Our calling was never to buildings or university properties, but to networks of people who are loved by God. If you feel called to love and serve your network of friends by starting something new online, we can help.
Planting new ministries is always all about networks of people. When campuses are closed and we can't go out and meet new people, how can we possibly plant? By growing your network. Whether you want to start something new on your own campus, a different campus, or for multiple campuses your first step is to gather a community of people who want to plant with you and explore your combined networks together.
Show Me How
Step 1 - Identify and invite your partners
Who will join you on your planting journey?
• Small group Bible study members
• Leadership team
• Group of friends
• Your InterVarsity staff
• Anyone else!
Step 2 - Host a partnership gathering
Gather your partners and explore your networks together.
As a community you have a bigger network than you probably realize. At your partnership gathering you'll explore your combined networks and see who you're connected with at new campuses. Think about high school friends, friends from church, cousins, and anyone that God brings to mind. They might be praying for a community like this to be a part of!
Watch how 6 student leaders found 50 contacts at nearby schools!
Engage Your Campus Networks
As you look at your network, you’ll discover a list of contacts who might want to be part of a community like yours. In this phase, we’ll talk about how to catalyze your network by creating an online space to encounter God and hear vision for launching new ministries, whether at one campus or across several.
Show Me How
Step 1 - Host a kickoff event
Movements start with a catalyst: your first gathering.
Your first gathering is a kickoff event that will welcome your networks into community, facilitate encounter with God, and cast vision for their networks too. This will be the front door to your community and from here you'll invite your network to continue gathering for weekly encounters with Jesus.
Invite everyone from your kickoff event to come back for a weekly encounter with Jesus to experience community, encounter God, and gain vision for mission. Encourage them to bring friends from their networks too!
Throughout this phase you are looking for students with a calling to reach their friends. Everything you’re doing in this phase is an opportunity to empower new students. Coach them to invite their friends, share their story, and lead parts of the conversation. Help them network map their connections on campus and empower them to start their own Encounters with Jesus groups.
Here are a few practical activities and skills you can use to equip and empower students.
Inviting a friend to InterVarsity.
Use the Tips for Making Great Invitations worksheet to train them on inviting and then help them pick one friend to invite this week. Set up a role play where they practice inviting a friend to the next Jesus Encounter. Ask them to imagine they are inviting him/her and in 30 seconds or less make a clear, specific and personal invitation.
Using the Leaders Guide for your next Encounter with Jesus, pick one of the suggested stories from the "making it personal" section. Help them think of a personal story from their own life and write an outline for a short 1-2 minute story. Set up a role play where they practice sharing their story during the Bible study.
Leading an Encounter with Jesus.
Use the Encounter with Jesus Bible study and the Leaders Guide to train them how to lead the Encounter with Jesus. Set up a role play where they lead the application section of one of the Encounters with you.
Use the Big Story Handout to train them how to share the gospel and make an invitation to faith. Then set up a role play where they practice sharing the big story with you. Coach with encouraging feedback and specific adjustments to make.
Now that you've finished the Encounters with Jesus Series you have an opportunity to grow the movement by multiplying your community. This phase begins by hosting a Launch Gathering to celebrate what God has done and cast vision for multiplication.
Show Me How
Step 1 - Host a Launch Gathering.
Prepare for launch.
A launch gathering is all about celebrating what God has done and casting vision to become a community that doesn't just gather in but also sends people out! Take the next two weeks in your Encounters with Jesus group to prepare to host your Launch Gathering. In the first week students will write out their own simple stories of faith as they prepare to testify to what God has done. In the second week you’ll make an invitation plan and will plan the actual Launch Gathering online event.
At this point, you and your partners have already been on a planting journey. You've gathered a community of partners, explored your networks, and gathered them together to encounter Jesus. Now you've cast vision to be a sending community and some people are ready to launch their own Encounters with Jesus groups. So coach them! Start this whole cycle over again by helping them identify and invite their partners. If anyone in your group is planning to start something new at a new campus, them help them sign up for coaching below!