CHI ALPHA STUDENT DISCIPLESHIP TEAM COMMITMENT
It’s surprising, then, that much of what we call discipleship training involves learning concepts individually with little emphasis on the practical implementation of the knowledge. Not only has discipleship become passive, but it has also been tailored to fit the consumer lifestyle. It costs very little in most contexts to become a disciple—attending a class, completing a workbook, or completing a program. What we need is a new definition of discipleship. What if discipleship became more costly in terms of time, effort, relations, or finances? What if discipleship became a real apprenticeship in community?”
- Hugh Halter, Tangible Kingdom Primer
Well here you are—applying to be a part of the student discipleship team. AWESOME! But more than that, you are exploring the possibility of entering into spiritual servant leadership in the body of Christ. You are probably pretty excited, maybe hopeful, even a little nervous about it all. Trust us, we definitely understand!
The Apostle Paul tells us in 1 Timothy that anyone who sets his or her heart on being an overseer (leader in the church) desires a noble task, and that it is. Giving of yourself physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually to serve God by serving students is worthwhile, to put it mildly. It probably isn’t news to you that student disciplers work hard, but the benefits and rewards of spiritual leadership only start here and now—they will continue on into eternity.
We’re sure you have a lot of questions about what being a student discipler really entails, so the details and expectations are laid out here. Please take the time to carefully ready this over. We encourage you if there is anything you read that you don’t understand or need further clarification on, please feel free to bring it up with us. We are so excited to walk with you in the great adventure of student discipleship team!
I. Our Commitment to Student Leaders
We’d like to begin by sharing what you can expect from us, the staff, if you are a student discipler next year. The staff devotes a significant amount of our time, energy, and emotion to the training and care of this team. We believe that as we encourage and teach you, you will be better equipped to encourage and teach those in your care.
We sincerely hope that this year of discipling a core group is one of the best of your life. While we can practically guarantee you will learn a ton of stuff, we can’t promise it will always be easy or fun. Our calling is to walk alongside you, so that whatever you feel about your experience, you won’t feel alone or in way over your head without anyone to help you out.
Staff One-on-Ones: The staff cares about your well-being. We don’t want you to feel ill-equipped or burnt out. So, as National Chi Alpha staff, we are here to help and serve you. Each one-on-one looks a little different depending on your staff leader, but in general we would love to meet with you on a weekly basis.
Peer Team: This is another level of how the staff is going to be able to better equip you for doing ministry. This is your Core that you’re a part of, but don’t lead; your staff mentor leads it. We want you to have an opportunity to pray for, glean new ideas from, and be encouraged by other student leaders. We hope that in this group you can be vulnerable with others; sharing your wins and struggles; and feel a deeper level of support.
Core Connection: Core Connection is a chance for the whole leadership team to get together. Our first Core Connection will be SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 7TH, 2020. A consistent leadership night will be decided by the leadership team during Leadership Retreat.
II. THE STUDENT LEADER’S COMMITMENT TO THE COMMUNITY:
Fall Student Leader Conference: This year’s Student Leader Conference will be in mid to late August 2020. Please plan now to get off work completely. This is a mandatory conference. It is very important for our leadership team in catching a vision for the year, understanding our goals for the coming semester, and being equipped to meet those goals.
Core Group: EVERYTHING will funnel through Core Groups. It is the central hub of how Chi Alpha runs. CORE GROUPS ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE TUESDAY NIGHT GATHERING. Our goal and desire is that Chi Alpha will be a ministry OF Core Groups rather than a ministry WITH Core Groups. Core group is your community; those that you genuinely live life with. We hope that Core will be a place that the Kingdom becomes tangible. That you partake in studying the Bible, being missional, and having parties together. Your Core is your family. As Core Leaders, you are the shepherds of your Core, and you care for your sheep. In fact you lay your life down for your sheep (John 10:11). You are discipling future disciple makers; training up the next generation of future Student Discipleship Team members.
Planning Core Group: A fruitful Core doesn’t happen without planning. We hope that as you genuinely live life together, that getting together and planning Core become more organic with your co-leader. But, in the beginning, it would be helpful to set aside one hour a week to meet, plan, and pray with your co-leader.
One-on-ones: One-on-ones (1:1) are incredibly important to continue the discipleship process. Our hope is that 1:1s also become another extension of living genuinely, that they become a form of apprenticeship (DOING LIFE TOGETHER) rather than passive discipleship (learning but never doing). 1:1s are vital because it creates space for students to become more vulnerable, share their struggles, and work through specific needs. One-on-ones are expected, necessary, and a crucial part of the culture of Chi Alpha.
