GUEST POST From time to time, we have special guests whose voices we totally love sharing with you. This is a post from Seth Collins, he is a bearded man with a heart of gold who currently serves on staff at Yale Chi Alpha. HIs wonderful wife Brooke, used to live in DC and work with Chi Alpha, so even as we root her on, we miss her deeply! You can follow him on Twitter and Medium.
If there's one thing that Chi Alpha has taught me that I'm going to take with me for the rest of my days, no matter where I may end up, it's discipleship.
Growing up in the church, this was something that was not practically taught for me. Sure, I'd heard the stories from scripture how Jesus called the twelve and made them disciples. But, I had no idea what that process looked like or how they had earned that title. I eventually settled into my spirit that they were disciples because Jesus said so.
Early on in my ministry, I modeled what I'd seen on Sunday mornings and Sunday nights: preaching to the crowd and standing in prayer with those who wanted hands laid on them for the altar call.
What I didn't see happening (because I had a job and couldn't hang out at the church all day, everyday) was the process of what happened to those who had made a decision for Christ: how were they processing sanctification? Did they even know what that word meant? How were they engaging with Jesus throughout the week and not just living from Sunday to Sunday? These were just some of the questions I had.
It was when I decided to quit my job, move 5 hours away from my family, and become a U.S. Missionary with Chi Alpha that I learned what discipleship looked like.
There were two parts to this discipleship model that will stick with me as long as I'll live. If I were hired on at a church, I would want to ask if these two parts exist. If they didn't, I would negotiate my job description to include the development of these two parts. That is how important these two things are for me.
1. Small Groups
I was first exposed to being in a small group by leading one. As an intern with Chi Alpha, there were minimal job roles I took on—one of them being a Small Group Leader.
I, along with two student leaders, led a group of nine sophomore men. These meetings were held on another day during the week, apart from our weekly large group gatherings.
As a leader, I was responsible for three things: leading a bible study, being a community facilitator, and providing mentorship in a one-on-one setting with a handful of guys from the group.
The small group night itself taught me to facilitate, not preach, the bible study. For me, this was brand new because I'd never seen this modeled before growing up. I had to be okay with the hanging silence when one of us leaders asked a question and no one made a move to answer. I had to make the room feel less awkward when one of the guys would ask a question that I felt everyone should know who had spent anytime at all in the church.
The small group taught me that life can be an adventure and that we don't have to have our noses in the Bible 24/7 to learn more about Jesus (though, it is a good place to find him). Through community, I saw elements of the guys in my small group that I did not perceive when we were in our bible study. One of the guys was a huge Pokemon fan. Another guy loved to be crafty (he made a ping pong table out of chicken wire and four desks once). Yet another loved to be at the gym and would constantly be marinating chicken to get his protein intake throughout the week.
Community exposed me to these guys in a way that I recognized that God does not make us the same. His creativity allows us to be different in healthy manners that reflect His nature.
Speaking of community, I'll never forget one of the events we did as a small group...
(Part 2 of this post can be found here: http://bit.ly/29KZKsd)
Published on July 14, 2016. • Short Link: http://bit.ly/29Gm91o