How much instruction / training do the Discipleship Leaders receive? What kind of structure would I have above me, helping to guide me?
Near the beginning of Fall Semester, discipleship group leaders will have a training session with the Discipleship Director and the Discipleship Council on how to lead a small group bible study.
In addition to this general training session, Discipleship Leaders (DL's) will be meeting once a week as a group with their Discipleship Council (DC) member to go through their specific study (This will keep you, as a DL, one step ahead of when you will be leading your own small group through the same content).
If, as a DL, you have "trouble" with your group, your assigned DC member and Mark Irving are readily available for help and advice.
How does finding people to be in my group work... do I, as a Discipleship Leader, choose the persons or are they randomly placed?
The groups will be filled in one of two ways (or a combination of both)
First, DL's will have the opportunity to do personal recruitment at the beginning of fall semester to "fill" their groups ... asking individuals within their "sphere of influence" to join their group (e.g. a freshman who you meet through Getting Started, a unit / hall mate, etc ...)
Second, there will be a sign-up table in the SSC, near the beginning of the Fall semester, for individuals to sign up to join a discipleship group.
For example if you are only able to recruit 2 people personally, but want more people than that in your group, that group will be opened up to the "general Cedarville public" at the sign-up table.
How big will the groups be?
Group sizes will vary but will most likely be around 8-10.
When would we start meeting with our groups?
The groups will most likely begin meeting during the 4th week of the fall semester and continue through most of the spring semester.
Would I have freshmen or students my own age?
That's up to you as a DL. You can make your group a "freshmen only" group if you prefer, or you can make it a mixed-age group. Both would have advantages and disadvantages.
Can I be an Resident Assistant (RA) as well as a Discipleship Leader (DL)?
Yes you can ... but it is better to do one thing really well, rather than do two things half as well. Even if you have ample time to devote to both endeavors, the best thing to do in this situation is to try to combine the responsibilities by drawing your discipleship group members from individuals who are already in your hall or units. If you do this, keep in mind that you'll still have a lot of meetings each week between your RA and DL responsibilities!
Will the discipleship small groups be just girls / guys or coed?
Girls will lead groups of girls and guys will lead groups of guys.
Reasoning: Accountability and open sharing of struggles occurs best in non-coed groups.
What nights ... for how long?
There is no specific night on which all the groups will meet. Meeting times will depend on individual schedules and when you can get everybody in your group together. Meeting lengths will vary, but should be kept to about an hour or an hour and a half.
How often are we expected to meet?
As a DL, you will be meeting every week with your group as well as with your Discipleship Council member/ leadership team. So each week you will have two meetings related to your discipleship ministries involvement. Time commitment (including meeting preparation) will vary from between 3-5 hours each week.
What other activities are we supposed to do other than our regular study meetings? How much prayer and accountability are part of the meetings, if at all?
As stated above, as a DL you will be meeting with your small groups every week. However, your meetings will alternate weekly between a "study discussion meeting" and a more informal "community-building meeting" in which you will have opportunities to build prayer and accountability into your small group experience. Also, you will be encouraged to incorporate a community building exercise called "life-mapping" into your small groups during these less formal every-other week meetings.
Does the topic change from semester to semester or do we go through the same book all year long?
The studies will span both semesters (especially given the every other week format explained above)
Can we choose any bible study or do we do the one we are assigned?
The study you lead will depend on which Discipleship Council member you will be working under. However, you will be given an opportunity to express your preference once the studies are chosen. In most cases you'll get your 1st or 2nd preference.
What is the reason / purpose for his ministry on campus?
When I (Mark) was a freshmen here at Cedarville in 1990, a fifth year senior took the time to invest in my life spiritually. It changed the whole direction and focus of my life. As I grew in my faith as a college student, the Lord gave me opportunities to turn around and invest in others. So when I was asked to come back to Cedarville to start a "discipleship" ministry, I wanted to create a context in which relationships like the ones I experienced could form. My hope and prayer is that God would use this ministry to train life-long disciple makers while drawing students into a closer walk with Jesus.