Tuesday Night Gathering: You will need to make it a priority to attend the Tuesday Night Gatherings. It is essential for the leadership of a community to be present when the community gathers together. Your personal commitment to Tuesday nights will be important as you encourage and challenge your Core Group members to be a part of the greater community as well. It will provide a corporate/large group setting for worship and teaching. It should be a fun, engaging, challenging party!!! We will need your help with altar ministry, communion, set-up, and tear-down on rotating weeks. Each week your biggest priority of the night is connecting with new students throughout the night. This is a prime opportunity to invite students to your Core Group. ALL Core Group leaders should arrive by 7:30pm for Set-up and Prayer before the Gathering.
Move in Weekend/Welcome Weeks: The opening 2 weeks of Fall Semester (Sun, Aug. 30th–Saturday, Sept. 12th, 2019) are a highly strategic time of outreach and it is crucial that our Student Discipleship Team are present and available to help with our outreach efforts. For those living on campus it means making sure you move into the dorms early so you can be available to meet and help other students. For those living off campus it means that you are present, available, and willing to consciously devote as much time as possible throughout the week to reaching out to students in your assigned area of campus. This will mean planning your personal move to Green Bay in such a way that you are freed up for ministry these weeks. This is probably the most intense few weeks of being a Student Discipler, but trust us, it’s worth it!
Fall Retreat: Fall Retreat provides a wonderful opportunity for your Core Group members to grow in their faith, deepen relationships within the group itself, as well as strengthen ties to the rest of the Chi Alpha community. It is essential for the Student Discipleship Team to be present at Fall Retreat so that they can be a part of the personal growth and group bonding that goes on at these types of events. We understand that going to events is a financial commitment. If this becomes a financial hardship, please let your staff mentor know so s/he can help you find a workable solution. Please try to plan ahead by saving some money throughout the summer. Fall Retreat is roughly around $90 and will be October 2nd - 4th, 2020
TWMS5: This year instead of SALT, The World Missions Summit will be held. This happens only once every 4 years and is not to be missed! TWMS5 will be January 7th - 9th, 2021 in St. Louis, MO. It is extremely important that you not only attend, but that you encourage those in your Core to attend as well. TWMS is life changing and an incredible opportunity for you and others to grow in their relationship with Jesus and to see and hear the heartbeat of missions. TWMS5 will cost roughly $199.
We are aware that there may be situations and circumstances that will make it difficult for you to attend all the mandatory meetings and events. In these cases, please communicate with Brian or Angie in advance so we can make any necessary adjustments.
III. THE STUDENT LEADER’S COMMITMENT TO GOD:
Scripture clearly teaches us that those who are leaders in the body of Christ must live their lives by a careful standard. None of us are perfect; but we are called to reflect the Lord Jesus as others follow us. Paul’s exhortation to Timothy to “not let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity” is especially applicable for the Student Discipler (1 Timothy 4:12). These ethical standards are not something we just expect of the Student Discipleship Team, but of everyone in a leadership position in Chi Alpha including the staff.
Growing relationship with God: As spiritual leaders, it is important for us to keep our personal relationships with God a priority. We will endeavor to nurture lives of prayer, Bible study, confession of sin, and openness to God.
Dating: The leadership of Chi Alpha holds to the scriptural teaching that as believers we should not be yoked together with unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14). In other words, if we are in a relationship exploring the possibility of marriage, that person should share our belief in and commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Sexual purity: Whether we are in a dating relationship or not, we are called to carefully maintain our sexual purity. According to 1 Thessalonians 4:3-7, we are to avoid all forms of sexual immorality, including pornography, premarital sex, homosexual acts, petting of any kind, and casual sexual encounters. We should also avoid the appearances of inappropriate behaviors, actions, and boundaries (1 Thessalonians 5:22).
Alcohol: As believers, we have freedom to choose, within limits, what our relationship with alcohol will be. The limits we see Scripture creating for us are the following: excessive drinking is prohibited (Ephesians 5:18), the drinking age laws should be obeyed (Romans 13:1-2), and the weaker brother must be considered more important than our freedom (Romans 14). In light of this last exhortation and the current atmosphere at our campuses, it is expected that all spiritual leaders of Chi Alpha abstain from alcoholic beverages in an effort to live above reproach and not bring confusion to those who wrestle with this addiction.
Drug Use: We apply the same standards to drug use that we do to alcohol use. As all non-prescription drug use is illegal in the state of Wisconsin, Chi Alpha Discipleship Team and leaders are expected to abstain from using drugs not prescribed to them for a specific need.
Studies: We firmly believe that God has first and foremost called you here to your campus to be students. Therefore, classes, assignments, and exams should be made a priority in the Student Discipler's life with the attitude that it is the Lord Jesus who receives glory as the calling as students is fulfilled (Colossians 3:23). The basic minimum GPA requirement for Student Discipleship Team is 2.5.
Giving: It is expected that every Student Discipleship Team member will tithe to the ministry of Chi Alpha, and encouraged that each member would support at least one missionary of their choice at the amount of their choosing, in order to learn and practice investing and sowing generously into the Kingdom of God and to keep from becoming a lover of money.