So you have three girls that you think might be a good fit. You’ve seen that they are hungry, available and bring a chemistry to the table that will likely mesh with the group. What’s next?
1. Choose a Time, Curriculum & Location
Normally I meet with my girls for two hours every week. It may sound like a long time, but it flies by!
My typical schedulee looks like this-
7:00-7:30pm – Getting coffee/catching up on the week
7:30-8:00pm – Communicate the Win (I’ll explain this below.)
8:00-8:45pm – Curriculum
8:45-9:00pm – Prayer
If two hours still seems overwhelming – don’t forget that you will not be talking the whole time. The goal is not information transfer. By allowing girls to discuss the material it grabs their attention and encourages them to think about life application.
There are so many options available when it comes to curriculum. As long as it is biblically centered though, I don’t believe one decision is “more right.” If you feel lost, I have listed my top five Bible studies for high school girls here.
Defining the Win
Before starting with a group, you will want to answer the following question –
“What is the ONE thing you want your girls to know by the time they leave?”
This is your non-negotiable. Once you figure it out – it will drive the way you structure all of your meetings.
My goal is for every girl I have discipled to be able to confidently and clearly share the gospel. That is my “win.” My girls know this because we practice and review the gospel every. single. week. I do it various ways. Sometimes we simply write it out while other times we may role play with each other or even share it with a stranger at Starbucks (oh how I love this one!). I purposely drill it. What I want them to remember, I need to repeat…so I repeat it often.
I have met in homes and I have met in public places (mostly Starbucks!). There are pros and cons to each. The biggest issue to consider is privacy. I LOVE being at Starbucks because it has opened up opportunities for me to talk with others around us about what we are doing. On the other hand – even though I love strangers hearing biblical truth, it does limit the personal information my girls can share in the group.
2. Create A Contract
My girls sign a contract that lays out my goals, expectations and materials they will need. Truthfully I was unsure how this would go over the first time, but decided to risk it. I was completely surprised. I actually have seen excitement build because of a contract. Girls will rise to the occasion. Sometimes we just set the bar too low!
(You can find my contract for this year here!)
3. Communicate with Parents
I just started meeting with the moms of the girls I disciple this year and I LOVE it. Putting a face to the name is always helpful and it opens the lines of communication as we continue throughout the year. Besides our initial meeting, I also try to send out a short email every couple months with a quick update and to find out if there is any way I can be praying for them.
Ministry to parents is important because God never intended for us to replace parents in the process of discipling their children. We are to help, not take over.
On a less fun note, it also helps to have communicated the consequences of breaking the contract with parents in case it comes up later. If parents understand their daughter will not be allowed to stay in the group if she is not maintaining the contract, there are no surprises down the road.
With the logistics chosen, contracts in place and communication with parents finished – you are ready to jump into your first few weeks!
Coming up next week: How to Plan the First Few Weeks
Read more from this series!