digestion discipleship (a fridea)

I’m not sure if today’s Fridea is useful for every student, but I know it would have impacted me (and still would!).

Oftentimes, we disciple students with a pretty rapid sequence – whether we’re teaching through a series, meeting with a small group, or discipling one-on-one. A study on the Attributes of God, for instance, might hit a new theme each week – “God is Love,” “God is Sovereign,” etc.. Maybe we talk about Relationships for a few weeks, but it’s probably still not a thorough discussion of any one topic under that broad theme.

But what if we occasionally did things differently? What if we pushed students toward fully digesting particular areas? I’m not sure if this idea would work for Large Group Meetings, but a small group, single disciplee, or even a group of student leaders might be impacted pretty well through this.

The Fridea? Have students thoroughly digest a spiritual theme, using classic works, research, writing, and any other method to ground them in that discussion.

For instance, what if a student spent an entire month studying the issue of Justice? They might read Gary Haugen’s Good News about Injustice and Keller’s Generous Justice, study some of the specific theological issues and controversies, prepare a summary of the biblical content, and write a short paper on the topic. They could also participate in a local justice-oriented activity.

But what’s more, that would student could now serve as “expert in the ministry” – someone who can plan (in this case) justice-oriented ministry events, disciple others on this theme, prepare a “value statement” on the topic, or even teach the large group meeting.

Think about the profit to your college ministry – and to your students – if you helped them grow in this way? Not only will they grow in this single area, but they’ll learn about the process of digesting a major spiritual theme.

Sure, there are lots of themes we want to impact students with during the short time we have them, and rapid-fire training isn’t a bad thing. But if we mixed in some deeper digestion with their regular diet, we might bear some exciting, different fruit.


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