The BIG IDEA:
Our goal in this study is to prepare students to specifically go through the STARTING WITH GOD follow-up series at thrivestudies.com. This is a great place to get their feet wet in discipling others, and our evangelism on campus will give them the opportunity to put this into practice with new believers and other new students throughout the year.
Most people today, even if they have grown up in the church, do not understand the basics of our faith so they don’t have a solid spiritual foundation on which to build their lives. If we are making disciples, it is crucial that we make sure our disciples have a strong spiritual foundation to pass on to others.
We teach the basics of our faith to every disciple to make sure their foundation is strong. As we do this, we are also modeling for them how to teach these basics so that they will be able to pass them on to others.
The two sets of footprints on the beach is evidence that two people walked together, likely talking and growing together. That is follow-up; walking through life with a new-believer and helping them learn what they need to know to take their next steps of faith.
The SIGNIFICANCE OF THE TOPIC:
God’s plan from the beginning has been to use his people to tell others about having a relationship with him, and then have that knowledge passed down to future generations. We want our students to be a part of that.
- What I want the group to know and understand: To know the basics of our faith and understand how to pass them on to others.
- What I want the group to experience: Confidence that we can build into others and a desire to get started.
- How I want the group to respond: By meeting with other students and taking them through the STARTING WITH GOD series which will help them be more grounded in their faith.
The idea box is a place where you can find some creative ideas for leading this study. You might find videos, activities, or great illustrations that really bring the main point home. The ideas come from small group leader like you, so if you have an idea that isn’t in there, click below to share it with the community!
What would you do if I asked you to…
- Change the oil in a car?
- Bake a cake?
- Play a game that you don’t know how to play?
Hopefully your students will say that they will look up instructions on how to do this – or ask someone who knows how to do it to help them. We want them to make the connection that it is important to help people learn the basics of their faith, and that God has put us here to help them.
If instructions for these things are important to have, how much more important is it for us to have instructions on how to start our relationship with God? Today we are going to talk about how to give people their first instructions on how to walk with God.
Read Colossians 1:27-29
This passage touches on a few important basics of our faith that we often share in Cru with new students. See if you can spot them…
1. In verse 27, what is the “mystery” or “secret” that the author is talking about? Why is that important?
Allow the group to discuss. Christ lives in us. This is important because it shows that we can have a relationship with the all-powerful God and that we are acceptable to Him. Some other reasons this is important, which may require some other Bible references, are… we have eternal life (1 John 5:12, 13), God will never leave us (Hebrews 13:5),
2. What does he ask us to do in verse 28? Why?
He tells us to tell other people about Jesus so that they can have a relationship with God too. When they accept Christ, their sins are forgiven and they are made perfect (without sin) in the eyes of God.
3. How does he say to do this in verse 29?
We struggle and work hard at it, while depending completely on the “power that works in me,” which is the Holy Spirit. God is really the one who does all the work through the Holy Spirit, but note that God also calls us to work hard and “struggle” and take part in His work.
4. In verse 29, the author says he is “working and struggling so hard” to help people become more mature in Christ. Is helping people grow spiritually really that important? Why?
Allow the group to discuss. The answer is, YES! Helping people grow spiritually is one of the most important things we can do here on Earth. People will live for eternity. Everything else around here is just temporary. There is nothing more worthy of our hard work and struggle than helping eternal people grow closer to an eternal God. The impact will last literally forever.
5. In working with someone who is growing in their relationship with God, what would you say are the 4 most important things they need to know?
In this question, we are wanting to help our students understand why we cover the topics that we do in our four follow-up studies. Let the group discuss (not write them down), and be very positive and encouraging about their answers. Then say, “Those are great thoughts and all important. Here are the 4 things we typically start with in Cru.” and then have them fill in the blanks on their page with the 4 topics below.
The 4 topics Cru about with new students:
- How to know that Christ is in your life and will never leave you.
- What to do when you have sinned.
- Who is the Holy Spirit and how does he help you?
- How to grow in your faith (Bible, Prayer, Fellowship, Evangelism)
6. Why are these things important to know?
Go through each of the points and ask why they are important for a new student to understand. This is a key conversation to have in this study. The basics of our life in Christ are built on these foundations which show us what God is like and how we can relate to Him. When the basics are understood, it will be easier for them to understand things like prayer, confession of sin, studying the Bible, loving others and sharing our faith.
- Assurance of our Faith: Without this confidence that we are His children and He won’t leave us, we will constantly be worrying that we aren’t good enough. This confidence allows us to rest in Him and totally embrace our new faith.
- What to do when you’ve sinned: Sin breaks our fellowship with God. Our students need to learn to confess their sins so that they can restore their relationship with God and move forward.
- The Holy Spirit: many of us think that we are supposed to live the Christian life by our own power. If our students try to do this, they will fail every time. We want them know that it is really the Holy Spirit who gives them the power to live this life.
- How to Grow in your Faith: The Bible, Prayer, Christian Fellowship, and Telling others about Christ are four main components to growing a strong faith. We want to equip each of our new students to grow in their faith.
One of the best ways to help your students learn these four things is through our STARTING WITH GOD series. This is what we often use with new believers and people new to Cru, and it’s what we recommend you go through with them after your first meeting. Let’s open up these lessons and take a look at them.Go to thrivestudies.com and find the STARTING WITH GOD series or Follow-Up’s
Help your students find thrivestudies.com on their phones and navigate to the FOLLOW-UPS tab at the top of the page.
7. Which studies answer these four questions?
How do I know that Christ is in my life and will never leave me? (CONFIDENCE)
What do I do when I have sinned? (CONNECTING)
Who is the Holy Spirit and how does he help me? (POWER)
How do I grow in my faith? (GROWTH)
Have your students match these questions to the thrive study in the STARTING WITH GOD follow-up series that best answers the question. Your goal is to help them recognize that these studies aren’t just “the next thing” to do, but they answer genuine questions that our new students need answers for.
8. Open one of the studies and walk through it. Look for these elements and talk about why they would be helpful to you as you lead this study.
- Creative Elements
- Leader’s Guide (the Big Idea, The Problem, etc)
Your goal after this question is that they would be familiar with these studies and know what resources they have to teach well. If they are not comfortable with the material, they will be less likely to take the plunge and lead.
9. As you think about getting started in discipleship, what are some roadblocks or fears you face? Can you share them with the group?
This is a time to hear the things that cause them anxiety and a time when they can see that everyone has issues about getting started in discipleship. This would be a great time to pray through these issues and for the students they want to disciple.
CHALLENGE: Meet with someone this week to begin going through the STARTING WITH GOD series. Your best person would be the person you already met with, but if they can’t, meet with someone else.
This will be very difficult for some students but it is so good for them to get comfortable going through this study. Do everything you can to help them get in front of another student and actually go through these four studies. It could even be a younger brother or sister or a Christian friend. The point is, get them to go through it and get familiar with leading.
Our review cards are an excellent way to review your past lessons with your students before each study. Not every lesson has one yet but if we have them, you can find them on the PRINT page. Check them out and use them each week to help your students grab hold of the truths in these studies.
What ideas do you have that could improve this study? Are there creative things you do to bring this topic home to your students? Please share with the community clicking the FEEDBACK button or leaving a comment below.