because we want to disciple students, but when a new student is placed in your group, we need to bend over backwards in order to connect with that student and make sure they experience a group that is worth coming back to.
- A student’s first experience in a group on a Wednesday night makes or breaks them on deciding if they want to come back next week.
- If we are going to ask our students to invite “their one” we better be investing into the relational capital they have spent to invite them.
MY GROUP NEEDS TO BECOME “STICKY”
- SCY has no problem on reaching new students
- Could be good to share the whole total of new students from SCY AND how many students your campus has had this year.
- We have a “stickiness” problem.
- Students put themselves out there by inviting their one, they’ve done their job in the process. A Leader’s job is to create a space that new students want to come back to. Support your students who were bold enough to invite.
- We are not retaining the ones coming for the first time.
- What are ways that you are making your group “sticky”?
- Could be a good time for your group leaders to talk about practical ways to make this happen.