When I first became a DG leader, I was stoked at the opportunity to create and influence. The idea was intimidating and invigorating.
I never had a problem with using resources, but it wasn’t until a few years later that I really saw their benefits. I realized I tended to see them as empowering tools, never hindering weights. They were meant to help my group and I flourish, not to slow us down. However, I know that the potential they have does depend on the leader and God’s blessing.
Whether you’re stoked about the idea of having a resource/template to use or cringe at anything you’re not pioneering yourself, these 4 things will help you get stoked for small group templates.
Templates are a helpful starting point
Part of my problem has always been seeing a resource as something that wants to limit me. I don’t think that’s often the intent of the creator. The content is meant to help you, not limit you. Think of using materials as an opportunity to launch from a given platform, with some added help along the way.
Templates save time
If you’re using our resources in our ministry, you’re likely a student. Even if you’re in the working world, life can get pretty busy. Using a small group resource of any kind can help save you a considerable amount of prep time while minimizing the loss of helpful depth and structure that your small group time can have.
Templates are transferable
One of Bill Bright’s ministry principles was “transferability”. Basically, when it comes to spiritual multiplication and passing the baton of ministry (especially important in the revolving door environment that is the University campus), you want to be able to train the next generation quickly and effectively. That’s a whole lot easier when you have a resource that does some of the work for you. After all, why reinvent the resource wheel every single year? This is especially important considering the varying levels of experience or abilitiy from leader to leader in your ministries. Using a trusted resource may just be the best option for the sake of your successors.
Templates are tested
Or at least they can be. In the case of our new resources, you are helping Power to Change figure out and refine the resource to best help students discover Jesus more deeply. If you are using Cru resources (which have in part inspired the new ones), you are using a tried and tested resource with biblical principles and truth that has been used over many years to shape Christians and change the world.
It can’t hurt to try
Sometimes there is a resistance to something because it “feels branded”. I understand that. I don’t want to be focused on a brand when it comes to spiritual life. I want to be focused on God and his truth; I want to be focused on Scripture.
But consider that even pastors who study the Scriptures use resources like commentaries, church history, and other research to gain insight to what the Bible says and to make sure they are staying in line theologically. Imagine how hard it would be if a pastor had to start from scratch trying to understand the Bible and all the history behind it? Thankfully, some hard working people have done some good work to help make that process smoother.
The same is true here. Some P2C staff who care about students’ spiritual lives (and have been students themselves!) have prayerfully developed these resources to be a blessing for you. Give them a go, and see if their hard work will pay off by pointing you to Jesus and helping you learn from the Bible!
I hope that you’re seeing the potential benefits there are to small group materials – and our new ones in particular. I say get your hands on them and give them a try. Then give some feedback to staff or the creative team directly. Used prayerfully, they may help powerfully impact our graduates and equip them for a lifetime of serving Christ.
**You can find our resources on Amazon.ca by going to p2c.sh/buybooks