Walking into Impact 360 Fellows, many students grew up in youth group, Bible studies, and have even heard about discipleship, etc. However, I would say most students had never led a Bible study or been discipled. Something that I believe the Impact staff has done extremely well is getting our class, and past classes, better prepared and comfortable on a topic before we teach on it. Alumni from Class 14, Landry Hodges, shares that “leading Bible study at Impact gave me the confidence, motivation, and skills to continue influencing my peers through the study of God’s word at Lee [University]. I do this by leading a Cru community group as well as by discipling girls in a smaller setting.”
One of the ways Impact prepares us happens on Mondays during lunch. The staff and those leading Bible study or discipleship will go through a lesson on the passage or topic they are teaching to be better prepared to lead others. During the fall semester, our class walked through the book of Galatians, and this spring we have walked through 1 Peter. In this lesson/ teaching preparation time, we are able to ask questions we personally have on the passage and hear from others. This has been a fantastic time to get to hear from our fellow classmates who possibly have questions about a verse or word that we necessarily may have missed in our reading. Getting to discuss these passages in depth has taught me personally, about the intentionality and the importance of going through scripture with other believers. We can go deeper in the passages and then encourage and lead others in that.
It’s the same with discipleship groups. We can take the topics that Impact has given us and create conversations that flow smoothly addressing topics we may have different experiences or opinions on. This has been a vulnerable and special time for my group specifically. While in our Bible study groups we are studying scripture on how we should act, live, and trust in God, during discipleship time it tends to be more relaxed and vulnerable.
Leading these groups can become extremely intimidating when you first begin. At first, I personally like I had to be someone of extreme biblical theology and knowledge to lead others, but Impact has taught us that with the right understanding of the passage or topic anyone can lead if they are speaking truth that aligns with scripture and what God says. Impact has changed this perspective that I held personally. I am now able to lead with humility and confidence, in learning how to ask good questions and how to dig deep into scripture the way God intended us to.
I leave future Fellows with this advice, when you are first asked to lead a Bible study or discipleship, I urge you to press into this challenge. Yes, you will likely make mistakes but those men and women that you are in Bible study and discipleship group will grow to love you and walk with you through a challenging 9 months full of spiritual and emotional growth. Press in, lean into vulnerability, and be willing to grow.
by Carson King