Discipleship is the process of becoming who Jesus would be, if He were you.” – Dallas Willard
But how do we actually do it? What practical steps can we take to help students engage with what God is changing in their lives, thoughts, emotions, desires, and actions? (The process of Spiritual Formation)
Lucy recently sat down for a discussion with The Student Leadership Blog in one of their podcast episodes.
For more discussion on this, listen to the episode with Dr Lucy Peppiatt, and read further below as we include text from their blog written by Brogan Hume.
There were three particular things Lucy mentioned when asked what she does to help students engage with God’s work in their lives.
3 ways to facilitate spiritual formation in student ministry:
1) Mix up the generations
Depending on your church context, this probably either comes so naturally or is really challenging (at The Belfrey, we’re definitely the latter). There are some advantages to having a big student ministry, but integration within the wider family is a definite drawback. Something that we’re working on this year is trying to get students around older and wiser people.
If you’re part of a smaller church or a church without many students, there is a great opportunity to making the most of those congregation dynamics and help students get lots of investment from members of the congregation who have walked the way of Jesus far longer.
Finally, if you’re an older person (I’ll let you self-define!) reading this, then please be encouraged. Your role in student ministry is not just valid, but vital. Thank you for investing in students.
2) Engage the prophetic
Prophecy re-calibrates your sense of who you truly are” – Dr Lucy Peppiatt
In some ways, this is a bit more difficult than getting mixing the generations – partly because you can only lead people as far as you yourself have been. Prophecy, put simply, is getting a sense of how God sees the world, other people, and various situations. This can sometimes result in God helpfully revealing something that is going to happen, or something that is already going on which is currently hidden ( for more info, read 1 Corinthians 12).
3) Study the Bible (together)
Read, study, memorise, reflect on, and meditate upon the Bible in groups. One easy way to do this is simply to model it – get a group of students around your house (we often do this over summer, at quiet times in the year, or with the small group leaders) and work through a book of the Bible with them. If you do this with small group leaders they, in turn, will naturally share it with their small groups.
A great resource for this, that Lucy mentions, is the Bible for Life website – full of great bible study resources.
You read the Bible in your own life, therefore invite students into that space and help them to do the same with their friends. Also: check out Bible Project for loads of great super short introduction videos to each book.
Resources from this Episode
The Disciple: On Becoming Truly Human by Dr Lucy Peppiatt. If you liked this interview with Lucy, you’ll love this book.
Bible for Life – Great resources for Bible study
The TheoMisc Blog by WTC Theology
Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard – A book quoted by Lucy